HAMILTON, N.Y. — Colgate forward Paul Kelley’s soft wrist shot slipped past Sacred Heart goaltender Eddy Ferhi late in the third period to lift the Raiders to a 4-3 victory on Saturday.
“It was a soft goal at the end,” said Sacred Heart coach Shaun Hannah, “but that’s how the game is played sometimes. That goal just snuck in on Eddy’s short side. We’re not going to fault anybody. He kept us in the game in the first period. That’s just the way it goes sometimes.”
Ferhi, however, kept his team close for much of the game with his spectacular play by stopping 33 shots. Colgate coach Don Vaughan told his team to keep shooting.
“When you’re playing a goaltender like that who makes all those stops, there’s a tendency to hesitate and try to make the perfect shot,” said Vaughan, whose team is 2-2-1. “I just kept telling the guys ‘Throw it at the net. Throw it at the net. Something will go in.’ Low and behold, Paul throws one at the net from the men’s room and it finds its way into the net.”
Kelley’s goal capped a comeback that brought the Raiders back from a 3-2 deficit. Defenseman Rob Brown had scored less than two minutes earlier as he slipped the puck between Ferhi’s pads on a breakaway.
“That was the highlight of the night for me,” Vaughan said. “The three or four minutes beforehand I thought we were losing our zip. The hit really swung the game’s momentum. Kyle stepped up and made a guy at the blue line to force the turnover, and Brownie finished it.”
The Raiders struck first when Brad D’Arco scored with a pretty misdirection play. The goal extended Colgate’s streak of scoring the opening goal in every game they have played so far this season.
Outshot 13-1 in the first 20 minutes, the Pioneers came out strong in the second period. Martin Paquet scored twice on the power play to give Sacred Heart the 2-1 lead heading into the third period.
“He had a great game,” Hannah said. “He’s been playing solid, and the cards are starting to fall in to place for him. He’s been putting in the effort every night on the little things that are going to make our team successful. It was nice to see him have a good game tonight.”
Colgate’s Scooter Smith tied the game at two midway through the third with a power-play goal. The senior also had an assist.
“Scooter’s playing unbelievable,” Vaughan said. “He’s our most consistent player and is playing with a lot of authority out there. He’s very strong with the puck, and is shooting the thing like a pro. It’s probably not fair to say, but you wonder what might have been if he had been healthy the last couple of years.”
Chuck Metcalfe redirected a Garrett Larson pass through Raider goaltender Steve Silverthorn’s pads for a shorthanded goal to give Sacred Heart a 3-2 lead.
However, the Raiders were able to pull out the victory. Colgate’s aggressive play near the end of the game prevented Sacred Heart from exiting their zone and establishing any late pressure.
“I think Colgate came at us really, really hard that last minute,” Hannah said. “They didn’t want to give anything away for nothing. When they went up a goal they just had that killer instinct that they weren’t going to let anything stand in their way.”
Colgate will travel to Findlay State in a nonconference game Friday. Sacred Heart (0-2-2) will play Canisius in the MAAC opener next Sunday.