Elmira Notches Big Win Against Plattsburgh
Elmira continued on its winning romp, defeating both Geneseo and Plattsburgh this week and extending its undefeated streak to eight games. RIT remained undefeated by knocking off Cortland and Fredonia. Hobart got back on the winning ways against Brockport, while Manhattanville stumbled through the week.
RIT (ranked No. 1): RIT rolled along against Cortland to open play last weekend. The Tiger power play went 5-for-8 on the night on the way to a 9-3 final score. RIT scored early and often in the first period, eventually building a 5-0 lead, and then coasted for the rest of the game. Mike Bournazakis led the way offensively, scoring two goals and three assists for a five point night. Derek Hahn and Sam Hill each chipped in four-point nights with a goal and three assists apiece.
RIT ran into a disciplined Fredonia defense on Saturday, and the Blue Devils gave RIT everything it could handle before the Tigers pulled out the win. Fredonia scored first midway through the opening period, but Mike Bournazakis struck back quickly to tie the score 1-1. Again in the second, Fredonia scored to take the lead, and again it was Mike Bournazakis who tied the game at the 14:57 mark. After that, the Tigers threw everything, including proverbial the kitchen sink, at the Fredonia net, outshooting the Blue Devils 43-8 over the last two periods. There was only 1:06 remaining in the game when Mike Bournazakis netted the game-winner, completing his hat trick to keep RIT undefeated. Hahn slid in an empty-netter as time ran out to make the final score 4-2.
RIT renews its old rivalry with Oswego this weekend. The home-and-home series opens up at RIT on Friday, and then moves to Oswego for Saturday’s contest.
ELMIRA: The Soaring Eagles began the week in a wild affair at Geneseo. After quick goals in the first period by Clark McPherson and Jay Zanleoni, it looked like the Elmira offense of old was back.
“Everybody’s chipping in and getting goals, not just one or two guys,” said coach Glenn Thomaris. “That is the kind of offense we have been looking for all season.”
Geneseo scored a goal late in the period, but Ryan Baker answered for Elmira less than a minute later to restore the two-goal margin. Geneseo narrowed the margin again early in the second period, but a goal at 19:00 by Mike Clarke put Elmira up 4-2 at the second intermission.
The third period was a wild affair.
“They came out in the third period on the power play and bang, bang, bang, bang, they got four quick goals on us,” said Thomaris. “But we righted the ship and played a little better the second half of the third period.”
Elmira went from leading 4-2 to trailing 6-4 in just the first six minutes of the third period, but an extended timeout while an injured referee was tended to helped Thomaris to make some adjustments and Elmira battled back. Adam Godfrey got the Soaring Eagles going with a goal at the 11:44 mark, and Mike Hulbig got the tying goal at 13:29, and the winning goal at 16:34 to save it for Elmira. Eddie Cassie chipped in an empty-netter late to make the final 8-6 score; the wild third period saw four straight Geneseo goals to start the period, and four straight Elmira goals to end it.
Elmira then played Plattsburgh on Saturday in a much-anticipated rematch, and the first period was scoreless in this duel.
“Plattsburgh came out and played well,” said Thomaris, “and we were fired up also. Sundberg made some nice saves, but Rob Ligas played real solid for us as well.”
Jason Silverthorn got Elmira rolling 3:09 into the second period, and Kenny Keil staked Elmira to a 2-0 lead with just 58 seconds left in the period, putting momentum solidly on the Soaring Eagles’ side of the ice.
“The goals in the second gave us a little bit of a cushion, and got both us and the crowd pretty excited,” said Thomaris.
Elmira came out flying in the third. Eddie Cassie chipped in a goal just 2:42 into the period, and Dean Jackson made it at the 6:19 mark. Plattsburgh got a little life from a mid-period goal, but it was too little, too late for the Cardinals as Elmira skated away with the 4-1 win.
Elmira’s schedule gets no easier this week: first an improving Fredonia team on the road on Friday, then a return to the Domes on Saturday to face nationally-ranked Potsdam.
MANHANTTANVILLE: The Valiants have stumbled since the holiday break, going 0-3-1, including playing in two overtimes. That’s not the way that coach Keith Levinthal wanted to start out the new year, and he thinks he knows why.
“We are a pretty selfish hockey team on the ice right now, and that is not the kind of players I want,” said Levinthal.
Manhattanville opened the week hosting Lebanon Valley and took a 1-0 lead early in the second period on a goal by Tommy Prate, but Lebanon Valley tied the score just seven seconds into the third period.
“We played pretty tight defensively, but we just couldn’t score,” said Levinthal.
Manhattanville outshot Lebanon Valley 38-28 during the contest. The Valiants retook the lead 13:50 into the third period when Dave Schmalenberg scored, but Manhattanville just couldn’t hold on to the lead to the end. Lebanon Valley scored with only 14 seconds remaining to knot the score 2-2, and after a scoreless overtime, the game ended as a tie.
Friday, Manhattanville took its first trip to Romney Fieldhouse in Oswego, and got crushed by the Lakers.
“We were terrible,” said Levinthal. “We were up 2-1 at the end of the first period, but it could have easily been 8-1 the other way.”
The two goals in the first period were both scored off slapshots, one from Tommy Prate and the other from Chris Seifert. The Oswego offense got rolling after that, and outscored the Valiants 4-1 in both the second and third periods for a 9-4 final score.
Things were looking better for Manhattanville on Saturday at Cortland. The Valiants got up 2-0 in the first period on goals from Matthew Naylor and Prate.
“We had good control of the game in the first period,” said Levinthal, “but spent the second killing off penalties. The tone of the game changed and it was downhill from there.”
Cortland scored a power-play goal late in the second period, and an even-strength goal early in the third to tie the game 2-2. Prate notched his second goal of the game at the 7:02 mark to retake the lead for the Valiants, but the joy was short-lived, as Cortland once again tied the game just 38 seconds later.
Cortland won the faceoff to begin overtime and carried play into the Valiant zone, where the Red Dragons crashed the net and scored off a rebound just :19 into the extra stanza to give Manhattanville another notch in the loss column.
Levinthal will be looking to refocus his team this week. The Valiants’ only contest is a home game against Brockport on Saturday. League games start back up the following week, so Manhattanville needs to right the ship pretty quickly.
HOBART: The Statesmen got back into the ‘W’ column this week by defeating a reeling Brockport team 3-1. Greg Reynholds and Dan Bush each chipped in first-period goals to get Hobart a 2-0 lead. Brockport netted the only goal of the second period to climb back into the contest, but Hobart kept up the offensive pressure, outshooting Brockport 37-14 over the course of the game. Hobart’s leading goal-scorer, Jerry Toomey, tallied midway through the third period to seal the victory. Chris Connolly made 13 of 14 saves in net.
After a relatively quiet week, Hobart hits the road for two contests. The Statesmen travel to Neumann on Tuesday and then Fredonia on Saturday. Hobart tied Fredonia 1-1 earlier in the season, and the Statesmen will be looking to complete the unfinished business of that contest.
Game Of The Week
Elmira hosting No. 10 Potsdam should be another great game at the Domes, but it only earns an Honorable Mention this week, as the home-and-home series between No. 1 RIT and No. 9 Oswego gets the nod for this week’s Game of the Week.
These two teams have met 54 times previously, with RIT holding a narrow 28-23-3 edge. There is no love lost between these teams, and the series should be a great pair of games.