TROY, N.Y. — Sometimes your goaltender can win a game for you.
On Friday night David Cann did just that for the Colgate Raiders, making 28 saves to shut down the Rensselaer Engineers and pick up his third career shutout — second of the year — and give his Raiders a 3-0 win.
Cann came up big for Colgate when he had to. After the Raiders killed off the Engineer’s fourth power play of the game in the second period, Cann stopped Nolan Graham on a backboard rebound shot, diving across the crease and grabbing the puck out of the air with his glove. Then he stopped Kevin Croxton point-blank as the puck bounced between his legs and finally rested there.
Then he stopped Eric Cavosie on a mini-breakaway. And then he stopped Kirk MacDonald — not once, but twice: point-blank and then the rebound.
“I was just thinking I have to stay focused, get through the penalty kill and keep my guys in the game,” said Cann. “We had to keep it tight and I was thinking, ‘Just make the first save, make that first save,’ and hopefully my guys could get it out.”
The Engineers dominated the second period, but the Raiders got on the board first, scoring at the beginning of the third period. Kyle Doyle won the faceoff and then Joey Mormina took a hard point shot that found its way behind Kevin Kurk for the 1-0 lead 2:54 into the period.
“He played really well in that second period,” said Raider head coach Don Vaughan. “The first goal was going to be huge, for either team. We haven’t scored first much this year and getting that first one really gave us a boost.”
That would be all the Raiders needed as they got an insurance goal with 2:52 left on an Adam Mitchell tip of a Steve Silversides shot from the blue line, and a Scooter Smith power-play goal with 1:10 left to win it 3-0. Cann also received an assist on that goal.
“I don’t think we gave up a lot of quality shots in the third period and that’s all you can ask,” said Vaughan. “And we preached about throwing the thing on the net and that’s how they went in tonight.”
“I thought we played really, really well too,” said Engineer head coach Dan Fridgen. “I thought we played a solid game and the opportunities were there. You know, again it comes down to a bounce here or there, and they got one off a faceoff. And the puck went through a couple of legs on the second goal.
“We had our opportunities on the power play, five-on-five, and just missed. When it was 1-0, Ben Barr went down the horn and missed wide, and missed opportunities. I don’t know what more you can do at this point.”
The Engineers (8-13-2, 2-5-2 ECAC, T-9th) will host Cornell on Saturday evening while Colgate (8-11-2, 3-5-1 ECAC, 8th) will travel to Union. The Engineers now have one win in their last seven games, two in their last 10, while Colgate breaks a streak of five winless games.
“It’s a big win,” said Vaughan. “I don’t know if you can measure it right now, but any win on the road in this league is huge. We certainly needed it and we’re hoping to carry it into tomorrow night.”
“It’s huge, this win,” said Cann. “We need to come back, we need to get wins and get to the playoffs and give ourselves some breathing room to hold on to a position and maybe hold on to home ice.”
Engineer captain Danny Eberly went into the boards in the second period and strained his neck. He is day-to-day.