BROCKPORT, N.Y. — A number of penalty calls down the stretch cut short Brockport’s comeback attempt, as Hobart held on for a 3-2 win in a non-conference matchup on Tuesday.
“We’re making steps in the right direction,” said Hobart coach Mark Taylor. “I like the chemistry of how this team has come together over the last week or so.”
Brockport (1-4) came out with a flurry of pressure right off the opening faceoff. The Golden Eagles got several high quality opportunities on net, but nothing panned out, as Hobart netminder Adam Lavelle blocked all the chances.
Play evened out after a few minutes, with Hobart the first to get on the board, scoring 15:49 into the period. Carl Michaelson passed from behind the Brockport net to linemate Matt Grabis, who was lurking just outside the crease. Grabis one-timed the pass under Golden Eagle goaltender Steve Tippett for the goal.
Brockport came out strong again early in the second period, and this time the work paid dividends as it scored at the 4:50 mark. Several Brockport players were hammering away at the loose puck in front of the Hobart net, as Lavelle was trying to cover it up. Darren Kennedy was able to get a stick on it and slapped it in to tie the game.
“We have been real happy with Kennedy’s play,” said Brockport coach Brian Dickinson. “He has worked real hard to learn how to use his size and speed, and is leading by example this season.”
The remainder of the second period was pretty listless, as a flood of whistles took away any flow or pace that the game might have had.
Hobart (3-2) did manage to retake the lead in the closing seconds of the period while enjoying the man advantage. Evan Hurley passed from the point, to Dan Bush in the faceoff circle, who backhanded a pass across the slot to R.C. Schmidt. Schmidt corralled the pass and tucked it into the near corner to give Hobart the 2-1 lead heading into the second intermission.
Hobart notched another goal midway through the third period to go up by two. Craig Levey out-waited netminder Tippett and steered the puck around him for the goal at 9:16.
The Statesmen played a very aggressive penalty kill all game long, and the strategy paid off hold, as Brockport was held scoreless on seven opportunities.
“The power play has really been our Achilles’ heal,” said Dickinson. “We just haven’t been very good at putting the puck in the net.”
Brockport pulled closer at 13:07 when Casey Firko sent a big blast from the top of the slot that rocketed under the crossbar. The goal gave Brockport a lot of jump, but 3-2 was as close as the Golden Eagles could make the score.