ALBANY — Colgate’s Brian Day had himself a day Friday against Robert Morris in the Governor’s Cup.
Day had a natural hat trick in the first period, scoring his three goals three different ways, and he became the first player in the tournament’s three-year history to have a hat trick as he led the Raiders to a 5-2 victory in the first semifinal at the Times Union Center.
The Raiders (3-0) make their third straight championship game appearance, and are seeking their first title. They will face Union Saturday night at 8 p.m.
“We wanted to come out flying,” said Day, who has five goals on the season. “We wanted to set the tone for the tournament.”
Day did that with his incredible first period.
After Tom Riley gave the Raiders a 1-0 lead on a power-play goal at 4:18, Day went to work. He got an even-strength goal, completing a perfect give-and-go passing play with David McIntyre.
“Me and David played together last year,” Day said. “We just have a knack for knowing where each other are. He found me back there. I didn’t even expect the pass back, and he put it right on my tape.”
Day scored a power-play goal at 8:58, chasing Colonials’ starting goalie Wes Russell from the game. He completed his first career hat trick with a short-handed goal, beating goalie Jim Patterson on a breakaway with 2:45 left in the period. He stole the puck from defenseman Denny Urban at the Colgate blue line.
“One of the biggest things on our PK [penalty kill] is puck pressure,” Day said. “We didn’t want to allow them let them set up in the zone, and to pressure the puck. As soon as he bobbled the puck, I went right at him.”
Day is the first Colgate player to score a natural hat trick three different ways since Kyle Wilson did it against Army on Oct. 21, 2005.
“He’s a big-time player,” Colgate Coach Don Vaughan said of Day. “It’s not often you see a natural hat trick, one on each situation.”
Ken Schott covers college hockey for The Daily Gazette in Schenectady, N.Y.