Kyle Wilson’s first collegiate goal proved to be his first game-winning goal as well, as Colgate issued visiting Holy Cross its fourth straight loss, 5-2 at Starr Rink on Saturday.
Following a giveaway in the Crusader zone, Wilson took Adam Mitchell’s feed and snapped the puck under Holy Cross goaltender Tony Quesada’s right arm, giving the Raiders a 3-1 lead midway through the second period.
Colgate extended the lead to 4-1 just two minutes later when freshman Zac Tataryn lifted a loose puck over Quesada and to the top shelf. The tally was his first career goal as well.
“[Wilson and Tataryn] both have terrific offensive instincts,” said Colgate head coach Don Vaughan. “They’ve been a little snake-bitten. They’ve had some opportunities to score, Kyle maybe a couple more than Zac. But it’s great for them to get that first one, and now that the pressure’s off a little bit, they can continue to produce.”
Another freshman featured in the game was Crusader Quesada, who stayed active throughout the night, fending off 37 shots in the losing effort.
“I think he played very well,” said Holy Cross coach Paul Pearl. “He didn’t control his rebounds as well as he has in other games, and that created a lot of the shots. Their first shots were coming from long distance. His game is to pounce on the puck and keep in within himself, but a couple of those got out.”
Colgate opened the scoring early in the first period when Kyle Doyle dragged the puck as he drove across the goalmouth, negotiating Quesada down and out and flipping a backhander into the net. Anthony Masotto assisted on the goal, recording his first point on the season and making the coach’s decision to stick him on the top line a good one.
“I thought that the game against Niagara was his best game of the season,” said Vaughan, “and I think he took it to another level tonight. Anthony’s got great offensive awareness, and playing alongside of Kyle [Doyle] and Scooter [Smith] is only going to compliment them.”
Holy Cross tied the game on the power play near the end of the period. Jeff Dams sent a neat lead pass to captain Brandon Doria, whose quick shot trickled through Raider goalie David Cann’s pads and over the goal line.
“Brandon’s our captain and our leader,” said Pearl. “He always gets chances, he’s always around the puck, and he throws it at the net. The key for any of these guys is that even if they don’t have the greatest shot in the world, if you throw it at the net, eventually it’s going to go in.”
Smith gave Colgate the lead once again in the second period with a power play goal of his own. The senior finished the game with two goals and an assist, and leads all Raiders with 16 points in 15 games.
“He’s just on top of his game right now,” added Vaughan. “He’s strong on top of the puck, he’s skating well, and he’s playing with a lot of confidence. He’s leading the way.”
Following two more Raider strikes to stretch the lead to 4-1, Dams got one back with a rebound goal on the power play. Both Crusader strikes came with the man-advantage.
“We really respected their power play,” commented Vaughan. “I think they moved the puck around as well as anybody we’ve seen this year. If a stick’s not in the right lane and the puck gets through, the puck will end up in the back of the net against a very good team. I think you’ve got to give them credit.”
The Crusaders failed to mount a comeback, however, and were outshot in the final period 16-7. Holy Cross struggled with faceoffs throughout the night, which allowed Colgate to take many quick shots off of the draw.
“They kicked our butts on faceoffs,” said Pearl. “We tried everybody. We had wings taking the draws. We need to do a lot better on faceoffs than we were doing tonight.”
Smith added his second goal of the night on a strong slap shot to Quesada’s short side, and Cann closed the door in the third period to win his third decision in four outings.
“He made a couple key saves,” said Vaughan. “He wasn’t overworked, and even though they had 29 shots, a lot of them were from the perimeter. But he did make a couple of important saves at the right time.”
Colgate (7-7-1, 2-4-0 ECAC) hopes to build on its two game-winning streak as they travel to the Corel Center in Ottawa to play a non-conference match against ECAC rival Clarkson next Saturday. Holy Cross (8-6-0, 6-2-0 MAAC) hosts league foe Bentley on Wednesday night.