Rensselaer Loses to No. 20 Colgate
TROY, N.Y. - Austin Smith, the nation's leading scorer, scored
four times to lead the Colgate University men's hockey team to an
8-3 victory over Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in front of
a sold-out crowd of 4,780 at the Houston Field House. The game was
the 35th Annual Big Red Freakout! sponsored by Bank of America.
Smith (Dallas, TX/Penticton Valley), a senior right wing, scored once in the first period, twice in the second - both unassisted - and once in the third period. He now has 30 goals on the season. His first period goal came on the power play, while the other three were even-strength.
Colgate jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period on goals by Smith and Austin Mayer (Providence, RI/Providence). Smith, tallied his 27th of the season when he collected a diagonal pass from Robbie Bourdon (Montreal, PQ/Taft School) and scored from the bottom of the left face-off circle with the Raiders on the power play. Jeremy Price (Milton, ON/Nepean) was also credited with an assist on the goal, which came at the 9:37 mark. Mayer made it 2-0 at 17:09 when his centering pass deflected off an RPI defenseman's stick and over the shoulder of netminder Bryce Merriam (Bethel Park, PA/Topeka RoadRunners). Bourdon picked up his second assist of the night, and seventh of the season, on the play.
RPI pulled to within a goal, 2-1, at 3:06 of the second period on a long slapshot from the left point by sophomore Guy Leboeuf (West Palm Beach, FL/Cornwall Colts). He was assisted by Brock Higgs (Kingston, ON/Kingston Voyageurs). Colgate bounced back with the next three markers, the first coming off the stick of Smith, who pounced on a turnover at the bottom of the right faceoff circle and scored. Nick Prokaw (Montreal, PQ/Berkshire Academy) made it 4-1 when he slid a low shot into the net from the far-side boards at 16:44, chasing Merriam. Smith then scored at 18:40, picking up the puck that took an errant bounce off the boards and tallying into the empty net, which was vacated by goaltender Scott Diebold (Buffalo, NY/Tri-City Storm), who had come out to play the puck.
Thomas Larkin (Cocquio Trevisago, Italy/Phillips Exeter) made it a 6-1 score with a power play goal at 6:07 and Smith talied his fourth at 7:36, this one after fighting off a stick check to score on a wrist shot. Following that goal, Merriam replaced Diebold in goal for the home team. Bourdon made it 8-1 with his first goal of the game and third point at 14:17. Freshman Zach Schroeder (Prior Lake, MN/Saint Thomas Academy) scored his fifth of the season for the Engineers at the 15:03 mark and senior Patrick Cullen (Washington, DC/Indiana Ice) added a 5x3 goal at 19:01 for the final margin.
Senior Alex Evin (Castlegar, BC/Penticton) finished with 28 saves, while Merriam (18 saves) and Diebold (7 saves) combined for 25 stops.
Rensselaer (7-19-2; 4-10-2 ECAC Hockey) returns to action next weekend when it travels to Harvard and Dartmouth next Friday and Saturday nights at 7pm. The Raiders (15-10-3; 9-6-1), who saw 12 different players get on the scoresheet, are home versus Yale and Brown next weekend.