CANTON, N.Y. — After being burned on its first shift in Friday night’s contest against Cornell, St. Lawrence returned the favor two-fold to Colgate, as the Saints dropped two goals on the Raiders in the first 48 seconds en route to a 5-3 win at Appleton Arena on Saturday.
Colin FitzRandolph picked up the first of three straight first period goals for the Saints just 21 seconds into the game when he drove to the net and fired a wrist shot high above the shoulder of Colgate goalie Steve Silverthorn.
“Last night we gave up the first one on the first shift, so tonight it was great to turn it around,” said classmate Mike Zbriger. “Fitzie scored a beautiful goal, and I was glad that it came on Senior Night.”
T.J. Trevelyan scored just 27 seconds later with a long shot from the blue line which snuck through traffic and slipped past the outstretched left pad of Silverthorn.
St. Lawrence’s leading scorer recorded his second goal of the night a few minutes later in what was most likely his flukiest tally of the year. Trevelyan attempted to ring a puck around the boards in Colgate’s end, but after Silverthorn had left his net to play the rubber along the wall, the puck ricocheted off of a partition and into the wide open cage.
“We got some breaks early and rode the emotion of that for a while,” said St. Lawrence coach Joe Marsh. “Trevelyan’s second goal was a huge break. We had the fates with us tonight, but you need some luck.”
Colgate coach Don Vaughan pulled Silverthorn in favor of backup Mark Dekanich for the remainder of the first period. But Silverthorn returned to the ice at the beginning of period two after the Raiders skaters faced their coach in the locker room.
“I was trying to save [Silverthorn],” said Vaughan. “He’s been one of our best players all year long, and many nights he’s single-handedly won us games. I didn’t want to leave him in there if our guys weren’t going to play in front of him. I told our guys that after the first period. They said they would step up, and they did.”
Colgate finally generated some offensive chances in the second period, and cashed in when Adam Mitchell forced a rebound just under the pad of Saints goaltender Mike McKenna. But the senior netminder made several key saves to stem the Raiders rushes.
“We had a couple of bad bounces go against us,” said Vaughan. “The one that really stung was the one that bounced off of the glass. After that I thought we played really well. But St. Lawrence really played solid in their own rink, and McKenna made some huge saves.”
McKenna’s biggest save came against Colgate forward Darryl McKinnon, who got himself wide open in front of the net with nothing but twine in sight. But McKenna dove across and, with his paddle, deflected McKinnon’s shot harmlessly wide.
“He’s had a wonderful career here, and it was nice to see him finish up the regular season like that,” said Marsh. “We’re going to need to ride him hard in the playoffs.”
Saints senior Josh Anderson and sophomore Max Taylor each scored, while Colgate freshman Tyler Burton scored and set up a Kyle Wilson goal for a four point weekend. The Saints never allowed Colgate within one goal, however, and secured a home playoff series against Princeton next weekend.
“We wanted to establish some kind of a presence in this building which we haven’t been able to sustain this year,” said Marsh. “We’ve played pretty well here, but we haven’t put up the kind of points we’d like to. But the slate’s clean now, and hopefully we can blow the lid off of this place next week.”
Meanwhile, Colgate had previously earned a bye week and will have to wait to see who its second round opponent will be.
“We need a rest,” said Vaughan. “We’ve got some tired guys in that locker room. We’ve worked all year long to get the first round bye, and we’ve accomplished that. Now our focus is going to be on getting to Albany and winning the tournament.”