#12 Bucknell Downs #16 Colgate to Win PL Title

LEWISBURG, Pa. Tournament MVP Charlie Streep (New Canaan, Conn./Loomis Chaffee) scored three goals and assisted on another, and the Bucknell defense turned in yet another gem, as the #12 Bison added yet another milestone to a remarkable season with a 10-3 runaway over #16 Colgate in the Patriot League championship on Sunday at Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium.

Now 14-2, Bucknell will be headed back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2001 and for the second time in program history.

The Bison, who came in ranked No. 9 in the Division I RPI, will find out their NCAA destination next Sunday, May 8 at 9:00 p.m. on ESPNU. Now 9-0 at home in 2011, Bucknell could be in the running to host an NCAA Tournament game for the first time.

Bucknell swept all eight games against Patriot League competition this season, and Sunday's win was the 300th in program history. It was one of the team's most complete performances of the season, featuring an early onslaught from the offense, suffocating defense all over the field, and superior goaltending.

After the two teams traded goals in the opening five minutes of the game, Bucknell scored four straight to close the first period with a 5-1 lead, and then made it five straight goals with an early one in the second quarter. For the second straight game, it was junior middie Nick Gantsoudes (Redding, Conn./Avon Old Farms) giving the Bison the lead for good. His low-to-low shot from the left side snuck past Jared Madison, snapping the 1-1 tie.

Three minutes later, Streep took a skip pass from Peter Burke (Walpole, Mass./St. Sebastian's) and scored with a sidewinder from about 13 yards out. With 1:36 left in the quarter Burke scored himself with a spin to his lefthanded side and a shot through Madison's legs, and then after the Bison played for the last shot, Streep came from behind the goal and scored on a fallaway shot with just eight seconds left to make it 5-1.

Bucknell's lead jumped to 6-1 just 1:59 into the second quarter on a rocket of a shot on the run from Billy Eisenreich (Chatham, N.J./Chatham). Colgate got one back with 6:28 left in the half on a goal from Andrew Mould, ending a 22:45 scoreless drought, and the Bison led 6-2 at the half.

Any thoughts of a Colgate comeback were derailed in the third quarter, when the Bison outshot the Raiders 9-3 and outscored them 3-0. Streep again came from X and scored to make it 7-2, and then one of the prettiest goals of the day came when Streep grabbed his own rebound of a saved shot, and while absorbing a hit slipped a pass back in front to Todd Heritage (Cheshire, Conn./Cheshire) for the goal. Chase Bailey (Fairfield, Conn./Fairfield) made it 9-2 after three quarters, and Ryan Klipstein (Califon, N.J./Rutgers Prep) put the exclamation point on it when he stole an outlet pass from Madison and punched it back in with 9:32 remaining.

Colgate won 11 of the 17 faceoffs, but that hardly mattered as the Bison defense took the ball away time and time again. Including Friday's 13-5 semifinal win over Lehigh, Bucknell conceded only eight goals in the tournament, one shy of the record set by Navy in 2006. Bucknell opponents had 40 turnovers in the two games, and 26 of them were caused turnovers credited to the defense.

Ten different Bison had a caused turnover against Colgate. Defensemen Mike Huffner (Elmira, N.Y./Notre Dame) and Alex Lyons (Baltimore, Md./Boys' Latin) finished with six and five ground balls, respectively, and not surprisingly both were named to the All-Tournament Team after the game. Huffner again had the responsibility of checking First Team All-Patriot Leaguer Peter Baum, and for the second time in a week he held Baum without a goal.

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