HAMILTON, N.Y. — “Hats off” to Tyler Burton and the Colgate Raiders (7-2-2, 4-1-1 ECACHL) who triumphed over the Union Dutchmen (6-5-1, 3-3-0), 5-0, Saturday night. The sophomore’s hat trick paced the Raiders and marked his first three-goal performance of his career.
Discipline was the key to the outcome of this game. Six misconduct penalties were committed by the end of the evening, four of which went against Union.
“We played selfish, undisciplined hockey, and we’re better than that,” head coach Nate Leaman, now in his third season with the Dutchmen, said.
Union, ranked ninth in the league on the penalty kill, committed 13 penalties and gave up two power-play goals.
“It’s the same old song with the penalties for us,” Union captain Scott Seney said. “We were unprepared and undisciplined.”
Union came into the Saturday’s match-up after pulling off an upset the night before against last year’s ECACHL champion, the Cornell Big Red. Though down early in that game, 1-0, the Dutchmen roared back with two goals in a span of 18 seconds, and Mayotte held the team in for the 2-1 victory. Union’s three-game winning streak against league foes was snapped by Colgate’s fourth league win, however.
The game got off to a physical start, but Union fared the worse, getting called for five of the first six penalties. Colgate finally cashed in on one of those man-advantage opportunities 12:56 into the first period. Tyler Burton extended his point-scoring streak to eight games on a goal that looked practically identical to the lone Colgate goal he scored on Friday night against RPI in a 1-1 tie. Just as the Dutchmen returned their fourth defender to the ice after a five-on-three, the puck was fed across the goal mouth to Ben Camper. Kris Mayotte slid across to make the primary save, but Burton picked up the rebound and jammed it home for his ninth of the season.
Mayotte stayed strong in net for the Dutchmen through most of the second period, but then the floodgates opened and Colgate poured on the offense. Burton struck again, netting an off-balance goal that crept under the Dutchmen goaltender’s blocker. Alex Greig held the blue line, giving the puck to Raiders captain Jon Smyth on the half-boards. Smyth quickly centered it to Burton, and Mayotte seemed fooled by Burton’s shovel shot that dipped in on the near side.
Burton later completed the natural hat trick halfway through the third, stuffing home his eleventh of the season. Greig lifted a shot from the point that a Union defenseman tried to glove and play out of the zone. Instead, the defenseman tipped the puck on net with his hand, causing a scrum in front of Mayotte. Burton eventually found the loose puck and buried it under the sprawling netminder. Though Colgate took a couple of penalties in a row, Union could not capitalize on its chances.
Ryan Smyth increased the Raider lead to 4-0 on a lucky bounce. Defenseman Jason Fredericks let go a low slapper that bounced off the back-boards right onto the tape of Marc Fulton. Mayotte could not recover after making the initial save on Fulton’s shot to stop Smyth from banging home his second of the season.
With less than three minutes left in the game, Colgate tacked on a second power-play goal. Jon Smyth found Burton open in the right-wing corner, who slung a pass into the slot which Jesse Winchester tipped through Mayotte for his eighth goal of the season. Colgate’s nationally-ranked fourth and league-ranked second power play unit finished two-for-nine, while its nationally-ranked 20th penalty kill stopped all five Union power-play chances.
Mark Dekanich posted his second shutout of the season, making 17 saves.
“The shutout felt good,” the sophomore said, “but I’m just out there to do my job.”
Union generated few shots in the final period, to which Dekanich responded, “It’s tough to stay focused when you’re not getting a lot of work. I try to keep myself in the game by watching the puck and watching the clock, monitoring penalties. The defense did a great job – all the shots tonight were from the outside and none of them were quality.”
His counterpart, Mayotte, finished the game with 25 saves.
“We took poor, undisciplined penalties,” lamented Coach Leaman, to which he added, “I mean how many did we end up with? This league is too good for us to take poor penalties and expect to win.”
His captain, coming out of the locker-room after a tongue-lashing from Leaman, said, “Coach didn’t need to say anything. It’s a discipline thing; we can’t rely on Mayotte to bail us out every time. The misconducts on top of the trips and hooks… we need to get it in our heads that we can’t do that.”
Raiders 13-year head coach Don Vaughan sympathized with Leaman, stating, “It’s frustrating as a coach. All you do is hope that you can rally it together, but it doesn’t always happen.”
“There have been a lot of calls,” Vaughan later added. “I just tell my guys to keep moving and to keep their sticks down.”
Colgate, now with a firm hold on second place in the ECACHL with Cornell’s 1-1 draw against RPI, continues its homestand with back-to-back games against Western Michigan, while Union hosts Wayne State for a two-game series.