It turns out that Austin Smith was not the Colgate skater to fear on Friday night. Smith recorded an empty-net goal with 47 seconds remaining but was otherwise quiet.
It was Colgate’s John Lidgett who showed the Bulldogs that Smith is not the only Raider to watch. He scored twice, including the goal that broke a 2–2 tie to give the Raiders a 4–2 win over the visiting Elis.
Despite skating neck-and-neck with Colgate for 60 minutes, Yale fell short in its first road game of the weekend. The Elis recorded seven more shots on goal than the Raiders but failed to convert several golden opportunities and went just 1-5 on the power play.
“We worked very hard tonight and created a lot of chances,” head coach Keith Allain ’80 said in a press release. “We were close, but still not running on all cylinders. We will be better tomorrow night.”
The Bulldogs’ special teams woes kicked in just three and a half minutes into the first period when Colgate struck for an early power play goal. Just six seconds after forward Charles Brockett ’12 went to the box for hooking, Colgate’s Corbin McPherson sent a weak shot through traffic that beat Jeff Malcolm ’13 for the early Raider lead.
The Elis kept it competitive in the second and managed to knot things up with about ten minutes remaining in the period. Yale was given a power play when Colgate’s Chris Wagner was penalized for tripping. On the ensuing man-advantage, forward Antoine Laganiere ’13 one-timed a pass from Jesse Root ’14 into the back of the Colgate net.
Unfortunately, Yale’s fifth and final penalty of the night gave the Raiders an opening with about five minutes remaining in the period. A long Colgate shot bounced off the boards, and, after a scramble in front of the net, popped out to a waiting Colgate forward who? who banged it home for the 2–1 lead.
Yale tied things up again off another rebound off the boards behind the net. Defenseman Tommy Fallen ’15 took a long shot that fell to Brian O’Neill ’12 on the left side of the net. He tapped it in for his 16th goal of the season.
But yet again, Colgate struck back quickly. Off a face-off, a failed Yale clearance ended up on the stick of a Colgate player who moved the puck to Lidgett, who scored his second of the night.
After Yale pulled Malcolm from the net, it created two great opportunities to score. But the Bulldogs could not find the net, and Hobey Baker favorite Smith put one away to seal the 4–2 victory for Colgate.
The Elis will take to the ice again on Saturday night when they visit second-place Cornell in Ithaca, NY. The puck drops at 7 p.m.