A winning weekend gives Men’s Hockey first place

On Friday night, the men’s ice hockey team faced off against the seventh ranked Hamilton Continentals and came away with a 1-0 victory. On Saturday afternoon, the Mules took on Amherst College in a game that was tight throughout until Colby pulled away in the final period to win 5-2. The two wins rocketed Colby to the top of the NESCAC Rankings and the Mules are now tied for first with Williams in conference play.

Friday’s game was off to a great start for the Mules as forward Phil Klitirinos ’18 was able to tally the only goal of the game just 59 seconds into the first period. The rest of the first period remained in favor of Colby in terms of possession, though the shots remained equal percentage for both teams. After trading a series of penalties, the first period ended with Colby heading into the locker room with confidence.

The second period started off with Colby on the penalty kill, but they remained unfazed throughout as Hamilton was unable to set up a coherent power-play. Throughout the rest of the period, Hamilton took two more penalties and began to lag in play. The Mules kept the puck in the offensive zone for a solid three minutes, forcing Hamilton into a defensive shell. Colby remained dominant throughout the entire period and spent little time in their own zone. Colby made quick D-zone breakouts all night long as they commanded almost every face-off.

Soon after the start of the third period, both teams took penalties and Colby ended up on a 4-on-3 power-play. The Mules were unable to capitalize during the power-play as Hamilton had adopted a very aggressive penalty-kill and fended off any emerging chances. About halfway through the period, Hamilton began to shift the tone of the game, and held Colby in the D-zone for several minutes. Colby goalie Sean Lawrence ’18 played well throughout the entire game making several incredible saves. The final few minutes of the game were intense as Colby took a penalty with less than two minutes remaining allowing for Hamilton to pull their goalie and have a 6-on-4 power-play. Hamilton kept the puck in Colby’s D-zone the rest of the game and had several opportunities to put the puck in the net but were unsuccessful. With only .8 seconds left, Hamilton made a final attempt but was stonewalled by Lawrence, allowing for Colby to secure the win and for Lawrence to get his first shutout of the year.

Much like Friday, the Mules went up one on their opponent early in the game Saturday. Thomas Stahlhuth ’19 put away the first goal of the game in less than four minutes. However, Amherst bounced back in the second half of the first period making the game 1-1. Colby responded again quickly, and EJ Rauseo ’17 tallied a goal for Colby off a rebound in front of the net. Amherst kept the game even as they put up a final goal in the final minute while on the power-play.

The second period remained scoreless, though Colby put the pressure on the Amherst goalie during a strong 5-on-3 power-play.

Heading into the final period  of the game the teams were still even at 2-2. Halfway through the third, Michael Rudolph ’18 scored on the power-play right inside the slot giving the lead back to Colby. Less than two minutes later, J.P. Schulen ’20, scored off a pass given to him by Kienan Scott ’20 making the game 4-2 Colby. Amherst struggled all game to stay out of the box, and during Colby’s eighth power-play with less than a minute since the last goal, Cam McDonald ’18 put away a fifth goal for Colby making the final score 5-2 Colby.

The men’s team fought hard each night and came out with well-deserved wins. The Mules are now 8-3-3 in Conference and 10-5-4 overall. The men’s team will face off against Trinity away next weekend looking to continue their win streak.