GENEVA, N.Y. — After thirty years of community members, college players, and fans battling the elements at the Geneva Recreation Complex, the rink has finally been enclosed. Officials from Hobart College and the Geneva community gathered to celebrate prior to this afternoon’s game between the Hobart Statesmen (13-5) and the Manhattanville Valiants (13-3-1).
Unfortunately for the Hobart fans, Manhattanville’s Chris Trafford scored a pair of goals, including the game winner, to spoil the festivities on the way to a 3-1 victory.
“Not the outcome you want, period,” said Hobart coach Mark Taylor. “I give a lot of credit where credit is due. [Manhattanville] did a good job of playing as a team, within themselves playing their system to a ‘T,’ and that is how they win hockey games.”
Each team got a single power play in the first period, and both scored with the extra attacker.
Hobart jumped out to a quick lead just 3:13 into the game. The Statesmen rushed in to the Valiants’ zone with numbers, and Shawn Houde finished off the play from in close.
Manhattanville quickly recovered, controlling center ice and getting several good scoring opportunities. The Valiants finally got their break late in the period with their own power play, and took advantage of the opportunity. Manhattanville moved the puck around the perimeter and finally out to A.J. Mikkelson at the right point, who put a slap shot through traffic and in to the back of the net to tie the game 1-1.
“I am really pleased with our guys,” said Manhattanville coach Keith Levinthal. “I thought they worked extremely hard for sixty minutes and they accomplished a sweep, which is really hard to do here. We did a good job of sticking to our system and gained confidence by having a lot of little successes.”
After a tightly played first period, the second stanza was more wide open as a series penalties on Hobart gave Manhattanville a territorial advantage. The Statesmen penalty killing was able to keep the Valiants at bay until the 18:09 mark when Manhattanville’s power play finally broke through just nine seconds into its fourth power play of the period.
The goal came off a pretty tic-tac-toe play from Arlen Marshall to Anthony McIntyre to Chris Trafford, who roofed the puck past Hobart goaltender Keith Longo for the goal.
Hobart’s best scoring opportunity of the period came midway through, when Patrick Moriarty put a shot off the inside leg pad of Valiants’ goaltender Paul Reimer that deflected wide off the far post.
“When things kind of slow down, you get in that ropey-dope hockey,” said Taylor. “I’ve seen a lot more exciting games here, but the bottom line is, we didn’t execute as well as we could have.”
Trafford gave Manhattanville a more comfortable 3-1 lead at 12:22 of the third period with a great singular effort. Trafford picked the puck off a Hobart defenseman’s stick at the Statesmen’s blue line, carried it to the net and crammed it past Longo for the goal.
“We were good positionally and our kids really competed,” said Levinthal. “That’s not easy to do against Hobart because they are a really good hockey team.”
Hobart coach Taylor pulled goaltender Longo with three minutes remaining in the game, and then got a power play with 39 seconds remaining. However, it was to no avail, as the Manhattanville defense held firm and the Valiants won the game 3-1.