HAMILTON — It was over almost from the start.
No. 15 Colgate scored three times in the first period en route to a dominating 6-2 win over St. Lawrence in ECAC Hockey on Saturday at Starr Rink.
When St. Lawrence breathed some life, pulling within 3-1 early in the second, Austin Smith snuffed out any comeback hope with his nation-leading 18th goal of the season. It proved to be the game-winner.
Smith had four points against the Saints and six on the weekend as Colgate completed the north country sweep. St. Lawrence lost two games on the weekend and fell to five points out of first place in the conference.
Colgate (11-4-1 overall, 6-2-0 ECAC) snapped an eight-game losing streak against the Saints. St. Lawrence (5-9-0, 4-4-0) didn’t do much to prevent that streak from ending and now has a quick reprieve before a conference game against Clarkson on Tuesday.
“Colgate is an explosive team offensively, and we made some coverage mistakes and turnovers that you just can’t make and be successful,” said Saint Associate Head Coach Mike Hurlbut. “It was a tough road trip, but we knew it would be going in. We need to put it behind us and get ready to play Clarkson on Tuesday.”
The Colgate duo of sophomore center Chris Wagner and Smith combined for three goals and five assists for the Raiders.
Colgate pounced on the Saints early in Saturday’s game as the Saints lost the puck behind their own net and Matt Firman sent it out in front for senior center Austin Mayer, who scored his fifth of the year from point blank range at the right post at 3 minutes, 52 seconds.
The Raiders made it a 2-0 game just nine seconds into their first power play opportunity of the game as defenseman Jeremy Price beat SLU goalie Matt Weninger from the side of the net at 11:34.
It went to 3-0 at 15:52 as Wagner scored his sixth of the year just two seconds after a Colgate power play had expired.
The best chance SLU had to get back into the game came at the end of the first when it had a 5-on-3 that lasted over a minute and into the second period.
Jacob Drewiske scored just as the first penalty expired, so the Saints could not capitalize on both penalties. Instead, they settled for the lone goal.
Smith took over from there. He turned a Colgate penalty kill into a short-handed goal during a two-on-one break.
Drewiske managed one more goal at 12:17 of the second. The rest of the offense went to Colgate.
Colgate put the game out of reach in the third period as Mayer scored his second of the night, and Wagner scored his second from Smith at 10:41.