Colgate Tops Bucknell in 2OT in Patriot Quarterfinals

HAMILTON – Colgate-Bucknell Part II wasn't decided until Overtime Part II. And it took a second chance to win it.

Matt Clarkson followed his own saved shot midway in the second extra session and slammed the rebound home from point-blank range to lift Colgate to a 10-9 victory over Bucknell here Tuesday.

The Patriot League Tournament quarterfinal win advances the Raiders into Friday's semifinals against nationally No. 1-ranked and top-seeded Loyola in Baltimore. Start time from Ridley Athletic Complex is 4:30 p.m.

“I don't know that we played our best, but we played our hardest,” Colgate head coach Mike Murphy said. “I was very happy with the toughness my team showed today.

“It wasn't any different (than the first meeting). There were two very good teams.”

Colgate edged Bucknell 9-8 back on March 1, and that game ended up being the seeding tiebreaker for two squads that posted 4-4 conference marks. Tuesday, the stakes were higher and the quality of play was off the charts.

There were six ties and three lead changes. Colgate grabbed an early 2-1 advantage but then fell behind and trailed for most of the game. The Bison led by scores of 4-2 and 7-4 in this see-saw affair. Colgate scored twice in 11 seconds late in the fourth for a 9-8 lead, but Bucknell answered and sudden-death ensued.

The initial extra period was scoreless, but the Bison were whistled for a pushing penalty with 2:17 showing in the second overtime. That opened the door for Colgate, and Clarkson made it count. His first shot was saved by Bucknell's Sam Grinberg -- Grinberg's 16th stop of the day – but the ball bounced straight back to Clarkson and the junior didn't miss.

“The ball just bounced my way on that last shot,” Clarkson said. “I heard a shot call from one of my teammates and I hit the pipe or the goalie, and it just spun my way.”

One day after being named to the All-Patriot League first team, Clarkson scored two goals and assisted on two more. He's up to third on the team with 25 points, and his 13 assists are tied for team honors.

“We missed on a couple of chances in the (first) overtime period and then we were lucky enough to get a push in the back in the second one and draw a flag,” he said. “We drew up a play that we thought we could catch them on.”

Clarkson was clutch with his game-winner, but Alex Kinnealey was clutch all game long from the faceoff-X. The Patriot League leader in faceoff percentage and ground balls set career game highs in both categories to tilt the field Colgate's way all afternoon.

“Their short-stick faceoff guys were having a tough year, so we were preparing all week for their poles,” Kinnealey said. “Luckily, I had great wing play and I was able to win it back to some defensemen and they would streak up the field.”

Kinnealey finished 19 of 23 on faceoffs and picked up 17 grounds balls. His previous game highs were 17 faceoff wins and 12 ground balls April 12 against Holy Cross.

The junior specialist also scored his second goal of the year, and this one had the makings of a game-winner. Cameron Williams had tied it 8-8 with 4:55 remaining when Kinnealey won yet another faceoff.

And this time he had bigger plans than just possession.

“They sent a shortie back out there facing off so I looked over at my wings and saw I had an opportunity to take it forward if I wanted to,” Kinnealey said. “I took a chance, popped it forward and just outran – surprisingly – the other guys and put it on my left hand and stuck it in.

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2014-04-22



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