|Connecticut College||Colby College|
WATERVILLE, Maine — The 14th-ranked Colby College men’s hockey team will host a New England Small College Athletic Conference playoff game for the first time since 2008 after the Mules took a 2-1 win over Connecticut College on Friday night at Alfond Rink.
Colby (12-6-4 overall, 10-4-3 NESCAC) will host a league quarterfinal game next Saturday. The Mules still could finish first in the conference standings and have home ice throughout the playoffs.
Colby closes out the regular season Saturday at 3 p.m. at home against Tufts University. The Mules will honor their eight seniors before the game. After Friday’s games, Hamilton College leads the league with 24 points, while Colby and Williams College both have 23 points. Trinity is in fourth place with 22 points. A win against Tufts and a Williams victory over Hamilton would secure first place for the Mules. Colby and the Ephs would both have 25 points, but the Mules would win the head-to-head tie-breaker.
The Camels (4-16-2, 2-13-2 NESCAC) will close out the season Saturday with a 3 p.m. game at Bowdoin College.
The Mules scored two goals in the opening period, but it was the two goalies who stood out on Friday. Colby’s Sean Lawrence had 11 of his 23 saves in the opening period, while the Camels’ Connor Rodericks finished with 37 saves and had 19 stops in the second period.
While the Mules led 2-0 after the first period, the Camels did have scoring chances and had the better of play at different times in the period.
Colby’s Kevin Doherty came up with one of the biggest goals of his career to put the Mules on top. He also drew a penalty on the goal and the Mules converted on the power play for the only two Mule goals of the game.
Doherty, with assists from the defensive duo of Jack Burton and Geoff Sullivan, came in on the right side and beat a Camel defender while drawing a hooking call. He came across the goal and put a shot between the legs of Rodericks as he was falling to the ice.
The Mules had nine seconds left on the power play when Kienan Scott scored on a strange shot from near the right face-off dot. The shot appeared to be saved by Rodericks, but somehow got underneath his body and into the cage. Mark Leprine pushed a pass to Cam MacDonald, who went cross ice to Scott at the face-off dot.
Connecticut College refused to give up and finally beat Lawrence at 11:36 of the third period. The Camels were putting on plenty of pressure in the Colby zone. Ryan Mowery got the puck to Chris Jellison near the right boards to start the play. Jellison made a quick turn and ripped a pass across the goal area to Jeff Thompson for a one-timer.