HAMDEN, CT — Austin Smith’s hat trick helped propel the Colgate Raiders to a 5-4 overtime victory over the Quinnipiac University Bobcats in game two of the opening round series at the TD Banknorth Sports Center.
Colgate scored the overtime game-winner 54 seconds into the first overtime when Smith recorded his third goal of the game. Ethan Cox threw the puck on net and it found its way between Quinnipiac goalie Bud Fisher’s pads. It trickled through and Smith gave Colgate the overtime victory.
“It was an unbelievable comeback,” said Colgate coach Don Vaughan. “Nick St. Pierre basically took the team on his shoulders late in the game. In overtime, just throw it at the net and good things can happen.”
It is the second straight overtime game in the series. The Bobcats took a 3-2 decision the previous night in overtime with Brandon Wong recording the game-winner.
The Raiders scored two goals in the final 2:30 to send the game to overtime.
Smith tied the game with 19 seconds remaining in the third period when he added an extra-attacker goal. Fisher left a rebound from the initial save and Smith poked it home.
Nick St. Pierre cut the lead back to one when he crashed the net and banged home a shot from Smith. Smith came in the zone and took a shot that deflected off of Fisher’s blocker and fell to the ice. St. Pierre came in and poked the puck home with 2:23 left.
Smith put Colgate up late in the first period when he was able to find a puck loose in the crease. Ethan Cox threw the puck on net from the top of the left circle. It deflected off of a Quinnipiac defenders skate and went between the pads of Bud Fisher. With his legs closed, the puck found its way to his skates and was not completely covered up where Smith came in and put home the puck.
Greg Holt tied the game up at one a piece on the power play when he wristed a shot through traffic at the blue line. Wong sent a pass to the blue line, where Holt corralled the puck and kept it low on the ice, where it bounced off the inside of the left post and in at 17:31.
Quinnipiac took their first lead of the game when Bryan Leitch received a pass from Zach Hansen on the back door. On a power play, Hansen caught a clear attempt and placed the puck on the ice. When he looked up, he found Leitch alone, and he registered his 12th goal of the season at 2:40 of the second period.
“We’ve got to find a way [tomorrow],” said Quinnipiac coach Rand Pecknold. “It’s unfortunate. We played great tonight and got up 4-2, but then we stopped competing and it’s disappointing. Give Colgate credit they came back and never quit. We have to find a way to put them away. We have another game and need to play hard for the whole night.”
Colgate re-tied the game on a David McIntyre blast from the right circle. He entered the zone with a pass from Corbin McPherson, on a two-on-one, but decided to hold on to the puck. He wound up and beat Fisher under his glove at 8:28.
On a delayed penalty call, Mike Atkinson stole the puck away and found a streaking Scott Zurevinski in the slot, and he beat Colgate’s Charles Long through the five-hole for the one-goal lead at 12:13 of the third period.
The Bobcats added a short-handed tally when Eric Lampe beat Long over his shoulder and under the bar. Atkinson assisted on the goal when he fed Lampe on the two-on-one and Lampe lit the lamp with 5:31 remaining in the final stanza.
Long made 39 saves in the overtime win, while Fisher finished with 22 in the loss.
“I thought he did a very good job tonight,” said Vaughan. “They really came after us hard tonight. Long allowed us to stay in the game and that’s all you can ask your goalie to do.”
Game three takes place tomorrow night to determine who advances to the quarterfinal round. If Quinnipiac wins, they will travel to St. Lawrence. If the Raiders win, they will travel to Princeton.