HAMILTON, N.Y. — Colgate will make an unprecedented third straight trip to Albany after beating Quinnipiac in Game 3 of their ECACHL quarterfinal series, 4-0, on Sunday at Starr Rink.
With the win, the Raiders (20-11-6) clinched a third straight 20-win season for the first time in school history. The Bobcats, meanwhile, finished their inaugural season in the ECACHL with a solid 20-17-1 mark, defying early expectations by some observers that QU would have difficulty competing in its new league.
Raider sophomore goaltender Mark Dekanich recorded his fourth career shutout with 30 saves, including 14 in the final period. Bobcat freshman goalie Bud Fisher made 22 stops in the loss.
Colgate senior Kyle Wilson recorded the 100th point of his career when he netted the fourth goal of the game. With the teams skating 4-on-4, Wilson attacked the zone, pulled a toe drag through a defenseman’s skate, and finished by putting a backhand shot low, against the grain and into the net.
In a reversal of fortune from Friday night’s game, Colgate earned a 1-0 lead with less than one minute to play in the first period.
Sophomore Jesse Winchester carried the puck the length of the ice, fending off a Quinnipiac defender. After crossing the blue line, he headed deep into the zone and fed senior captain Jon Smyth, who was going hard to the net with two Bobcats on his back. Smyth one-timed the puck past a sprawling Fisher to put his team up for good.
The tally was Smyth’s fifth game-winning goal of the season, putting him in a tie for the league lead with sophomore linemate Tyler Burton. Smyth has 16 game-winning goals for his career, second all-time at Colgate.
The Raiders’ top line of Smyth, Burton and Winchester struck again 3:07 into the second period. Winchester carried the puck across the red line and was stopped by two Bobcats. The puck squirted between the defenders, but Burton picked it up and headed in on a 2-on-1 with Smyth.
Burton waited until his defender went down, then fed the puck to Smyth, who tried to chip it high. The puck hit the crossbar and sat at the edge of the net. With Fisher out of the play, Burton came around the side of the empty net and put the puck in unchallenged.
Freshman Peter Bogdanich scored his second goal in as many nights at the 8:28 mark of the final period. Senior Zac Tataryn won the faceoff to sophomore Ben Camper, who sent a heads-up pass to Bogdanich from the end boards.
Bogdanich skated in on net with two defenders in hot pursuit, made a move to his backhand, and slid the puck between Fisher’s legs.
Colgate, the second seed in the ECACHL tournament, will face third-seeded Cornell in the second semifinal on Friday, Mar. 17, at Albany’s Pepsi Arena, starting at 8 p.m.
The first semifinal will feature top-seeded Dartmouth against the No. 4 seed, Harvard, at 4:30 p.m. The winners will advance to the championship game on Saturday at 8 p.m.