The ECAC West got a mixed bag of results this week in nonleague play. RIT and Elmira started out the week by blasting two SUNYAC opponents by a combined score of 25-3. However, the league went 1-3-1 for the rest of the weekend, and was outscored 17-10 in those games.
RIT: RIT’s only game was a midweek tilt at Geneseo. The Tigers came out flat in the first period, and it looked like it might be a long night for coach Wayne Wilson early on. But a couple of favorable bounces put the Tigers up 3-0 at the end of the first period, and RIT came out flying in the second as three goals in a 2:15 span built a 6-0 lead.
Geneseo looked tired after its two weekend games against Potsdam and Plattsburgh, and RIT skated better for the remainder of the game, eventually building the tally up to 13-0. With a score like that, it is kind of surprising that RIT had no one earn a hat trick, but Shawn Wilkins and Derek Hahn led the way offensively with two goals and two assists apiece. Tyler Euverman pitched the shutout in net, stopping all 28 shots that Geneseo mustered.
RIT takes the 12-hour bus ride to Maine for the holidays to play against Bowdoin on Saturday and then Colby on Sunday.
ELMIRA: Elmira’s midweek game against Brockport State started out a nailbiter as the Soaring Eagles and the Golden Eagles traded goals and went to the locker rooms knotted in a 2-2 tie at the end of the first period. But the floodgates opened after the puck dropped in the second period, as Elmira ripped off five straight goals in the first 5:31 to take control of the game.
Elmira continued to pour on the pressure throughout the period, outshooting Brockport 29-9 as they chipped in three more goals. Two more tallies early in the third, and Elmira had built a commanding 12-3 lead for the victory. Freshman Lawne Snyder combined a hat trick and an assist for a four-point night, but sophomore Mike Hulbig took scoring honors for the evening with a hat trick of his own and two assists.
Elmira hit the road on Saturday up to the North Country to face No. 1 Plattsburgh, where two early goals by the Cardinals meant Elmira was playing catchup for the rest of the night — a position in which the Soaring Eagles have not been very successful this season. To make matters worse, Plattsburgh notched two shorthanded goals in the second period. In between these, Elmira’s Adam Godfrey scored a unassisted goal to get Elmira on the board. Coach Glenn Thomaris pulled all the tricks out of his bag in the third when he pulled his goalie at the 7:23 mark for a 6-on-3 power play, but the Soaring Eagles couldn’t penetrate the Cardinal penalty kill. Adam Godfrey tallied another unassisted goal late in the third, but it was too late to make any difference. Elmira dropped the contest by a final score of 5-2.
If you don’t like the color purple, don’t go to Elmira this weekend, since it’s the only color that you will see at the Thunderdome during the Elmira Invitational Tournament on Saturday and Sunday. Wisconsin-Stevens Point, St. Thomas, Williams, and Elmira all have purple among their colors — so if someone asks, you’re cheering for the purple team to win. In a preset format, Elmira will face Wisconsin-Stevens Point on Saturday, and follow up against St. Thomas Sunday.
HOBART: The ups and downs of Statesman hockey continued this week. Hobart hosted Fredonia midweek, and rode an extraordinary goaltending performance by Chris Connolly. Fredonia netted a goal midway through the first period, but Connolly shut them down for the remainder of the game, making a total of 41 saves on the night. Unfortunately for Hobart, its offense was stagnant. Kyle Moore scored a power-play goal midway through the third period to tie the game 1-1, and that was how it ended after overtime.
Next up for the Statesmen was a road game against Lebanon Valley, where they ran in to a goaltending buzzsaw named Lincoln Matlock. Despite putting 54 shots on net, the only puck Hobart could get past Matlock was a tally by Tim McCarthy on the power play in the third period. Hobart ended up losing the contest by a final score of 5-1.
Hobart is idle this holiday week, next returning to the ice on November 28 to host Geneseo.
MANHANTTANVILLE: The Valiants hosted Buffalo State in a pair of games with similar scripts but different endings. Both games saw Manhattanville score two goals in the first period, to be answered by two Buffalo State goals in the second period.
Saturday’s game saw Camelo Scali and Tommy Prate score only 29 seconds apart in the first period. Buffalo State took the lead with a goal at 8:35 in the third, but Valiant Aaron Wallace answered at 9:11 to knot the score at 3-3. The Bengals got another tally three minutes later, and defeated Manhattanville 4-3.
Sunday? Same script, different outcome. Chris Siefert and Bill Cummings staked Manhattanville to a 2-0 first-period lead, but Buffalo State answered with a pair of goals in the second to tie the score, one of them shorthanded.
“That one was a miscommunication on our bench,” said coach Keith Levinthal. “A late substitution meant we were playing 4-on-4 for a few seconds and that cost us.”
But this night the game stayed knotted 2-2 throughout most of the third period. A late power-play goal with just 1:26 remaining by Dave Schmalenberg lifted the Valiants to the victory, earning the split of the weekend series.
“Both games were very similar games, very hard-fought, that could have gone either way in the third period,” said Levinthal.
A pair of games sandwiched around the holidays are on tap this week for Manhattanville. The Valiants host Wesleyan on Tuesday.
“It will be interesting to see how we bounce back after the split,” said Levinthal.
Manhattanville then hosts Geneseo on Saturday.
Game of the Week
Take your pick of either of Elmira’s games this week. Stevens Point is always a tough opponent, while St. Thomas lost a lot of scoring punch from last year’s team, but I don’t think you can count out any team from last year’s Final Four that easily. Give coach Glenn Thomaris credit for being able to put together such a formidable tournament. Unlike many tournaments recently, there isn’t any creampuff opponent in this one to give the home team an easy first-round win.
ECAC WEST vs.
SUNYAC 9- 5-1
ECAC East 0- 0-0
NESCAC 0- 0-0
NCHA 0- 2-0
ECAC NE 2- 1-0
Other 2- 0-0