April 23, 2011

Bucknell Beats Colgate to Win Patriot League Regular Season Title, Will Host Playoffs

from press release

HAMILTON, N.Y. -- Senior midfielder Mike Danylyshyn equaled his career highs with four goals and five points, and Kyle Feeney, Mike Huffner and the Bucknell defense were dominant in the final three quarters as the 12th-ranked Bison rolled to a 12-7 win over No. 16 Colgate Saturday night in a nationally televised game at Andy Kerr Stadium. Not only did the Bison equal the program record with their 12th victory of the season, but they completed a 6-0 sweep of the Patriot League and earned the right to host the league tournament next weekend.

Now 12-2 overall, top-seeded Bucknell will host Lehigh in one semifinal next Friday at Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium. Colgate (9-4, 5-1), which would have won the regular-season title with a win on Saturday, will be the No. 2 seed and face No. 3 Army in the other semifinal contest.

The win at Colgate was Bucknell's fifth over a nationally ranked team this season, and it completed an impressive season-ending road trip. In the last three weeks, the Bison defeated Army, Lehigh and Colgate - each of the other three Patriot League Tournament teams - on their home fields to earn home-field advantage for the playoffs. Bucknell went 7-0 at home during the regular season.

Saturday's win was not without its tense moments early, as Colgate displayed a sharp offense in the opening quarter. The Raiders twice led by three goals at 4-1 and 5-2, but the Bison defense completely dominated the rest of the game. They shut out Colgate for more than 38 minutes, scoring nine goals in a row before the Raiders finally scored again with eight minutes left in the fourth quarter.

In addition to Danylyshyn's five-point night, which put him over 100 points for his career, freshman Todd Heritage scored three times and senior Ryan Klipstein had two goals and a career-high three assists. Junior Nick Gantsoudes also scored twice, junior Charlie Streep had a goal and two assists, and senior defensive middie Jason Foreit assisted on the team's first two goals of the game.
 
Feeney made nine of his 10 saves in the second half, including a terrific six-save third quarter when the Bison outscored Colgate 4-0 to break open a 5-5- halftime deadlock. Huffner, a sophomore defenseman, drew the assignment of marking 31-goal scorer Peter Baum, the nation's fifth-leading goal-scorer, and Huffner had two caused turnovers while holding the Tewaaraton Trophy finalist without a goal.

Colgate won the opening faceoff and scored just 34 seconds into the contest when Rob Bosco was left open the right slot for the opening goal.

Bucknell drew even with a transition goal just over a minute later, when Foreit carried into the zone on a clear and then fed Klipstein for a low-to-low shot that skipped past Madison. After both teams came up empty on long possessions, the Raiders grabbed the lead with two goals in nine seconds. First it was Jimmy Ryan scoring from 12 yards out off a Mould assist, and then right off the draw it was Jim Carroll passing over to Ben McCabe to make it 3-1.

After a three-save flurry by Madison, Colgate went up 4-1 on McCabe's second goal, but then it was Bucknell's turn for some fireworks off the faceoff. The draw squirted long toward the Colgate goal, where Foreit nabbed the ground ball and passed over the defense to Heritage for en easy breakaway goal.

Later in the wild opening period Colgate held a 5-2 lead when the Bison scored twice in the last minute. Danylyshyn came off a high screen and scored with a lefty shot from 15 yards out with 42 seconds left, and then after John Scally hustled down a ground ball on the faceoff, Streep slipped a nice feed inside to Heritage for a goal that made it 5-4 after one.

After the nine-goal second period, Bucknell's Gantsoudes had the only strike in the second frame on a runner from a sharp angle on the right side at the 7:15 mark. Jared Madison made three second-period saves to keep it tied, including a point-blank stop on Heritage.

Bucknell outshot Colgate 10-1 in the second quarter, including a good look by Danylyshyn that skipped wide as time expired. The Raiders' only shot of the period went wide.

The Bison completely dominated the third quarter, spearheaded by some brilliant defensive play. Huffner came up with two takeaways and Paul Van Valkenburg and John Collett had one apiece, and when the defensemen weren't checking balls loose, Feeney was just getting warmed up. Feeney was credited with just one save in the first half, but he had six in the third quarter, including a pair of two-save flurries. Feeney turned in the stop of the night with a beautiful kick save on a rebound attempt by Baum midway through the quarter.

The offense turned those takeaways into points, led primarily by Danylyshyn, who had a natural hat trick in the third stanza. The senior middie scored on Bucknell's first man-up chance of the night, finishing a feed from Klipstein on a hidden-ball-trick play just 3:28 into the quarter, giving the Bison their first lead of the night at 6-5.

Feeney's saves then led to a Streep goal at the 9:43 mark. Five minutes later Danylyshyn struck again with a hard shot from 15 yards out, and then Danylyshyn made it 9-5 with a lefthanded skipper past Madison with 2:51 on the clock.

Just 1:16 into the fourth quarter, Danylyshyn faked a shot from up top and found Klipstein on the crease for a layup and a 10-5 lead. Heritage completed his hat trick with 8:13 to play with a point-blank shot after a slick pass from Streep to make it 11-5.

Colgate finally ended its scoreless drought at 38:26 when long-pole Dave Tucciarone took a shot that deflected into the goal. The Raiders scored again with 5:38 left, drawing within 11-7 on a goal from the charging Mould. But the Bison stopped any thoughts of a Colgate comeback when Gantsoudes scored from 13 yards out on the left side after a diagonal feed from Klipstein.

On the stat sheet, Bucknell outshot Colgate 30-28 and won the ground ball battle by the same margin. Colgate was credited with 12 faceoff wins to 11 for Bucknell, but several times the Bison forced turnovers just after a Colgate win. The Raiders finished with 17 turnovers, while the Bison had 15. Seven of those Bucknell miscues came in the fourth quarter when the game became a bit frantic.

Danylyshyn's EMO goal in the third quarter came on the only penalty of the night, a 30-second push by Colgate. Bucknell is now 16-for-29 with an extra man in the last seven games.

Bucknell won 12 games in a season only one other time, that coming in 1996 when the Bison finished a perfect 12-0.


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