Men's Ice Hockey Moving Towards the Playoffs
While most of us were celebrating the deliciously lazy weeks of January by staying in our rooms all day and eating WHOP eight times a week, the Colby men's hockey team was coolly disposing of opponent after opponent, rattling off a 13 game unbeaten streak and solidifying its position as a contender for the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) championship.
During their streak, the Mules went an impressive 10-0-3, earning wins over several NESCAC opponents including Bowdoin College, Connecticut College and Tufts University. The men also added a tie with Norwich College- a team that was ranked third in the nation at the time of the contest. Offense was the name of the game for the Mules in every contest as they scored 49 goals, leading to a gaudy average of 3.77 per game. Stalwart goaltender Cody McKinney '11 was his typical stymie self in the net, allowing the Mules to outscore its opponents by an average of almost two goals per game.
Most recently, the Mules met seventh ranked Amherst this past weekend at Alfond Rink in a critical battle as both teams looked to position themselves favorably for the fast-approaching NESCAC tournament. Michael Smigelski '13 got the scoring going for the Mules 12 minutes into the period, converting on a power play off of assists from Patrick Bursee '12 and Mike Doherty '12. The Lord Jeffs came roaring back in the second period with a goal of their own, tying the game with just less than four minutes to play in the period. The Jeffs struck again early in the third, leaving the Mules with little room for error as they tried to work their way back.
Once again, Smigelski proved to be a thorn in the side of the hapless Jeffs when, with just over three minutes to play, he took a pass from Bursee and Nick Kondiles '13 and expertly tucked it away to tie the game, giving himself his tenth goal of the season. The entire game, and particularly the overtime period, was dominated on the defensive end by McKinney. The Mules netminder made 33 saves in the game, including a huge stop on a breakaway in the overtime period, whichgave his team a huge boost when they needed it most. With no goals scored by either team in the extra session, the Mules had to be content to take just one point from the match to add to their season total.
Much of what Colby has accomplished this season can be attributed to their dynamic and balanced attack. Leading the team in scoring is Billy Crinnion '11 (10 G, 13 A), who last week was recognized as NESCAC player of the week. Closely following are Doherty (7 G, 13 A), Wil Hartigan '11 (6 G, 12 A), and Kondiles (7 G, 10 A). The large point totals have these Mules among the league leaders in scoring, ranking them at third, tenth, sixteenth, and eighteenth respectively.
Colby wraps up its NESCAC schedule on the road this weekend as the Mules travel to Connecticut to take on Wesleyan University on Friday, followed by Trinity College on Saturday. The squad will look to improve its position in the league standings and prepare itself for the NESCAC Tournament.