HAMILTON – An early lead would not be enough for Colgate to hold off a pursuant Merrimack, which clipped the Raiders four-game win streak in a 5-3 comeback thriller on Saturday afternoon in the Class of 1965 Arena.
After a hard-fought 2-1 overtime win against the Warriors on Friday, the Raiders looked to achieve Colgate’s first five-win start since the 1986-87 season. Ahead 3-1 heading into the third period, the feat looked within reach.
Unfortunately, Merrimack had other plans and surged ahead behind a four-goal third period, in which Colgate was unable to respond. The Warriors scored a goal nearly every four minutes in the final period and outshot the Raiders 37-26.
Despite senior goalkeeper Andrew Farrier’s 32-save performance, Colgate’s defense was unable to withstand the momentum shift.
To open, Colgate junior forward recorded his second goal of the year with18:23 remaining in the opening period to give the Raiders early momentum. The Raiders then followed with another quick score in period 2 off the stick of graduate senior forward Josh McKechney just 1:30 into the frame.
McKechney put in another with 20 seconds remaining in the period to give the Raiders some added insurance. It marked the second two-goal performance for the Calgary, Alberta native. He was assisted by Nick Anderson and Alex Young, who set up McKechney’s first goal as well.
Colgate’s efforts were tested as Merrimack scored back-to-back goals in the third to knot things at 3-3 with 9:29 left in regulation. The Warriors never let up and punctuated the day with an empty net goal.
FROM THE SOURCE
Head Coach Don Vaughan
“It’s a tough loss. A lot of lessons to be learned from tonight’s game. The penalties in the second period took a lot out of a handful of guys. Some indisciplined play in the third was a direct result of guys being tired. Give Merrimack credit. They came back from two goals down with 15 minutes to play in the third on the road. We will look at the video and prepare for next weekend and get ready to face a very good ASU team. It’s a process especially for our younger guys. We will learn from it and be better next time out.”
Colgate welcomes Arizona State on Oct. 22 and 23, continuing a six-game homestand. The series is the first meeting between the Raiders and Sun Devils since 2016-17. Colgate leads the series 2-1-1. Both contests begin at 7 p.m. ET and will be live streamed on ESPN+.