Colgate (18-12-5) took a 1-0 series lead in the ECAC Hockey Quarterfinals against St. Lawrence with two goals in the first five minutes of game one in the best-of-three tilt. The Raiders were able to hold on at the end for a 2-1 win on home ice.
The power play came alive early for Colgate with both goals coming with the man advantage. On the opposite side of special teams, the Raiders did a great job staying out of the penalty box all night, allowing St. Lawrence only two chances with the extra skater. The Saints came into the game with the top-ranked power play in the conference.
Tyson Spink continues to put up numbers against St. Lawrence with 11 in his career after a goal and assist tonight. Kevin Lough had Colgate’s second tally on the power play for his third of the year. Tylor Spink joined his twin brother with two points on a pair of helpers.
Rookie Charlie Finn earned his first career postseason victory and 14th of the season with 22 stops, including 10 in the second period. He stoned the league’s top point scorer twice as Greg Carey couldn’t solve the Raider netminder on two breakaways.
The Saints (15-18-4) got its lone goal from Justin Baker with assists to Carey and Jeremy Wick. Matt Weninger took the loss, but made some big saves and had 29 on the night.
Colgate scored on its first two power play chances of the night to take a 2-0 lead after one period. Tyson Spink found himself wide open on the weak side of the power play and fired one past Weninger just 2:29 into the game. Mike Borkowski slid a pass down to Tylor Spink and he flipped the puck cross-ice to brother Tyson for the one-timer.
Lough put the Raiders up by two goals three minutes later. The Spinks were in the thick of the power play once again. Tyson Spink sensed the defense coming from below the circles and shoveled the puck through the crease to a wide-open Lough on the opposite side. The sophomore defensemen wasted no time with the puck and hit the open net as Weninger couldn’t recover and Colgate was up 2-0.
St. Lawrence brought the pressure in the second frame and had a 10-7 advantage in shots, but Finn was able to push aside all 10 shots. He stoned Greg Carey on the doorstep for the second time. The league’s leading point scorer found himself open below the dots. He tried to sneak one through pads of Finn, but the rookie made the stop. Colgate was able to kill the only power play of the period to keep it a 2-0 lead.
St. Lawrence got on the board with 5:20 left in the game as Carey did a great job finding Baker at the far post after a lengthy possession in the offensive zone. Colgate just couldn’t clear the puck and Carey spotted Baker from the opposite side boards. He fired a pass to Baker and he redirected it in to cut the lead to one at 2-1.
The Saints pulled the goalie with 1:17 remaining in the game, but failed to get any pressure on Finn. The Raiders stood up every Saint player as they tried to enter the zone and Colgate held on for the 2-1 win.
The Raiders had a 31-23 shot advantage in the game. Both teams were disciplined as the two squads combined for only five penalties. However, St. Lawrence’s miscues led to both Colgate goals.
The series resumes tomorrow night at 7 p.m. with the Raiders looking to punch their ticket to Lake Placid and ECAC Hockey Championship weekend. Tickets for game 2 can be purchased by calling the ticket office at 315-228-7600 from 1-4:30 p.m. tomorrow or one-hour prior to game time.
Story by Colgate University.
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