BUFFALO, N.Y. — Buffalo State got off to a slow start against Hobart and it proved costly in a 4-2 loss. Buffalo State climbed back to tie the game 2-2, but two goals by Hobart late in the third period proved too much for the Bengals.
“I talked to my guys about being consistent,” said Buffalo State coach Jim Fowler. “We came out a little flat. Hobart set the tempo and we had to adjust to them.”
Hobart carried played throughout much of the first half. The Statesmen had many first-rate chances against the Bengal net because of sustained pressure and hustle.
“We had a lot of unsung heroes that weren’t on the scoresheet tonight,” said Hobart coach Mark Taylor. “We took a huge step in our D-zone and on the forecheck.”
Buffalo State netminder Nick Berti stood on his head at times, denying Hobart the rewards of its pressure.
The pressure finally paid off for Hobart when it took the lead off a power-play goal. Three Hobart players found themselves scrambling for the puck in front of the Bengal net with two Buffalo State players. Andy Kasprczak finally was able to get a stick on the puck and swatted it past Berti for the goal.
Buffalo State’s best chances of the first period came late, when Hobart took a couple of bad penalties.
“That hurt us,” said Hobart coach Mark Taylor. But the Bengals couldn’t score on the opportunities.
The second period started out much as the first did, with Hobart controlling play. Just 2:31 in to the period, Hobart scored its second power-play goal of the night. Brian Keane flipped the puck over a sprawled Berti for the score.
“All three sets of our penalty killers couldn’t get the puck out,” said Fowler. “We made mental mistakes and Hobart capitalized.”
The Bengals finally got their legs under themselves by midway through the second period and started to chip away at the Hobart lead.
Jason Sirios streaked down the right side of the ice, into the Hobart zone. As he drew in to the top of the faceoff circle, he ripped a wrist shot past Hobart goaltender Adam Lavelle’s blocker.
Buffalo State rode the gain in momentum, and tied the game at the 14:50 mark of the period. Lavelle made the save on a shot by Dave Cadarette, but kicked the rebound out in to the slot. Brian Janke was there to slam home the rebound for the goal, and the game was tied.
Both teams jockeyed for position for the remainder of the second period and in to the third, with big body checks thrown around willy-nilly by both teams. Berti and Lavelle both stood their ground in their respective nets, until six minutes left in the game.
Hobart was pressing around the Bengal net, and Berti made one of his many acrobatic saves, but partially pulled his groin on the play and was in obvious pain. After being checked by the trainer, Berti stayed in the game.
Two minutes later, Hobart was again putting pressure in the Bengal zone. After a scrum in the corner, the puck squirted out on to the stick of Statesman R.C. Schmidt in the slot. Schmidt moved around a sprawling defender and roofed the puck into the top corner for the game-winning goal.
“I think Berti played well,” said Fowler. “Unfortunately he pulled his groin and he couldn’t move as well on the third goal.”
Just 30 seconds later, Wesley Scott added an insurance goal for Hobart to seal the win.