February 4, 2008

Nash Provides Goal, Assist in Victory

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HAMILTON, N.Y. — Many spectators experienced déjà vu Saturday night when the game at Starr rink in Hamilton started off similarly to Friday night’s match-up against Colgate at Lynah. However, thanks to a late game-winner by freshman Riley Nash, who notched two points on the night, the Red defeated the Raiders by a score of 3-1 thereby completing a sweep in the home-on-home weekend.
“I got a good pass from [sophomore alternate captain] Greening streaking in and I was coming down the left wing and I was expecting just to chip it in at the end of our shift there and I saw Riley streaking to the net so I just reached around the guy on me and threw it towards the back door and he had a good tip,” said junior Evan Barlow.[img_assist|nid=27236|title=Play hockey|desc=The Red won both of its games against Colgate this weekend, moving to second in the ECAC.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
While the Colgate fans lacked the vocal volume of the Lynah faithful, their lack of enthusiasm was due in part to a rather uneventful first period. Set back by four penalties and strong Red defense, Colgate was unable to mount a successful offensive rush. Although the Red played a strong aggressive game, the offense could not manage to crack the Raiders’ senior goalie Mark Dekanich and allowed two power-play chances to evaporate without a goal. With 10 seconds to go in the first, Colgate took its third penalty of the period, following it in quick succession with another penalty as time expired on the first period giving the Red a two-man advantage heading into the second.
“I think both teams had their chances,” Barlow said. “We felt we were keeping it simple, moving the puck and kept it moving up the north and south, making good things happen and got a few chances to put it away.”
Fans from both camps snapped out of a scoreless daze when junior Evan Barlow, capitalizing on the power play situation, put one past Dekanich off an assist from sophomore Blake Gallagher and Nash. The Red continued to dominate in the second period, effectively shutting down Colgate’s leading scorers, senior captain Jesse Winchester and senior alternate captain Tyler Burton, until an untimely penalty on Dan Nicholls late in the second gave the Raiders their second power play opportunity of the contest. Colgate’s Wade Poplawski let loose a powerful shot from the point that escaped sophomore Ben Scrivens’ radar and slipped in through the five-hole, tying the game at 1.
“I thought we played very well in the first,” said head coach Mike Schafer ’86. “Dekanich made some huge saves for them, but we came out and capitalized on the five on three right away. We gave up the power play goal on the shot from the point, but right after that goal, we came back and had a couple good chances.”
The Red, who had managed to control its aggression throughout the first two periods, began taking penalties with more frequency giving Colgate plenty of chances to take the lead. The Raiders’ offense, rendered ineffective by a relentless Red defense, could not capitalize on five Cornell penalties including a two-man advantage. After taking a penalty for checking from behind, Nash redeemed himself by scoring his eighth goal of the season off a pass from Barlow and Greening, regaining a 2-1 lead. Sophomore Joe Scali sealed the Raiders’ fate with less than 10 seconds to go in the third by scoring an empty-netter, ending the game with a decisive 3-1 victory.
“It was a gutsy win for us …” Schafer said. “Obviously a great play on the rush from Riley Nash driving the net. That’s something we’ve been really working on a lot. A great pass by Evan Barlow right in there for the redirect. … I’ve always believed he could be one of the best payers in this league. He’s got a lot of talent and now he’s starting to figure it out and playing with a lot of consistency. It’s really nice to see him grow up.”