HAMILTON, N.Y. — In a game that featured several events that will be added to the Colgate hockey history book, the Raiders completed their ECACHL first-round series by winning Game 2 against Rensselaer, 4-1, Saturday at Starr Rink.
Junior goaltender Mark Dekanich broke his own record for saves in a season with 25 stops, giving him 993 for the year. Next weekend, Dekanich will have the opportunity to become the first netminder in Colgate history to make 1,000 saves in a season.
Dekanich also helped Colgate score what stood up as the game-winning goal seven minutes into the second period. After making a save on Rensselaer senior Oren Eizenman, Dekanich’s rebound came out to sophomore Tom Riley in the right circle. Riley streaked end-to-end and beat RPI junior goalie Jordan Alford glove-side on a breakaway. Dekanich earned the second assist of his career on the play.
With 5:48 remaining in regulation and Colgate leading 2-1, RPI senior defenseman Jake Luthi pulled down Raider junior Jesse Winchester as he was going in on goal, and referee Eugene Binda, Jr., signaled for a penalty shot. Winchester skated in from center ice down the left side of the slot, faked left, then beat Alford glove-side.
Winchester’s goal marked just the third time in Colgate history that the Raiders have converted a penalty shot; the last Raider to do so was former RPI head coach Dan Fridgen.
Williams started the scoring with a power-play goal 4:34 in. With the Raiders set up in the zone, sophomore Jason Fredricks passed the puck from the right point to senior Marc Fulton in the right circle. Fulton centered it to Williams in front of the net, and he banged it in for his fourth goal of the season.
RPI responded at the 13:13 mark of the opening frame, as junior Jake Morissette took a hard shot from the left point that trickled between Dekanich’s legs. He scrambled to cover the puck, and lay down to smother it, but it stayed loose and junior Jonathan Ornelas got it over the goal line to knot the score at 1.
Just over a minute after Winchester scored on the penalty shot to give Colgate a 3-1 lead, Riley added an insurance goal. Fulton passed the puck ahead to Williams in the left circle. Williams found Riley in the high slot, and Riley fired over Alford’s glove.
After scoring just four points in the last 22 games, Riley finished the weekend with four goals. He ranks fifth on the team in scoring with 21 points, including 14 in his first 12 games of the year.
Dekanich finished the game with 25 saves as his Raiders outshot RPI, 34-27. Alford took the loss after making 30 stops. Colgate junior Justin Kowalkoski played the final 1:19 of the game and stopped the only shot he faced.
The Raiders await the result of the series between sixth-seeded Princeton and 11th-seeded Brown, which will be decided on Sunday. If the Bears win, Colgate will face Clarkson in the quarterfinals; a Princeton win sends the Raiders to top-seeded St. Lawrence.