The RIT Tigers moved into the early lead in the ECAC West last weekend by defeating Manhattanville 6-2 on Saturday. Elmira had its hands full hosting Wisconsin-Superior, and lost both games by identical 4-3 scores. Meanwhile, Hobart pulled its record back to the .500 mark by downing both Cortland and Neumann this week.
RIT: A hat trick by co-captain Derek Hahn led the Tigers in a 6-2 victory over Manhattanville on Saturday. Hahn scored the first two goals of the game, on separate five-on-threes in the first period. He also scored the final goal of the game late in the third period to complete the hat trick and seal the win. Sandwiched in between were tallies by Errol McDonald, Brian Armes, and Jerry Galway. The win gives RIT the early lead in the league standings.
RIT takes a week off after its initial five opening games. The Tigers will use the time to heal some of their battered players and get a couple more back from the injury list. RIT’s next game is November 14 at Geneseo.
HOBART: Hobart got its record back to .500 this week by defeating Cortland 4-2 and Neumann 8-0 at home. The Statesmen opened the week on Tuesday against Cortland in a very even game. Chris Doolan and Eric Christian pushed Hobart to a 2-0 lead before Cortland narrowed the margin midway through the second period. Greg Reynholds answered that goal, and Jerry Toomey answered another Cortland goal in the third period to maintain the two-goal margin for the win. What was different in this game for Hobart?
“We did a lot of the small things, the things that make the difference, especially in our own zone,” said coach Mark Taylor.
Hobart had an easier time on Saturday, defeating Neumann 8-0. The Statesmen outshot the Knights 37-13 and enjoyed a five-goal offensive explosion in the second period.
“We did a nice job of not giving them a whole lot of opportunities,” said Taylor. Captain Tim McCarthy led the scorers with two goals and one assist, while Chris Connolly notched the shutout.
Hobart plays another SUNY team during the middle of this week, this time Buffalo State; then it’s back home for an important league contest against Elmira.
ELMIRA: There is no doubt that Elmira had the toughest opening schedule in the ECAC West, and perhaps in all of Division III hockey. They hosted Wisconsin-Superior last weekend and the results were not in Elmira’s favor.
“We got out a little on the sluggish side,” said coach Glenn Thomaris. “The experience of Superior played a big part in that.”
After an early Superior power-play goal, Elmira answered with a power-play tally by Jason Silverthorn to tie the game 1-1. A Superior goal late in the first, and another early in the second, meant Elmira was playing catchup for the rest of the game. A Soaring Eagle goal by Pierre Rivard was answered by Superior, and the closest Elmira could get was 4-3 on a late tally after pulling its goalie.
The war continued on Saturday, but all reports indicate that the refs got in the way of a good game. Seventeen penalties were called in the first period alone, and the teams had racked up 34 trips to the Box of Shame before the night was over.
“The official came in to set the tone in the game and he was calling everything,” said Thomaris. “Both teams started to get frustrated. Everyone was confused what was called and not called.”
With so many penalties, it’s no surprise that the goals all came on special teams. Mike Hulbig tallied two power-play goals, one late in the first and another just 59 seconds in to the second, to put Elmira on top. But a major penalty to Dan Gustafson 4:42 in to the second period derailed the Soaring Eagle train. Superior scored twice on the ensuing advantage to tie the game.
“We were playing pretty well with the lead until the penalties,” said Thomaris.
A shorthanded goal by Superior in the closing seconds of the second period found Elmira skating for its life in the third. Eddie Cassie tied the game 3-3 at the 5:01 mark of the third period with a power-play goal. In OT, the ref kept his arm in the air, and Superior won the game on yet another power-play goal two minutes in to overtime.
For the first time in this writer’s memory, Elmira has started the season 0-3. The Soaring Eagles get away from nationally ranked opponents this week, and will try to get that goose egg off the wins column in games against Lebanon Valley and Hobart.
MANHANTTANVILLE: The Valiants were looking for an early-season challenge, and found it in league foe RIT. When Manhattanville used its size and reach advantages to pound the RIT players, they did all right and even controlled play for most of the second period. But the Valiants also ended up in the penalty box, and this young team isn’t experienced enough yet to stop an RIT power play that is chugging along at over 48% efficiency. Manhattanville lost to RIT 6-2, and put another notch in the learning stick.
“Perhaps the most disappointing thing is that they outworked us,” said coach Keith Levinthal. Sean Keane and Chris Seifert scored the two Valiant goals.
Manhattanville continues with its travels this week with a game at Neumann.
Game of the Week
Manhattanville and RIT opened their league schedules last week, and Elmira and Hobart get into it this week. Hobart has battled back from an 0-2 start to get to .500 and is looking to extend its current two-game winning streak. Elmira, on the other hand, hasn’t tasted victory this season, and is hoping to get going before it all slips away.
ECAC WEST vs.
ECAC East 0-0-0
ECAC NE 1-0-0