College Hockey:
Raiders Get Out Early, Hold On

— Colgate jumped ahead early against Brown with two late first-period goals and never looked back. David Cann stopped 17 shots and earned his fifth win in eight games, as the Raiders defeated the Bears 2-1.

“[Cann]‘s been a major part of our success,” said Colgate head coach Don Vaughan. “He’s allowed us in certain games to hang around. Especially last weekend on the road. St. Lawrence and Clarkson both came at us hard early in those games and he’s given us a chance to win them. He deserves to start. He’s playing with a lot of confidence right now and we’re going to ride him.”

The Raiders returned home after taking three out of four points last weekend against the Saints and the Golden Knights. Brown too entered the contest with a bit of momentum, having defeated the then seventh ranked UMass-Lowell River Hawks 2-1 on Tuesday. Adding to the importance of the evening was the position of the two teams in the ECAC. The Bears were just one point back of the Raiders for seventh place in the conference.

Despite the importance of the game, Brown came out flat and only mustered six, lack-luster shots on goal in the first period. Said coach Roger Grillo, “I thought we were pretty soft and I thought they out-battled us and took it to us physically. We just kind of stood around tonight. I was disappointed with our effort, especially in the first period.”

Vaughan also noted a slip in the quality of play from the Bears. “We watched a lot of tape on them this weekend. They seemed to play a much more up-tempo game on the tape than they did early in the game tonight.”

Brown’s slow start led to many quality chances for the Raiders, and Colgate cashed in with two goals late in the opening frame. Captain Etienne Morin scored the opening goal on the power play, an area where Colgate has struggled so far this season. Brown goalie Yann Denis made a pad save on Kyle Doyle’s shot from the blue line, but Morin was in front to clean up the rebound. Morin has picked up his play as the season has gone on and has scored a goal in each of his last two games.

“Etienne brings one very positive element to the table and that is his work ethic. He’s one of the hardest working players on the team. I’m very proud of him,” said Vaughan.

Just two minutes and twenty-two seconds after Morin’s notch, Raider defenseman Rob Brown scored what ended up being the game winning goal. Brown found an errant pass on the end of his stick and put a hard shot on net from the left circle. Danis stopped the blast but left a rebound which Brown flipped into the goal.

Colgate would not need another score, as the Bears could only manage to dent the net once. Captain Josh Barker received a pass between the circles from Paul Crosty and one-timed it off the post. Les Hagget was there to tip the puck past a sprawling Cann, accounting for the final goal of the game. Both teams had many chances in the third period but could only draw iron. Colgate’s Paul Kelley put a puck off the post five minutes into the final frame, and Brown’s Chris Legg rang one off the crossbar with just two minutes remaining.

The Raiders survived the final Bear rush, however, and moved to 8-13-1 overall and 6-6-1 in ECAC action. On Saturday they will host a Harvard team that is coming off of a 5-2 shelling at the hands of conference leading Cornell.

Said Vaughan, “[Harvard's] going to be really ready to go. You can anticipate it being a real hard game for us tomorrow.”

Brown’s loss dropped them to 8-10-2 and 4-7-2. Things will not get easier for the Bears, as they travel to face the Big Red.

Added Grillo, “We’ve got to compete a hell of a lot harder than we did tonight.”

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