Williams stops 20 in college debut to lead Miami over Colgate


The Miami RedHawks got a stellar debut in net from a rookie goaltender for the second night in a row and got goals from five different skaters to defeat the Colgate Raiders, 5-1, Saturday night at Steve Cady Arena in Oxford. One night after freshman goalie Ryan McKay was perfect in a 3-0 win over the Raiders, his classmate Jay Williams stopped 20-of-21 shots that he faced to claim his first collegiate victory.

Afterward, Williams talked about how important it was for the team to make a statement with a sweep at home.

“We wanted to send a message that this is our building and nobody is going to come in here and push us around,” he said.

The Raiders put Williams to the test early, with a shot by sophomore center John Lidgett clanging off the crossbar in the early going. Colgate did find paydirt at 11:40 in the opening period when Kyle Baun spun between the circles and fired a laser that fooled Williams for his second goal of the season.

Miami netted an equalizer at 16:29 in the first, scoring its first power-play goal of the year. Bryon Paulazzo was fed the puck by Cody Murphy and Alex Wideman and then stuffed it passed Colgate goaltender Eric Mihalik for his second goal of the weekend.

The second period was an intense back-and-forth struggle, with Williams and Mihalik forced to make one acrobatic save after another. However, it was the RedHawks that managed to break the tie. Freshman Kevin Morris scored his first collegiate goal with an easy tap-in after Max Cook’s wraparound attempt rebounded through the crease to where Morris waited on the other side.

Miami started to put the game out of reach at 6:38 in the final period when Alex Wideman beat Mihalik with a one-timer from Cody Murphy near the faceoff circle.

The Raiders missed a golden opportunity to cut into the deficit at 12:38 in the period when they swarmed the net and got Williams splayed out on the ice with the puck loose and the net wide open. Officials reviewed the play and ruled the puck was covered up before it crossed the line.

Miami blew up the game in the final minutes, smothering any hope for a Colgate comeback. Colgate’s Tyson Spink was assessed a five-minute major and game disqualification for contact to the head of Miami’s Marc Hagel, forcing the Raiders to play a man down for the final 4:26.

The RedHawks scored twice on the major penalty, getting goals from freshman Riley Baber (the first of his career) and Blake Coleman, who scored twice on Friday night. Another goal by freshman Matthew Caito was disallowed during the same power play because of a Miami player in the Colgate crease.

Miami coach Enrico Blasi knew that coming away with two wins in the first week of the season could be a boost for his young team.

“It’s huge; it gives us so much more confidence going into the week of preparation,” he said. “You never know how big those [wins] are going to be at the end of the year.”

With Miami scoring three times on six power plays and the Raiders failing to score on five, special teams was again a huge factor. Colgate coach Don Vaughan saw an improvement in his team’s penalty kill, but not so much in the power plays.

“We had some opportunities that didn’t go,” said Vaughan. “We have to score on those. We can’t be giving away Grade ‘A’ scoring chances, because you don’t get that many,” he said. “We had a couple of really good chances early in the third to make it a 3-2 game and then momentum could have swung our way, but unfortunately we weren’t able to get it.”