HAMILTON — Colgate men’s hockey kicks off its 2022-23 season this weekend, hosting Northern Michigan. Puck drop from the Class of 1965 Arena is 7 p.m. Friday and 4 p.m. Saturday.
The Raiders are back in action after a strong finish to the 2021-22 campaign. Colgate posted an 18-18-4 record, including a 9-9-4 conference mark. The Raiders went 6-2-2 in their final 10 regular season games, climbing their way up the conference standings.
Colgate earned the fifth seed in the ECAC Hockey playoffs and reached the semifinals for the first time since 2015. The Raiders defeated Yale and Route 13 rival Cornell in the first two rounds to earn their spot in Lake Placid.
Head Men’s Hockey Coach Don Vaughan enters his 30th season. He is the third longest tenured coach among active NCAA Division I coaches. Only Rick Gotkin (35 seasons) from Mercyhurst and Bob Daniels (31 seasons) from Ferris State have longer tenures.
“We’re very excited for the season and to get going. We have a veteran club which is really fun from a coaching perspective,” Vaughan said on the ECAC Hockey preseason media call Sept. 21.
Colgate returns 19 players from last year’s squad. Those players logged a combined 219 points, which is the 10th most returning points in the country.
“An advantage of having an experienced team is that we will be able to ease our freshman into it and allow them to be out there in situations where they have the best chance to succeed,” Vaughan added.
Senior Colton Young (15G-17A-32P) led the team in goals and points last season while also tallying four game-winning goals. Young finished tied for fourth in ECAC Hockey in both goals and points. His brother, junior Alex Young (10-21-31), led the team and was tied for sixth in the conference in assists.
Fellow senior Matt Verboon played in all 40 of Colgate’s games and was tied with junior Nick Anderson for second on the team in assists with 18.
Colgate saw additional point contributions from senior Ethan Manderville (4-12-16), junior Pierson Brandon (6-9-15), and senior Arnaud Vachon (6-8-14). Brandon also led the team in blocked shots with 78.
“We have guys who have played a lot of important minutes, even some of our sophomores like Tommy Bergsland, who really played in all situations last season,” Vaughan said.
During his freshman season, Bergsland led the Raiders with a +15 rating and finished second on the team in blocked shots with 46.
Carter Gylander, a junior goalie, posted a 7-8-0 record last season while also logging a 2.76 goals against average and a .908 save percentage. He also tallied 414 saves and recorded two shutouts, picking up back-to-back clean sheets against Yale and Brown.
As a team, the Raiders finished fifth in ECAC Hockey in goals last season with 114 and fourth in assists with 194. Colgate also logged 29.76 shots per game, which was fourth-best in the conference. Additionally, the Raiders recorded 1,316 faceoff wins and finished seventh in the country in faceoff win percentage at .538.
Colgate welcomes eight new players to this year’s squad, including seven freshman and one transfer. The new class consists of four forwards, two defenders, and two goalies.
Following the NMU series, the Raiders head west for their first road trip of the season as they take on Arizona State next weekend. It will be the first games in the Sun Devil’s brand-new Mullet Arena.
Colgate stays on the road the following weekend, traveling to Merrimack Oct. 21-22. The Raiders finally return home to host Vermont for Silver Puck Weekend Oct. 28-29. Colgate then begins conference play on the road, heading to Quinnipiac (Nov. 4) and Princeton (Nov. 5).