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Raiders rally, stun Bobcats in double overtime
The Colgate Raiders defeated the Quinnipiac Bobcats, 3-2, in double overtime on Friday night to advance to the ECAC Finals in Lake Placid, N.Y.
The Bobcats (24-9-6, 12-6-4 ECAC) let a 2-0 lead slip away late in regulation as the Raiders (20-12-5, 13-6-3 ECAC) tied the game with 56 seconds to play. Kyle Baun scored the game-tying goal before he assisted on Tyson Spink’s goal just 58 seconds into the second overtime.
“You are not going to win if your best players aren’t your best players,” said Colgate coach Don Vaughan. “And tonight, I thought our best players were our best players.”
The first period ended in a scoreless tie with both teams putting seven shots on net. After defense dominated the opening frame, the fifth-ranked Bobcats jumped out to a 1-0 lead early in the second. Connor Jones netted his 15th goal of the season under three minutes into the period. Kellen Jones forced a neutral zone turnover and hit his brother with a pass at the offensive blue line. Jones walked in on a breakaway and slipped the puck between the legs of goaltender Charlie Finn for the goal.
Sam Anas scored on the powerplay to extend Quinnipiac’s lead later in the period with his team-leading 22nd goal of the year. After the team moved the puck around the offensive zone, Devon Toews sent a cross-ice pass to Matthew Peca who tipped a pass to Anas. Anas, standing at the blue-line, one-timed Peca’s pass towards the net and passed Finn.
Andrew Black answered Anas’ goal a minute and 42 seconds later with his eighth goal of the season. Following a miscommunication between Peca and Michael Garteig, Black capitalized by stealing the puck and directing it towards the net. With Garteig out of position, the puck deflected off his right pad and into the back of the net.
“We mishandled the puck behind the net,” said Pecknold. “I don’t know if it was the worst goal we have given up all year, but it might be and you cannot do that if you want to win championships.”
Quinnipiac elevated its play in the third period looking to extend its lead but Finn shut the door.
“We played great in the third period,” Pecknold said of his team. “We just made maybe two mistakes and we were going to overtime.”
The Raider net minder made 10 of his 30 saves in the period including saves on multiple breakaways throughout the game.
“When your goaltender makes a couple big saves right in a row it gives your team a lot of momentum and we fed off that.” Tyson Spink said of Finn.
Down by a goal late, the Raiders pulled Finn for an extra attacker and took advantage. Tylor Spink picked up a loose puck in the left corner of the offensive zone and broke towards the net. After Garteig kicked out Spink’s shot, Baun buried the rebound from the top of the crease sending the game into an eventual overtime.
Colgate carried the momentum into overtime and came out of the locker room looking for the game-winner. The play in the period eventually evened out as Quinnipiac held a 10-9 shot advantage in the period including many opportunities to pot the clinching goal.
Spink’s game-winner came off a rebound after Baun put a shot on Garteig from the faceoff circle.
“It was overtime so I had a shoot-first mentality,” said Baun on the play. “Tyson was driving the net hard and when it is that late in the game you just want to get shots on net.”
Garteig made the save with his left pad but Spink jumped on the rebound in the slot and beat the Quinnipiac net minder for his 10th of the season.
Garteig tied a season-high with 33 saves in a losing effort for the Bobcats.
The win put Colgate in its first ECAC Finals since 1990 when they won the title.
The Raiders will play top-seeded Union on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Herb Brooks Arena in Lake Placid, N.Y.
Quinnipiac now looks ahead to the NCAA tournament for the second consecutive season. The Bobcats next game will be announced on Sunday during the NCAA tournament selection show on ESPNU.