OSWEGO, N.Y. — Elmira College scored six consecutive goals en route to a 7-3 win over St. Thomas in the opening game of the Pathfinder Bank Classic Tournament in Oswego, N.Y.
St. Thomas opened a quick 2-0 lead, but it was all Soaring Eagles after that.
“I thought they would be ones to come out flat, traveling the distance they did,” said Elmira coach Tim Ceglarski. “But it was us that stunk out the joint in the first period.”
St. Thomas opened the scoring at 2:20 when Ryan Hoehn got his second of the season off a feed from Alex Coles. Just 1:22 later, Hoehn struck again, blowing down the left wing shorthanded, and beating Soaring Eagle goaltender Casey Tuttle five-hole. St. Thomas had several more scoring chances after that, but was unable to convert.
“It could have been 5-0,” said St. Thomas coach Terry Skrypek. “We really took it to them early.”
“You’re going to get behind giving up four breakaways,” said Ceglarski. “And that’s what happened.”
Elmira began to turn the tide with a power play goal with 1:01 to play in the first. Some nice passing found Ryan Arnone all alone on the weak side, and the put it in the back door to cut the Tommies’ lead in half.
“It was a nice tip-in,” said Skrypek. “It got them going and they carried it over into the second period. After that, we ran out of gas. But give them credit. They outworked us.”
Elmira got the momentum going its way with the tying goal just 38 seconds into the second period. Justin Joy’s shot glanced off a defenseman’s skate and past St. Thomas goaltender Jake Maida.
Two more goals for the Soaring Eagles in the second period made it 4-2. Derrick Ryan beat Maida glove side with a backhand at 4:22, and Russell Smith’s power play goal from the slot has made it 4-2 at 6:20.
The Soaring Eagles got two quick goals to open the third period to open a four goal lead. Stefan Schoen scored off a tip on a pass from Darcy Pettie to make it 5-2 57 seconds in, and at 1:37, Andrew Bedford made it 6-2. That was all for Maida who gave way to Treye Kettwick. Maida finished with 22 saves.
St. Thomas got one back on a breakaway by Kevin Rollwagon at 6:44, but a minute later, a giveaway in the Tommies’ zone ended up in the back of their net. Dave McKenna stripped a defenseman of the puck and beat Kettwick low to the glove side to make it 7-3. Kettwick finished with four saves, while Elmira’s Tuttle made 22 stops.
When asked if this weekend is an opportunity to turn around a season that has started 4-6-1, Ceglarski said, “I hope so. This was our first game since December 9, and we started off very sluggish. But we had played well in the third period against Plattsburgh (on November 17) and against Neumann, even though we lost, and against Potsdam.”
The Soaring Eagles had a similar record at this point last season and got hot after the Holidays, advancing to the Division III Frozen Four. “We need to keep it up,” said Ceglarski. “We played the final forty minutes like the team I expected us to be this season.”