By Matt Faulkner, Assistant Director of Athletic Communications
(Schenectady, NY – Feb. 3, 2012) The 20th-ranked Colgate men’s hockey team was able to score first, but Union came away with the 3-1 win on Friday night at Messa Rink.
Colgate (14-10-3, 8-6-1 ECAC) got its lone goal from Mark Nasca, which was his first of the season. Assists went to Billy Rivellini and Mike McCann. Eric Mihalik got the start in net and made 19 saves between the pipes.
Union (16-6-6, 10-3-3 ECAC) saw Wayne Simpson score two goals, while Jeremy Welsh added the other. Welsh also added an assist for two points, while Greg Coburn was awarded two helpers in the win. In net was Colin Stevens, earning his first career start and he made 27 stops to earn the win.
Nasca tallied his first of the season to the Raiders an early lead just 3:11 into in the game to make it 1-0 in favor of the Raiders. Rivellini hustled to get the puck deep in the offensive zone flipped the puck on net and Nasca redirected it in past Stevens. It was Nasca’s fourth score of his career and Rivellini’s first point of the season. McCann was also given an assist for his third helper of the year.
Union evened it up with just over eight minutes remaining in the first as Welsh scored from the left faceoff circle with assists to Daniel Carr and Coburn to make it 1-1. The Raiders came out in the first and outshot the Dutchmen, 13-9, and stayed out of the penalty box. Colgate got one chance on the man advantage and put two shots on Stevens, but didn’t score.
After scoreless and defensive second period, Union earned its first lead of the game early in the third with a power play goal. Simpson scored the goal three minutes into the final frame. Shayne Gostisbehere took a shot from the high slot that got knocked down in front and it came right to Simpson to the right of Mihalik. He didn’t waste anytime getting it on net and gave the Dutchmen the lead.
Colgate had its best opportunity in the third while shorthanded. Austin Smith got a drop pass in the slot and made a move to get open. He tried to get it past the glove of Stevens, but the netminder made a great save to keep the Dutchmen ahead for good at 2-1. Union added an empty net goal with less than 30 seconds remaining in the game. Simpson added his second of the night to wrap up the scoring at 3-1.
The Raiders were able to outshoot the Dutchmen, 28-22, and Union capitalized on one of the three power plays awarded. Colgate got two chances on the power play, but didn’t score.
Colgate returns to the ice tomorrow night at Rensselaer as the Raiders head to Houston Field House for a 7 p.m. start and the game can be seen locally on TWCS2 (channel 1026).
NOTES: Union and Rensselaer were the only ECAC Hockey teams Colgate had or has yet to play this season … Colgate wore its white jerseys on the road tonight … goalie Troy Grosenick sat out for Union due to a lower body injury … Rivellini became the 21st Colgate skater to earn a point this season … it was only the fourth time this season that the Raiders were held to one goal … Colgate is now 5-5-1 against ranked opponents this season … when scoring first, the Raiders are 8-5-1.