HAMILTON, N.Y. — “When it rains, it pours.” The Canisius Golden Griffins were drenched last night by Colgate’s six power-play, two short-handed, and one even-strength goal, while the Golden Griffins scored none as the Raiders thumped Canisius, 9-0.
“We played awful,” said Canisius head coach Dave Smith. “We lost momentum [early] and we weren’t able to fight to get back…. We just didn’t have the wherewithall to turn it around. When you lose 9-0 it means that the team psyche is not where it needs to be.”
Canisius had hoped to capitalize on their first win of the season last weekend, which came against Atlantic Hockey League rival Sacred Heart. The team’s record against Colgate was not a promising statistic, however, going into the game – 0-3-0 before last night with a cumulative goal differential of 30-4. Another mountain to climb was the team’s unsuccessful record in interleague play with the ECACHL, now 0-12-0. Last time out Colgate skated to a 7-2 victory against the Golden Griffins.
Colgate came into the game riding on a two-game winning streak and nine days rest after defeating Bentley 5-1. From the outset the Raiders took command and capitalized on their man advantages. At the end of the night, the nine Colgate goals were scored by eight different Raiders.
The onslaught began four minutes into the first on the Raiders’ first power play. Mike Campaner broke the puck out from deep in the Colgate’s zone to Jason Williams. Williams dashed up the right wing and flipped a pass off the boards on-sides to spring Marc Fulton, who in one motion settled the rolling puck and whipped it between the legs of Canisius goaltender Bryce Luker.
About ten minutes later, again on the power play, David McIntyre – the Raiders’ young sensation who scored his first two collegiate goals in Colgate’s previous game and is currently a draft pick of the Dallas Stars – streaked in from the left side and, from barely two feet away from the goal, elevated the puck top-shelf over Luker who had gone down on one knee to cover down low.
Fulton added another power-play goal three minutes after that. McIntyre drove down the left side and towards the net in a similar fashion as his goal just before. This time he had a Canisius defender leaning on him, but McIntyre was able to stave him off and, in a heads up move, slid a pass across the goal mouth to Fulton who was trailing the play and who notched his fifth goal of the season. This goal was followed by the game’s only even strength tally which was scored by Tom Riley, his first of the season.
To add insult to injury, the Raiders tacked on two short-handed goals in the second period – one by Ben Campaner, his first goal of the season, and the other by Tyler Burton, his third goal of the season – and another power-play goal – Nick St. Pierre’s first goal of the season. Burton’s goal came off a breakaway on a five-on-three penalty kill for the Raiders. The Canisius defender with possession of the puck at the left point seemed to get tripped up by the linesman and the puck slid behind him. Burton acrobatically leaped over the fallen defender and then bore down on Luker, burying the puck through the netminder’s legs.
Dustin Gillanders and David Sloane capped off the scoring for the Raiders in the third period, both goals on the power play and for each player their first goals of the year.
Raider head coach Don Vaughan assessed that his special teams played well throughout the night, and then added sarcastically that special teams “seems to be all we work on anymore.” The two teams combined for 70 penalty minutes. “It’s not exciting,” said Colgate’s David McIntyre. McIntyre added that he wished that games were not be slowed down as much by the high level of penalty calling, and later jested “I would like some five-on-five goals, you know? I never get to see my real linemates [because I have to go out with my power play line so much].” In the Raiders’ last game, Bentley and Colgate accumulated 71 penalty minutes between the two teams. Canisius currently leads the nation in penalty minutes and average penalties per game.
“It’s growing pains,” commented Vaughan on the tighter style of officiating. “It’s not a lot of fun to play with this many penalties. The players and the officials need to work together to strike a balance.”
After the game Smith was questioned about his decision to leave netminder Bryce Luker in for the entire game. Smith said that he chose to leave Luker in despite the mounting score because, “I wanted him to battle through it and I wanted the rest of the team to come out of it together.” Smith added that he happened to go to the Philadelphia Flyers versus Buffalo Sabres game the night before, and that Flyers head coach Ken Hitchcock had made a similar decision to keep starting goaltender Robert Esche in the game despite a 9-1 final score. Of the rest of his team’s play, Smith commented that they got a good start but then preceded to play a “disappointing 52 minutes” of hockey. “We didn’t execute the simple plays that we did on Saturday [against Sacred Heart]. It was really frustrating.” Smith said that between periods his team was already devising a practice plan for their upcoming game against league rival RIT, which will be at the Amherst Pepsi Arena October 27th at 7 P.M. About the dismal final outcome, he merely commented, “I hope [my guys] never experience it again.”
Colgate hopes to extend its three game winning streak as it heads into league play next weekend at the Governor’s Cup, which will be held at Albany’s Pepsi Arena. The team plays Quinnipiac first on October 28th at 4 P.M., and then their second game, depending on that game’s outcome and that of the RPI/Union match, at either 2 P.M. or 5 P.M. on October 29th.