Colgate Hockey History: Unforgettable Wins and Upsets

Colgate University

Colgate University, located in the small town of Hamilton, New York, may not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking about hockey dynasties. However, the Bulldogs have a long and storied history in the sport, with their men’s hockey team dating back all the way to 1916. Over the years, they have produced some truly unforgettable moments, from historic upsets to exhilarating wins. In this article, we will take a trip down memory lane and look back at some of the most memorable moments in Colgate hockey history.

The Birth of the Men’s Hockey Team

Colgate’s men’s hockey team was officially established in 1961, and they joined the ECAC (East Coast Athletic Conference) the following year. They had a rough start, with their first season ending with only two wins and 19 losses. However, they quickly rose to prominence, winning their first ECAC tournament in 1966 and qualifying for the NCAA tournament for the first time in 1967.

The Miracle on Ice

One of the most iconic moments in Colgate hockey history came in 1980 when they faced off against the heavily favored University of New Hampshire in the ECAC semifinals. The Bulldogs had never made it to the ECAC finals before, and they were up against a team that had already won the competition five times. However, Colgate pulled off one of the biggest upsets in college hockey history, defeating UNH 8-7 in a thrilling overtime game. This game became known as the Miracle on Ice for Colgate fans, and it cemented the team’s place in college hockey history.

The Baron Cup Legacy

Another moment that will forever be etched in the minds of Colgate hockey fans is the team’s four consecutive wins at the prestigious Baron Cup tournament in the late 1980s. The Baron Cup, now known as the Ledyard National Bank Classic, is an annual tournament hosted by Dartmouth College and features top teams from the ECAC, Hockey East, and Atlantic Hockey conferences. Colgate’s four consecutive wins from 1986-1989 remains a record to this day, and it solidified their place as one of the top teams in the Northeast.

The Return to the NCAA Tournament

After a few years of finishing just outside of the top rankings, Colgate’s men’s hockey team returned to the NCAA tournament in 2018. Led by head coach Don Vaughan, the team had an impressive regular season, finishing with a 22-12-5 record. In the semifinals of the ECAC tournament, the Bulldogs faced off against top-seeded Cornell and pulled off a stunning upset in overtime, winning 4-3. This victory secured their spot in the NCAA tournament, where they ultimately fell to second-seeded Northeastern in the first round. However, their return to the tournament marked a new era for Colgate hockey and gave fans hope for future success.

Record-Breaking Performances

Throughout its history, Colgate hockey has been home to some incredible individual performances. In the 2005-2006 season, Adam Mitchell set a new record for career points, with 164 points over four years. Later, in the 2014-2015 season, Kyle Baun became the first player since 1995 to record 50 points in a single season. Both of these players went on to play in the National Hockey League (NHL), with Baun currently playing for the Ottawa Senators.

Looking Ahead

As we look back at these memorable moments in Colgate hockey history, one can’t help but wonder what the future holds for the Bulldogs. With a rich history of upsets, wins, and record-breaking performances, the team has shown time and time again that anything is possible on the ice. And with a passionate fan base and a dedicated coaching staff, it’s safe to say that the future is bright for Colgate’s men’s hockey team.

Colgate’s men’s hockey team has a long and storied history, filled with unforgettable moments that have left their mark in the world of college hockey. From their first appearance in the NCAA tournament to their record-breaking performances and historic upsets, the Bulldogs have proven that they are a force to be reckoned with. And as we look ahead to what the future holds, one thing is certain: Colgate hockey will continue to captivate and inspire fans for years to come.


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