Off and Running

Every team in the ECAC West is now in action and the season is under way.
Three teams were in action this past weekend, all with games on Saturday.  The biggest of them all was No. 13 Utica handing No. 2 Oswego its first loss of the year.  The Pioneers scored a pair of goals in the second period to take a 3-1 lead and then withstood a charge by Oswego in the third to seal the 3-2 win.
Trever Hertz and Mike Slowikowski each had a goal and an assist in the game.
A key to Utica’s victory was staying out of the penalty box.  The Pioneers were only whistled for three infractions all night long, keeping a very potent Laker power play unit off the ice.
“We came out hard and set the pace of the game,” said Utica coach Gary Heenan.  “Our guys showed some great composure with the puck, made some good decisions, stuck with our game plan and executed.  We played extremely well for 50 minutes and then with our inexperience in those kinds of games we panicked a little bit in the last ten minutes.”
Manhattanville started its season under new head coach Eric Lang against the US Under-18 team.  Trailing by a goal with less than four minutes to go in the contest, the Valiants struck twice across a twelve second span to take the 2-1 victory.
Brendan Turner scored with a one-time from the slot at 16:28 of the third period and then Brett Skalski stuffed in a pass from Scott Hudson at the post to tie the game at 16:40.  Both goals came on the power play.
“Our discipline and disposition were perfect,” said Lang. “We never got too low when it wasn’t going well or too high when we took the lead. We plotted the course and the guys played like warriors.  We have some tightening up to do for sure, but it was a wonderful team effort.”
Pierre-Olivier Lemieux made 39 saves in the game.  The only puck that got past him was a short-hander midway through the second period.
Hobart was also in action on Saturday but dropped its game against Cortland 3-2.  The teams were tied 1-1 late in the second period when a scrum gave Cortland a two man advantage.
Cortland converted twice in the final minute of the period to take a 3-1 lead.  The game almost got away from Hobart  early in the third period when Ryan Michel covered the puck in the crease, giving Cortland a penalty shot.  Netminder Nick Broadwater made the save to keep the game close and Hobart freshman  Tommaso Traversa scored his first collegiate goal at 9:51 to narrow the margin to 3-2.
That was as close as Hobart could get, though.

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