HAMILTON, N.Y. — On a night where Starr Rink was filled with excited fans, the hometown Colgate Raiders did not disappoint.
Netting six goals on 44 shots, the Raiders put together their best offensive performance at home against Clarkson in over a decade. It had also been over 10 years since Colgate completed a series sweep over the Clarkson Golden Knights, winning in dominant fashion, 6-1, on Friday night.
Colgate was in trouble early though as penalties in the first minute and a half of the game put them down two men. Just when it looked as if Clarkson would jump ahead, as they put six shots on net, the Raiders were able to kill it off.
Alex (Evin) made some grade A saves, said Colgate head coach Don Vaughan. He let us get settled in.
After the penalty kill, the game picked up physically and it appeared as if it was going to come down to the last man standing.
Midway through the first, there was a battle along the end boards in the Golden Knights zone. Through a bunch of sticks and skates, the puck rolled out of the corner and landed on the stick of Raiders winger Matt Firman. Firman came across the top of the left circle and sent a fake shot-pass across to Brian Day, who tapped it in and put Colgate up 1-0 at 10:38.
Just over a minute later, Colgate doubled their lead as Kevin McNamara picked up the puck at the point and dished it off to Robbie Bourdon. Bourdon cut through the middle and roofed the puck past Clarkson goalie Paul Karpowich, knocking the water bottle off the top of the goal in the process.
Early in the second, it was Clarkson who was in penalty trouble, taking a slashing penalty at 1:35. For a full minute, Colgate maintained possession, cycling in the Clarkson zone throughout. The Raiders were able to capitalize off a very strong power play as the puck was worked out to David McIntyre at the blue line.
McIntyre sent a pass across to Jeremy Price, who took a shot on net that was saved by Karpowich. The rebound however, fluttered out and was left open in front. With his backhand, Brian Day knocked a tomahawk shot out of mid-air to beat a diving Karpowich, adding to the Raiders lead.
At exactly the 11:00 mark of the second period, Francois Brisebois put home a breakaway goal, making it 4-0 Colgate. Brisebois took a headman pass from McIntyre, beat the defense and went in alone on Karpowich. After a few nice dekes, Brisebois was able to put it in five hole.
Just 42 seconds later, Colgate ended Karpowichs night early. Nick Prockow was in the corner and was able to connect a pass with Sean Carty, who was wide open in the slot. Carty was easily able to put it in. Karpowich, out of frustration, broke his goal stick on the crossbar and Richie LaVeau entered as his replacement.
It wasnt because of (Karpowichs) play, said Clarkson assistant coach Chris Rogles. It was to send a message to our team.
The second period ended with Colgate up 5-0.
The game became extremely chippy on top of the physical play that was already present. The teams traded off big hits and post whistle pushing and shoving.
Even though it was a blowout, Clarkson and Colgate battled as if the game was on the line.
That was the message, to focus on the process and stick to the game plan, Vaughan said. Every inch of ice, every face off is contested and every point is huge. Our guys stuck with it, were playing with confidence and we need to bring it every night.
At 9:08 of the third, Clarkson was able to get on the board. It was a power-play goal. Mark Borowiecki sent the puck to Louke Oakley in the corner. Oakley got it to the top of the circle to Brandon DeFazio. He skated in uncontested and wristed it through the left arm of Alex Evin.
Colgate had the last laugh though, and on a 5-on-3 power play Thomas Larkin made it 6-1. Francois Brisebois passed the puck to Robbie Bourdon. Bourdon took a shot that hit the post, leaving a big rebound for Larkin to put home with just over three minutes left in the game.
Clarkson (5-17-3 overall, 1-10-2 in the ECAC) will look to rebound at Cornell, while Colgate (10-9-5, 7-4-1) will host St. Lawrence. Puck drops for both games tomorrow night at 7 p.m.