LAKE PLACID, N.Y. — Colgate hadn’t scored an extra-attacker goal this season entering Friday’s ECAC Hockey semifinal game against Quinnipiac, while Raiders’ forward Kyle Baun was in the midst of a nearly two-month scoring draught.
So it was only fitting that with goalie Charlie Finn pulled, Baun scored the tying goal and then launched the initial shot on net that Tyson Spink shoved past Quinnipiac’s Michael Garteig 58 seconds into the second overtime to give Colgate a 3-2 win and send them to their first ECAC title game since 1990.
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“Personally, for me I have been here a lot of times and it’s the first time we are in the finals,” Colgate coach Don Vaughan said. “We have been in the semifinals a lot, so it is exciting for all of us to play in the title tomorrow.”
Finn made 30 saves, while Andrew Black scored the other goal for the second-seeded Raiders. Connor Jones and Sam Anas scored for the third-seeded Bobcats, who got 33 saves from Garteig.
Colgate (19-12-5) will face No. 1 Union in Saturday’s title game at 7:30 p.m. EDT, while Quinnipiac will await its opponent next weekend in the opening round of the NCAA tournament.
Both teams barely had time to settle in before Colgate generated a good scoring chance in the second overtime. Darcy Murphy just missed connecting with Joe Wilson on a cross-ice pass as they drove toward the net.
But the Raiders converted on the next shift, as Baun’s shot rebounded off Garteig and to Spink on the opposite post for the game-winner.
“It was overtime, so I was just looking for a shoot-first mentality, and Tyson was just driving the net hard,” Baun said.
Baun scored the game-tying goal at 19:05 in the third, jumping on a loose puck and pushing it past Garteig to send the game to overtime.
“He comes up at big times and that’s what good players do,” Vaughan said. “No one attacks the play and separates the puck from the man as well as Kyle Baun. It didn’t surprise me that it was him on the end of that.”
Each team had several good looks in a back-and-forth first overtime. Quinnipiac’s Jordan Samuels-Thomas had the puck on the right post and tried to pass it to Matthew Peca on the other side of the net, but Finn dived out to cover the puck at 7:16.
Colgate’s Tyson Spink shot high-and-wide from close in on Garteig with just under four minutes left, while Samuels-Thomas ripped a shot from the right circle that Finn smothered at 18:34. The Raiders freshman finished with 10 saves in the first overtime, while Colgate’s defense held strong.
“We made a commitment early in the season to play better defense than we thought we did in the second half of last season,” Vaughan said. “A lot of it starts with the skill set to begin with; we don’t give up a lot of time and space. We never quit on our play. And that’s what you have to do against that the team, they come so hard and have so many weapons.”
With the teams skating four-on-four early in the second, Kellen Jones threaded the puck to his twin brother Connor in the neutral zone. Connor broke in alone on Finn, beating the Raiders’ goalie to put Quinnipiac up 1-0 at 2:54.
Anas’ power-play blast at 15:37 in the second made it 2-0 for the Bobcats. It was the freshman’s team-leading 22nd goal of the season.
Colgate cut the lead to one on Black’s goal just under two minutes later.
“I don’t know if it was the worst goal we gave up this year, but it might be,” Quinnipiac coach Rand Pecknold said of Black’s goal, which came after the Bobcats mishandled the puck behind the net.
“We had a couple mistakes that cost us and a couple of missed opportunities,” Quinnipiac captain Cory Hibbeler said.
It’s the second straight year that Quinnipiac has lost in the league semifinals. The Bobcats (24-8-6) were shut out by Brown last year before beating Yale in the consolation game.
But without a third-place game this season, Quinnipiac doesn’t have the benefit of a live game to get things back in order entering the NCAA tournament.
“Last year was a little different in that there was a consolation game, so we reloaded for that and beat Yale,” Pecknold said. “But it’s a good group of guys and we certainly stubbed our toe today and didn’t finish off as we should. We played pretty well, but we need to be better.”