HAMILTON, N.Y. — With his team holding a tenuous advantage early in the third period against Harvard, Colgate’s Kyle Doyle pushed a rebound past Crimson goalie Will Crothers, giving himself a hat trick and Colgate an insurmountable three-goal lead en route to a 5-3 win Saturday.
Harvard was only able to generate 16 shots on goal and never really tested Raider netminder David Cann, who, along with his team, is now 6-2-1 in the last nine games.
Said Colgate coach Don Vaughan, “We didn’t panic. We kept the puck on the wall and didn’t give up a lot of quality chances. I’m very pleased with our effort. I thought the guys really stepped up and maybe played one of the best games of the year.”
After a 6-3 loss to conference-leading Cornell the night before, the Crimson came out flying. Fifth-year senior Liam McCarthy scored his first career goal and first point on the season with a slapshot just two minutes into the game.
The Raiders answered with a goal just 47 seconds later. Dmitry Yashin scored his first of two goals with a point-blank one-timer that beat Crothers low. Doyle scored off another rebound with less than a minute remaining in the period, giving Colgate a 2-1 lead going into the first intermission.
Harvard tied the game early in the second period when Peter Capouch’s shot found its way through traffic and past Cann. Three minutes later, however, the Raiders took over the momentum.
Upon entering the Crimson zone, defenseman Ben Bryce dropped a pass to the trailing Doyle, who roofed a slapshot to the stick side of Crothers. After the eventual game winning goal — scored by Yashin during a scramble in front of the Crimson net — Doyle netted the team’s fifth goal and his third of the night.
“Kyle’s such a competitor,” said Vaughan. “He’s got great offensive instincts. For a small guy he’s got a huge heart, and he played with it tonight.”
Harvard’s first shot of the third period came with just over three minutes left, and despite a fluke goal from a botched clearing attempt that hit Crimson Tyler Kolarik’s leg and bounced in past a surprised Cann, Harvard was not able to seriously challenge.
“We got what we deserved,” said Harvard head coach Mark Mazzoleni. “We were rattled, and [Colgate] was on a very emotional high. I don’t even want to count the number of shots that we had that never made it to the net. We just didn’t do a good job of getting the puck through traffic.”
The win moves Colgate to 8-13-1 overall and put them above the .500 mark in the ECAC at 7-6-1. Their next game will be nonconference, as the Canisius Golden Griffins visit the surging Raiders. While the game is unimportant to Colgate in respect to their conference standing, Vaughan still looks forward to the opportunity to continue practicing and playing well.
“We’re looking at this as an opportunity to just keep this thing moving,” he said. “It’s going to take the place of a real good, hard skate on Tuesday, and we’ll be ready for it.”
The Crimson dropped to 9-8-3 and 8-5-2. They will also face a nonconference foe, as they play host to a streaking Northeastern Huskies squad. Mazzoleni hopes that his team can shake off the Crimson’s reputation of falling apart after finals break, and can get back to playing solid hockey.
“We’re flat-footed right now. There is no doubt that we have to get going offensively. We’re not playing with the same type of energy, the same execution level, the same focus, the same rhythm and flow that we were before finals,” he said.