Glesener Helps No. 16 Army Edge Colgate for 5th Win in a Row

HAMILTON – Defense took center stage Friday night as two of the nation's stingiest teams squared off on Crown Field at Andy Kerr Stadium.

Army escaped with an 8-7 victory over Colgate that was meaningless for seeding purposes in the upcoming Patriot League tournament, which starts Tuesday. The fourth-place Raiders host fifth-place Bucknell in a quarterfinal match-up, while second-place Army advances straight into Friday's semifinals.

The Black Knights led 3-1 at halftime before opening three separate three-goal margins in the second half. Colgate made a late charge with a pair of Brendon McCann goals in the final five minutes, but the Raiders couldn't quite complete the rally.

“We did it together and we fought back,” Colgate head coach Mike Murphy said. “You've got to give Army a lot of credit; they're a great team. But I'm really proud of our guys.

“I'm really proud of the effort we gave and at the end of the day, you look at it and they made one more play than we did. They got one more goal than we did.”

Army entered Friday's game as the nation's No. 1 defensive unit, allowing just 5.82 goals per game. Colgate ranked sixth nationally at 7.83.

On top of that obstacle, Colgate held Senior Night festivities before the opening faceoff. It's always an emotional affair, and coaches say they never know how seniors will react to their final home games.

McCann was one of 10 honored, and he said the hype from Friday's pregame ceremony may have contributed to the team's slow offensive start.

“Me, personally, I was a little nervous with it being Senior Night and everything,” he said. “I felt a lot of pressure the first half and I was gripping the stick a little bit too tightly. I felt I had to take in upon myself to come out in the second half with more of a concerted effort and sense of urgency.”

He did just that, scoring three times in the game's final 17 minutes to help Colgate charge down the stretch. It was McCann's second straight hat trick, fourth in the last six games and 10th of his career. It also pushed him over the 100-point mark at Colgate, with now 68 goals and 34 assists.

McCann's first goal was a rebound put-back off a Ryan Walsh shot late in the third quarter that pulled the Raiders within 6-4. McCann bounced one in with 4:52 left in the game to make it 8-6 Knights, and he scored again with 1:06 showing on a bulldog move that wouldn't be denied.

“We've put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into this field this whole year, and that second half really shows what the team is all about,” he said. “We've fought all year to be the best team we can be.”

Walsh scored three times as well, and all three were blistering shots that seemed to increase in velocity as they found the net. He scored the opening goals of each half, and then pulled the Raiders within 7-5 early in the fourth.

It also was Walsh's second straight hat trick. He has five this season and 18 for his career, and he continues to lead the team with 26 goals and 37 points. McCann is second in both categories with 20 and 32.

Colgate's Alex Kinnealey won the final faceoff of the night and the Raiders had the last few cracks at the Knights in the final 60 seconds. Murphy said there was no need for a special call from the sideline.

“We've just got to run our offense,” he said. “I don't know that we have a miracle play. We've got a really good offense and we got some good looks. Unfortunately, they just didn't go.”

Eric Foote scored Colgate's other goal, finding the net unassisted on a side-slinger early in the second half. Foote also contributed Colgate's lone assist, helping Walsh complete his hat trick in the fourth.

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2014-04-18



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