CINCINNATI - Ferris State scored midway through the first period and held off a charging Raiders squad in the final two frames of their NCAA Tournament Regional.
Colgate (20-14-5) fired 21 shots on net in the final two periods and had a total of 20 shots blocked by the Bulldogs in a tough 1-0 decision.
“I was really happy with our effort tonight. I thought, as the game went on, we got stronger,” head coach Don Vaughan said. “They [our players] did a great job of playing desperate at the end. We had a lot of trouble getting pucks in through the end, but our effort was there.”
Charlie Finn played unbelievable to Colgate with 26 saves and kept Colgate in the game in the second period with 14 saves. The rookie finished his first season in a Raider uniform with a 16-9-4 mark.
The Bulldogs (29-10-3) got their lone goal from Gerald Mayhew with assists to Andy Huff and Cory Kane. CJ Motte was the story for Ferris State with the shutout on 35 saves with double-digit saves in each frame.
Ferris State took the 1-0 lead on its first power play chance of the night for either team. Huff put a shot on Finn from in the slot and he blocked it up into the air. However, before he could swat it away, Mayhew connected with the puck in midair and into the net for the 1-0 lead.
Colgate had many chances to get back in the game in the opening frame, including one on the next shift after Ferris State scored. He stopped Tyson Spink on a shot and then had four-straight saves a couple of shifts following Spink’s shot. Motte ended up making eight stops in the final 10 minutes to keep the Raiders off the board.
The second period featured a lot of trips to the penalty box with a total of 12 penalties whistled. However, only three power plays resulted after the calls and two were to Ferris State. Finn came up with five saves on the power plays for the Bulldogs, while Motte had two stops on one power play chance for Colgate.
The Raiders dominated the third period as Ferris State sat back and played a defensive game, allowing hardly any second-chance shots on rebounds. The defensive corps for the Bulldogs created no space in front of Motte and was able to clear the puck at important times.
Colgate, however, kept coming.
“All season long we stayed confident and didn’t really pay attention to the scoreboard,” Spiro Goulakos said. “We never lost faith and we never lost hope, until the last second.”
The Raiders tried to solve Motte with an 11-4 shot advantage, but the junior netminder pushed aside all 11 chances and Ferris State advanced with the 1-0 win. Colgate and the Bulldogs played four times this season and each won two games and three were shutout victories.
“We’re a young team that I thought played a little beyond our years tonight,” Vaughan said. “I was really pleased with the effort we had. I was really happy with how hard we worked and, as a coach, that’s really how you evaluate your team. It’s not always on the scoreboard.
Colgate finishes the season with a 20-14-5 overall record. The Raiders welcome back a core of its team for 2014-15 with Eric Mihalik and Mike McCann graduating this spring. McCann ends his career with 144 games played, which is in the top-20 all time in program history. Mihalik played a backup role for most of the season, but provided great leadership for his teammate Finn and he posted a 32-39-6 in four season with Colgate.