College Hockey:
Bulldogs Bury Raiders

— After scoring three goals in each of the last two periods, the Yale Bulldogs rolled over the Colgate Raiders, 6-1, in Starr Rink.

A goal from Sean Backman, just five minutes and 55 seconds into the second period got the Bulldogs rolling. A botched Colgate attempt to break out of the defensive zone led to Backman picking off a pass and carrying the puck into the zone uncontested. Backman capitalized with a shot that beat Colgate’s Mark Dekanich off the post and in, glove side.

Only minutes later, another Colgate defensive error gave Bulldog Mark Arcobello a free lane to the goal. This time, Dekanich came up huge with a glove save, helping his team to stay in the game a little longer. While the Raiders showed signs of battling back throughout the period, any momentum was quickly stifled by a second Yale goal less than a minute into a power play resulting from a Joe DeBello charging penalty. Yale’s Matthew Thomey was credited with a goal at 13:26, when his shot from the left outside hash mark deflected off Colgate defender Kevin McNamara’s stick and slipped past Dekanich. Helping on the play were Ken Trentowski and Chris Cahill.

Colgate began to show a great deal of frustration after giving up the second goal, and with just over a minute remaining in the second period, following a scuffle in front of Yale goaltender Billy Blase’s net, both Peter Bogdanich and Mark Anderson were given coincidental minor penalties for hitting after the whistle. Accompanying them to the sin bin were Bulldogs Brendan Mason and Arcobello. Only seconds later, with only 35 seconds remaining in the period, Yale defenseman Mike Matczak tacked a third goal on for the Bulldogs with a shot from the low right point that beat Dekanich low, stick side. Assists on the play were credited to Blair Yaworski and Cahill.

The third period was much of the same. Just over five minutes into the game, Broc Little blocked a shot and picked up the puck, cutting into the Colgate zone from the right side. His shot was saved by Dekanich, but Denny Kearney was right there to pick up the rebound. While Dekanich was recovering from the save, Kearney had a wide-open net, and made the score 4-0.

After the fourth goal, Dekanich was replaced by Justin Kowalkowsi, who fared no better. He let in two goals, one from Thomey and one from Little, on five shots.

With just five minutes left in the game, it seemed that Blase would record his second career shutout, when Colgate’s David Sloane picked up the puck off a turnover and shot from the low right point. The puck somehow made it through traffic and found the back of the net, robbing Blase of the shutout.

The first period belonged in another game. Colgate dominated with 15 shots to Yale’s four. On Colgate’s second power play opportunity, the Raiders had two close chances from Tyler Burton and DeBello.

With 7:11 remaining in the first, a tripping penalty on Dustin Gillanders triggered Yale’s first power play. Although they couldn’t capitalize, the Bulldogs moved the puck well and produced their first legitimate scoring opportunity after a cross-ice pass to Ryan Donald. Donald’s one-time shot went behind a sprawling Dekanich but drifted wide. The remaining seconds of Yale’s only power play were eaten up by a couple of clearances by Colgate’s penalty killing unit, and the Raiders promptly resumed dominating the rest of the period.

The Raiders couldn’t keep the momentum going, and after squandering a five-on-three power play in the first three minutes of the second period, the remainder of the game was marked by a series of careless defensive errors and a general sense of frustration and sloppiness from the Raider squad.

“I don’t think any of us were happy with the way we played in the first period,” Yale head coach Keith Allain said. “Colgate was fast and strong and they really came at us. In the first period we weren’t able to put any pressure on their defense, and in the second period we were able to do that. We created some turnovers and got some scoring chances.”

The Bulldogs saw scoring from eight different players, and Blase came up big with 32 saves on the night. Colgate’s Dekanich made 16 saves. Yale capitalized on just one of it’s five power-play opportunities, but were able to kill all four of the opportunities the Raiders had.

The Raiders will face the Brown Bears Saturday night at home, while the Bulldogs move on to Lynah Rink to take on the Cornell Big Red. Both games begin at 7 p.m.

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