GENEVA, N.Y. — For those on the power plays, it was a good night. But for the penalty killers, it seemed like the game would never end.
Saturday night, Hobart and Elmira went a combined 7-for-14 on the power plays. Elmira scored more goals at even strength, and that was the difference as the Soaring Eagles defeated Hobart 8-5.
Unlike most recent games between these two teams, this one wouldn’t be decided until the third period.
“Hobart is definitely not a pushover anymore,” said Elmira coach Tim Ceglarski. “And I don’t expect any team where Mark [Taylor] is behind the bench to be one.”
Hobart (3-3) carried over a penalty into the beginning of the third period, and capitalized on it to take a 5-4 lead on a great individual effort by Craig Levey. Levey carried the puck end to end, weaving between Elmira defenders, before sending the puck high into the net for the goal.
Elmira (3-1) struck back quickly with a pair of goals less than three minutes after the Hobart tally. First, Dean Jackson wristed in a goal at 2:52, followed by Ryan Baker tipping the puck in the net at 3:59.
This firmly put the momentum back into Elmira’s side of the ice, and netkeeper Nick Edling kept it there with a pair of spectacular saves.
“This game was all about momentum,” said Ceglarski.
Elmira put the final nail in the coffin 15:04 into the final period when Jarrett Konkle netted a wrist shot.
The first period saw an unexpected shootout erupt on special teams. Elmira scored two quick goals, separated by only 18 seconds, starting at the four minute mark. Hobart answered with a pair of power-play goals of its own.
“Both teams came out really well, and took advantaged of the undisciplined penalties,” said Ceglarski.
Each added a third goal late in the first period to keep the game knotted up 3-3 going into the first intermission.
The second period was all Elmira, as the Soaring Eagles dominated play. But Elmira could only net one goal, and that an early tally by Eddie Cassie, and was unable to put Hobart away.
“They were all over us [in the second period],” said Hobart coach Mark Taylor. “We couldn’t play with them. But we changed things up, and slowed the game down some, towards the end of the period, and it worked in our favor.”
It did indeed, as Hobart notched a power-play goal in the waning moments of the period to keep it tied 4-4. Trevor Gowan one-timed in a pass from the side boards for the goal at 18:51.
The victory moved Elmira into a tie for first place with RIT in ECAC West league play.