The Takeaway: Tyson Spink Nets Hat Trick in Colgate Win

Posted by: Jashvina Shah

Princeton, N.J. – After recording two ties last weekend, Colgate returned to a barn where it was winless in its last three games. Tyson Spink struck first and finished the game with a hat trick, the third Colgate player to record one this season. Colgate controlled the first period, attempting 35 shots and 18 at freshman Colton Phinney. But Phinney played well, keeping Colgate from adding another.

The Tigers tied it up in the second period when captain Jack Berger scored his fifth of the season. But Colgate regained the lead 1:31 later when Tyson Spink netted his second of the game.

In the third period, It took Mike Borkowski slightly over one minute to make it 3-1 in favor of Colgate. The Raiders dominated from there, and a five-minute major to Princeton’s Ryan Siiro didn’t help the cause for Princeton. Colgate added two more power play goals and an even-strength tally to take the win.

Ryan Benitez appeared in relief for Phinney and played 12:30. It marked the first time Benitez saw collegiate playing time in his career. He finished with 11 saves and allowed one goal.

With the win and a Quinnipiac loss to Cornell, Colgate is now tied for second with the Bobacts with an 11-5-3 conference record. Princeton fell to 4-15-0 in ECAC play and currently sits in the last spot.

What I Saw

Princeton played well in the first period of the game, despite the amount of  shots Colgate took. They skated well with the Raiders for the most part, and  were helped by a strong performance by Phinney. But by the third period, the  Tigers were too tired to compete. And the five-minute major to Siiro really  hurt Princeton.

Physical play is a reoccurring theme with Princeton and the ECAC in general,  but tonight took it to another level. Fights almost broke out several times,  including after the game. The referees kept the players from brawling, but  players were going into the boards at least once on each shift.

What I Thought

Colgate looks really good. There’s a lot of talented and skilled players there,  and watching the Spink brothers play with Kyle Baun is incredible. There’s no  twin telepathy between the two, but that line creates a lot of chances. But the  Raiders are deeper than that first line, with Mike Borkowski and Darcy  Murphy lining up as scoring threats on the second. The Raiders don’t get much  attention, but they’re a dangerous team.

Ryan Benitez played well in his first collegiate game. When he entered the  contest, the game was already 5-1 in favor of the Raiders, and Benitez had to  spend some time on the penalty kill. Considering he’s never played in a regular-  season game before, he didn’t look shaky and made some good saves.

The Tigers haven’t given up yet on this season despite how it’s been going.  They’re still an aggressive team that will hit and hit hard. They’re not afraid of  playing physically or playing hard, and they deserve some credit for still  playing hard. Unfortunately for Princeton, they weren’t able to sustain much  offensive pressure. Goals early on in periods have also really hurt the Tigers  this season.

What They Said

Colgate coach Don Vaughan said,

“It’s the best ‘team’ that I think I’ve ever had. In terms of the character in the room, the camaraderie. We’ve had some great teams but this one’s really special.”

“They get along so well. There’s no egos in the room, they’re all in it together. They’re just a really tight group. I wish you could bottle it or figure out what makes chemistry work, but this team has it.”

Colgate forward Tyson Spink said,

“Our speed was good tonight, I think we kept that speed up for the entire 60 minutes and I think they thought they could play an entire 60 but they just tailed off and we kept going strong.”

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