ECAC West Bounces Back
The ECAC West bounced back in non-league play this week, going 5-1 on the weekend and outscoring opponents 35-12. The only blemish on the weekend was RIT earning a split against the U.S. Development team.
RIT: The Tigers hosted a pair of games against their toughest opponent yet this year, the U.S. National Under-18 Development team, and pulled out a split. Friday, the NDTP team scored two goals 11 seconds apart midway through the second period to take a quick 2-0 lead. Tiger Peter Bournazakis, battling the flu, answered with a tally at 13:20, but that was as close as RIT could get. The NDTP scored two more in the third period and skated away with a 4-1 win.
Same two teams on Saturday, and a similar game. Tiger Mike Bournazakis gave RIT its first lead of the weekend with a goal at 15:32 of the first period. Sam Hill added to the RIT lead midway through the second, but the NDTP chipped in a tally at 12:29 of the second to narrow the margin. Early in the third, Errol McDonald regained the two-goal lead for RIT. But once again the NDTP narrowed the margin to a single goal at 8:06. The NDTP pulled its goaltender late in the period, but RIT managed to score into the empty net to finish off the 4-2 victory.
This week is a busy one for the Tigers. First up is a league game against Hobart on Tuesday. RIT then jumps on a plane and travels to the Radisson Inn Hockey Classic at Air Force, opening up against Connecticut College and then facing either Air Force or St. Michaels on Saturday.
ELMIRA: The Soaring Eagles enjoyed a relatively quiet week. Their only game was on Tuesday at Hamilton and Elmira came out on top of a 7-4 score. Elmira scored early and often against the Continentals as Pierre Rivard, Eddie Cassie, and Adam Godfrey all notched first-period goals. Hamilton chipped away at the Elmira lead with an early second-period goal, but the Soaring Eagles tallied two more of their own during the period, including a shorthander by Steve Kaye. The third period was the Adam Godfrey show as he notched two more goals to complete the hat trick.
The Soaring Eagles have revenge on their minds this week, looking to avenge the drubbing that Oswego gave them to open the season on Friday. Then Elmira hits the road on Saturday to take on the Williams Ephs.
MANHANTTANVILLE: The Valiants got some players back from injury last week, and they made a difference immediately on the ice.
“We’re just happy to be health again,” said coach Keith Levinthal. “We’ve been pretty banged up, but we got Kenny Hood back, among others, and that made a real difference.”
Manhattanville jumped out to a 5-0 lead after one period Saturday against Plymouth State.
“We got off to a quick lead pretty early in the game,” said Levinthal. “After that, things just kind of settled in.” The offense was led by Tommy Prate and Bill Cummings, who tipped in two goals and one assist apiece. The Valiants rolled to an 8-1 win, backstopped by a 27-save performance by Jon Peczka.
It was the same story in the Sunday matinee against Neumann as the Valiants won 8-0. Once again Manhattanville got up early with four goals in the first period. Dave Schmalenberg led the onslaught this time with two goals in the game, and the Valiant defense showed up for a full 60 minutes, limiting Neumann to just eight shots on goal, all stopped by Chad Killam.
“We played pretty good defense for the whole game, which is something we haven’t done consistently a lot this season,” said Levinthal.
Manhattanville heads upstate to participate in Brockport’s Jimmy Mac Invitational Tournament this weekend. The Valiants will face Skidmore and MCLA in a prearranged format.
“These two coming up are crucial for us going into the semester break,” said Levinthal. “We’ve had high expectations and we haven’t met them yet. We need to end the first semester on a high note.”
HOBART: Hobart hosted Geneseo in its only contest of the week, and skated away with a dominating 8-1 win. The Statesmen outshot Geneseo 41-29 in the contest.
Hobart got on the board first with an unassisted goal by Sean Elliot; Geneseo answered, but Statesman Greg Reynholds scored less than a minute later to regain the lead for good. Two goals in the second period and four in the third were enough for Hobart to easily win the contest. Leading in scoring for the Statesmen were Sean Elliott and Jerry Toomey, each with two goals and one assist. Chris Connolly made 28 saves on the night.
The pace picks up this week for Hobart, which starts off with a midweek league contest at RIT and then heads to the Hamilton Invitational Tournament. The Statesmen will take on Geneseo again in the opening round, and then face either Hamilton or New England College.
Game of the Week
Lots of choices this week for potential Game(s) of the Week: Hobart has split against Geneseo so far this year, but coming off an 8-1 win, Hobart can send a big message by winning the rubber match in the Hamilton Tournament. Or how about a potential RIT/Air Force matchup in Colorado? But the winner this week has to be Oswego at Elmira. Oswego manhandled Elmira 7-3 in the opening game of the season at Oswego, and that set the tone for the first half of Elmira’s season. The Soaring Eagles can take a big step forward by showing the Lakers the same hospitality in the Domes on Friday.