On Saturday March 17th at noontime, the Fairfield Stags travel to Hamilton, New York to take on the #17 ranked Colgate Raiders. This will be the last non conference game for the Stags in the 2012 season and the seventh time the two teams will meet with a series record of 3-3. The Raiders won at Fairfield last year by a 8-7 score and in 2010 the Stags won in Hamilton by a 10-8 margin. The Stags have a 7-0 record and are ranked #13 in the country while Colgate has a 6-1 record.
Colgate started the season with a three game home stand. They opened the season with a 10-8 victory over Bryant University and then beat Vermont by a 10-6 score. Dartmouth came to Hamilton and beat the Raiders by a 9-6 margin. Their first road game was against Robert Morris and the Raider came home with a 24-14 victory. Returning home for a game against Hobart, Colgate continued its offensive fireworks with a 18-8 win. They next travel to Worcester, Mass. to play Holy Cross and won this contest by a 13-9 margin. Last time out they played Binghamton on the road and won easily by a 17-8 score. The Raiders scored on their first four shots to grab a 4-0 lead. Binghamton scored the next two goals but the Raiders had a 7-3 lead at the end of the first quarter. Only one goal was scored in the second quarter by Colgate between the two team. The Raiders offense woke up in the third period. Colgate scored on four straight goals to push the lead to 12-3. Freshman Ryan Walsh, who has two Patriot League Rookie of the Week honors already this season, lead the Raiders with seven points, five goals and two assists.
The Raiders have scored 98 goals this year off of 311 shot attempts for a 14 goals scored per game with a .315 shot percentage. Their opponents scored 62 goals for a 8.86 goals per game and a .291 shot percentage. Colgate has 54 assists on their goals and 44 unassisted goals. The opposition has 30 goals via assists and 32 unassisted goals. Sixteen goals have been scored with the extra man offensive unit out of 33 opportunities for a .485 conversion percentage. The opposition have nine goals with the extra man offense out of 23 chances for a .391 conversion percentage. Colgate gets off to a fast start scoring 33 goals in the first period followed by 28 goals in the third quarter. Nineteen shots have hit the back of the in the second stanza and 18 times in the fourth quarter. The opposition have scored 17 goals in the second, third and fourth quarters and 11 goals in the first period.
Defensively the Raiders have snagged 242 ground balls while the opponents have grabbed 192 ground balls. They have caused 75 turnovers and the opponents have caused the Raiders to have 66 turnovers. On faceoffs the Raiders have won 101 times on 183 chances for a .552 winning percentage. The opposition have 82 faceoff draws off the 182 chances for a .448 winning percentage. The Raiders have 104 turnovers this year and their opponents have turned the ball over 137 times. Colgate has had 23 penalties called on them versus the opponents being flagged 37 times.
Their leading point scorer is # 15 Peter Baum with 40 points. Baum has 29 goals and 11 assists. Freshman Walsh has 17 goals and 9 assists for 26 points. Jeff Ledwick has 20 points with 14 goals and 6 assists. Matt Baker has seven goals and 8 assists for 15 points and Brendon McCann has 10 points this year with 7 goals and 3 assists. Their goal keeper is Jared Madison who has been in the pipes for 400 minutes of the 420 minutes played. He has allowed 62 goals for a 8.86 goals against average. Madison has saved 62 shots for a .492 save percentage.
The Stags have scored 80 goals out of 272 shots for a 11.43 goals scored per game with a .294 shot percentage. The opponents have scored 58 goals off 223 shot attempts for a .260 shot percentage. Fairfield has 37 assisted goals and 42 unassisted goals. The opposition has 21 unassisted goals and 37 assisted goals. The extra man offense has scored seven times this year out of 23 chances for a .304 conversion rate. The Stags have scored 26 times in the first period and 22 goals in the third period. The second stanza the Stags have gotten 18 goals and 11 times in the final stanza. Goals also have been scored in the first, second and third OT periods. The opposition have scored 16 times in the fourth period and 15 times in the first period. Fourteen goals have been scored by the opponents and the 13 goals have been scored in the third period.
Fairfield has gotten to 203 ground balls and the opposition have snagged 192 ground balls. The defense has caused 37 turnovers and the opposition have caused the Stags to turn the ball over 59 times. The Stags face off unit has won 105 times out of 163 faceoffs for a .644 winning percentage. The opponents have won 58 faceoffs out the 163 attempts for a .356 winning percentage. Fairifield has 105 turnovers this season versus the opposition has turned the ball over 100 times. Penalty flags-Stags have gotten flagged 26 times and the opponents have received 25 penalty flags.
The big three lead the team in scoring. John Snellman leads the team in goals with 19 and he has been credited with 2 assists for 21 points. Brent Adams also has 21 points-15 goals and 6 assists. Sam Snow has 16 points with 14 goals and 2 assists. Eric Warden ties Snow with 16 points-11 goals and 5 assists. Freshmen Colin McLinden and Drew Federico also have double digit points. McLinden has 4 goals and 8 assists while Federico has 10 points with 5 goals and 5 assists. Charlie Cipriano has played 434 minutes of the 436 minutes played this season. He has allowed 57 goals for a 7.86 goals against average. He has 76 saves this year for a .571 save percentage.
Key to the game: Need to stop the high flying Raiders offense especially in the first period. Strong defense and good goalkeeping. Faceoff game has to be over 50% winning percentage to keep the ball out of the Raiders hands. Need to cut down on the turnovers especially the forced turnovers. The big three, Adams, Snow and Snellman need to continue their goal scoring along with Warden and the frosh trio of Federico, McLinden and Sperry. The extra man unit has to convert when they get the opportunity. This is going to be a tough tight game. Expect it to come down to the final few minutes. Expect the Stags to pull it out and keep the winning streak going. Roger Yergeau ’73