HAMILTON, N.Y. — Short rest led to an ugly contest without a victor, as Colgate and Bowling Green skated to a 2-2 tie in an afternoon affair at Starr Rink on Saturday.
Both the Raiders and Falcons played tight matches on Friday night, with Colgate dropping a tough game 2-1 to Ohio State and Bowling Green fighting for a 1-1 tie with Cornell. So when the squads arrived for action less than 18 hours later, they knew they were in for a game of grit over beauty.
“I thought it was a tightly contested game,” said Bowling Green head coach Scott Paluch. “I was happy with the way we came out in the first period, especially after coming back from a hard-fought tie the night before in a tough environment.”
The Falcons took advantage of strong opening-period play by scoring the frame’s only goal. Leading scorer Mark Wires tallied just as a five-minute major to Raider Kyle Wilson expired. While Colgate goaltender Steve Silverthorn managed to fend off an initial shot by defenseman Jonathan Sigalet, Wires found the rebound for his fifth notch on the season.
“Mark has been an offensive sparkplug with quick feet and good skills,” praised Paluch. “He’s done what we’ve talked about in terms of getting to the critical areas to get rebounds and second chances. He’s the guy we look to for offensive production.”
Colgate coach Stan Moore was far less enthused about his team’s response to the quick turnaround, especially after the first period.
“We had dribs and drabs of effort and intensity and an utter lack of physicality early in the game,” he said. “A late surge of physicality got us back in the game, but we’re not playing with consistency. It goes right back to that word again. We’re trying to do just enough to win, and that’s simply not the way it works.”
The Raiders responded in the second period, beating a Bowling Green penalty kill that entered the weekend ranked fourth in the nation.
Colgate assistant captain Kyle Doyle snuck in on the near side and flipped a puck over the outstretched glove of netminder Jordan Sigalet and into the net five minutes into the second. The Raiders have failed to score with the extra man in only one game all year.
“[Assistant coach] Andrew Dixon’s done a real nice job with our power play,” said Moore. “We took five forwards and found a way to make it work on one line. But, again, I think this consistency of effort is something that spills over to every aspect of the game. As soon as we choose not to compete, we leave ourselves open to defeat.”
Bowling Green took the lead in the third period with a fluke goal. Sophomore Ryan Barnett’s centering pass from behind the net hit the back of Silverthorn’s leg and ricocheted over the red line to give the Falcons a brief lead.
Colgate managed to come from behind once again, however. Despite making a terrific save on an odd-man rush by the Raiders, Sigalet could not keep trailer Jon Smyth from snapping a shot into the twine. Smyth factored into all three Colgate goals on the weekend, and with 11 points in 10 games he has proved the biggest surprise on the Raider roster.
“I certainly hope the other fellas on the team don’t expect him to carry them for the rest of the year,” said Moore. “I’m very happy for what Jon’s doing. He’s certainly playing solidly and taking his opportunities when he sees them, but it would be nice to see a few more names on the score sheet.”
Sigalet made all five stops in overtime, including keeping a couple of prime scoring chances out of his net, as the Falcons forced their second straight road tie.
“ECAC teams make this a tough road trip every year,” said Paluch. “We knew when it was scheduled that it was going to be a tough trip, and we wanted to see how our guys would hold up. We’ll take these two ties in tough environments and build on them.”
The Falcons face yet another short rest period, as they face off against Western Michigan on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the Raiders will also be skating in Kalamazoo their next time out, as they look forward to a Thanksgiving weekend series with the Broncos.