HAMILTON, N.Y. -- In a Patriot League Tournament quarterfinal game that featured high drama and major momentum swings throughout, Colgate took advantage of a good bounce as Matt Clarkson scored off his own rebound with 1:48 left in double-overtime, lifting the fourth-seeded Raiders to a 10-9 win over No. 5 Bucknell on Tuesday afternoon at Andy Kerr Stadium.
Ryan Joseph and Todd Heritage scored four goals apiece and David Dickson handed out four assists, including the 100th of his career, but Bucknell's season comes to an end with a 7-8 final record. Colgate improved to 9-5 and will face either No. 1 Loyola or No. 2 Army in the semifinals on Friday night in Baltimore, Md.
The Bison pieced together a pair of three-goal runs in this one, but both times Colgate came storming back. The Raiders went ahead 9-8 with two goals in just 11 seconds late in the fourth quarter, but this time the Bison had an answer with Dickson feeding Heritage for the equalizer with 3:18 left in regulation.
Bison goalie Sam Grinberg was terrific with a career-high 16 saves, and he made two huge stops on Ryan Walsh in extra time to keep the game going. Bucknell was flagged for a push while riding after Colgate's faceoff win to start the second overtime period, and on that EMO Clarkson took a low shot from the left wing that went off Grinberg and then the pipe. The rebound shot right back toward Clarkson, who walked in all alone and fired home the game-winner.
Bucknell trailed 2-1 in the early stages of the second period before scoring three straight goals in a span of just under six minutes. Dickson picked out a cutting Heritage for his 100th career assist, and then rips by Joseph and Brock Ghelfi gave the Bison a 4-2 lead.
Colgate came right back with two goals in the final 1:43 of the half, including a Kevin Adams score with just 3.8 seconds remaining that tied the game at 4-all.
After 7:30 of scoreless lacrosse to start the second half, the Bison exploded for three more goals in succession to take the largest lead of the day for either side at 7-4. Joseph put the Bison back in front when he finished a Dickson pass from behind the cage.
The prettiest goal of the day came with 5:55 left in the third quarter, and it started with a Grinberg save. He made a perfect outlet to long-stick middie Alex Spring, who raced the ball into the box. Spring dished to Sean Doyle, who found a curling Heritage for the transition goal and a 6-4 lead. Just 2:02 later, Heritage scored again off a feed from Joseph to make it 7-4.
The momentum swung right back in Colgate's favor just over a minute later when the Bison inadvertently put the ball in their own net. Grinberg made a nice save on a skipping shot by Cameron Williams. The rebound popped up just in front of the goal, and a Bucknell defender grabbed the ball in traffic and tried to push it back to Grinberg, but the ball went in the goal.
Brendan McCann then scored from a tough angle with 26 seconds left in the period, and the Raiders pulled even once again just 1:11 into the fourth when Clarkson scored from outside on Colgate's third chance after Grinberg had just made two tough saves.
Bucknell's defense did yeoman's work on a day when the team only managed to win 4 of 24 faceoffs and was out-groundballed 46-19. The defense forced 19 turnovers, and three straight successful rides resulted in the go-ahead goal with 6:48 to play in regulation. Joseph, who had never before recorded a multi-goal game, logged his fourth of the day put the Bison back in front 8-7.
The back-and-forth affair took another wild turn when Colgate snapped back with two goals in 11 seconds. First it was Williams scoring off a feed from Walsh with 4:55 left, and then Alex Kinnealey turned a clean faceoff win into his second goal of the season and a 9-8 Raiders lead.
Colgate won the ensuing draw but Jackson Place quickly forced a turnover, and then Doyle drew a holding penalty with 3:39 to play. Bucknell's EMO unit has been hot in recent weeks, and it struck again when Dickson found a cutting Heritage for the tying goal with 3:18 on the clock.
Once again Place took the ball away after Colgate had initially controlled the faceoff, and Bucknell had a good look at a potential go-ahead goal, but Patriot League Rookie of the Year Brandon Burke robbed Joseph on a hard 10-yard shot from the left side. At the other end, the Bison forced a shot-clock violation with 26 seconds left, and Peter Burke hurried a shot wide as the horn sounded.
Burke made another key save on Thomas Flibotte in the first overtime period. Heritage grabbed the rebound in front but quickly had the ball checked loose before he could release a shot. Grinberg then answered Burke's save with one of his own, and Heritage fired inches wide as the first overtime period came to an end.
At the start of the second four-minute extra period, Colgate won the draw going back toward its own goal. The Bison again rode hard but a Colgate player went down near midfield and a flag was thrown for a push from behind. The Raiders burned over a minute on the delayed call, and then Clarkson finished his own rebound with 1:48 remaining to end it.
This was the second one-goal game of the year played between these two teams at Andy Kerr Stadium. Colgate won 9-8 on a frigid day back on March 1, and that game proved to be the tiebreaker difference as both squads finished the season with 4-4 Patriot League records.
Only a junior, Dickson became just the fourth player in program history to record 100 career assists. He finished the season with a team-high 28, giving him 102 in his career. Only Pete von Hoffmann (138), Chris Cara (138) and Austin Winter (117) have more.
It was also a milestone day for Heritage, who moved past Tom Cusick into second place on Bucknell's all-time goals list. Heritage finishes his career with 120 goals, second only to Justin Zackey's 138. Heritage also finishes tied for sixth on the career points list with 143.
This was the final game for the senior class of Burke, Heritage, Place, Tom Black, Sam McDonough and Tyler McLamb. This group compiled 42 wins over the last four years, second-most in program history.