East wrap: Jan. 21

Resiliency — a trait all coaching staffs seek for their teams as the season progresses. Not every weekend or game is going to go your way, so how a team bounces back is a defining characteristic for success. This weekend saw a number of bounce backs, including Hobart, Endicott, and a number of NESCAC schools looking to change fortunes. Here are some of the weekend’s highlights.

The matchup between Endicott and Nichols had the makings of a great weekend series. On Friday night, the Bison came out flying behind four first-period goals from Matthew Menta, J.B. Baker, Vincent Crivello, and Scott Cuthrell, which propelled them to a 6-1. Endicott didn’t take their first conference loss lightly as the Gulls, led by Joseph Slovak’s two goals, raced out to a 4-0 lead on their way to a 7-1 final and the weekend split.

University of New England took a pair of games from Wentworth, 6-4 and 6-5. Jeff Eppright and Derek Mecrones scored two goals each in Friday night’s win, while Eppright and Bloom scored a pair each in the Saturday win.

Curry and Salve Regina split their weekend series, with both games going to the visiting team. On Friday night, the Seahawks got goals from four different players in the 4-1 win, while Curry used a hat trick from Zachery White and 35 saves from Cody Murch to earn the weekend split with a 3-2 win on Saturday.

Canton played a tight one with Hamilton on Sunday night, falling to the host Continentals, 2-1. Josh Sova scored late in the second period on a power play for the Kangaroos to close the deficit to one goal, but the third period was scoreless for both teams. On Friday night, Canton downed King’s, 6-1, led by two goals apiece from Zach Pease and Joe Deveny.

Plymouth State won on the road at Salem State on Thursday, 1-0. Drake Longaker’s goal midway through the third period broke a scoreless tie, and Evan Morelli’s 31 saves stood up for the shutout win.

Salem State had no better luck on Saturday, where they launched 47 shots at Fitchburg State goalie Kirby Saari and were again unable to score. The Vikings’ Jason Pucciarelli also stopped all 28 shots he faced to preserve a 0-0 tie.

Massachusetts-Dartmouth fought back to 5-5-1 in the conference with a 5-1 win over Framingham State on Saturday. Special teams were key, as Casey Shea scored shorthanded to open the scoring while Mike Sones and Jonathan Ruiz scored on the power play for the final two goals for the Corsairs.

Franklin Pierce and Southern New Hampshire split their weekend series. Tom McGuckin led the Ravens with 50 saves in Friday’s 4-1 win, while six different goal scorers provided balance for the Penmen in their 6-1 triumph on Saturday. Defenseman Zack Champa assisted on four of the Penmen goals.

Stonehill and St. Michael’s split their weekend series, with Stonehill rallying from a 2-0 first period deficit to earn a 3-2 win off goals from Ryan Smith, Conor Cassidy, and Jack Scannell. The Purple Knights returned the favor on Saturday with a 4-1 win. Sam D’Antuono scored twice in the third period, including the game-winner, to move St. Michael’s to 6-3-0 in NE-10 play.

Last weekend was not a great one for Hobart, which dropped a pair to Babson and Massachusetts-Boston. The Statesmen showed their resiliency on the road this weekend in capturing two wins over Skidmore and Norwich for a valuable four points. On Friday the offense was in high gear in a 9-1 win over Castleton. Tyler Wolf and Andrew Longo both picked up four points each in the win. On Saturday, Hobart took down league-leading Norwich, 4-1. Longo, Jonas Toupal, Ben Grenier, and Travis Schneider scored for the visitors, who received 22 saves from Alexander Connal in the win.

New England College leveled their conference record with a pair of wins over Babson and Massachusetts-Boston, 5-3 and 6-3. Mike Whitehair broke a 3-3 tie in the third period to give the Pilgrims a 4-3 lead against Babson before Joe Osaka closed it out with an empty-net goal. Kyle Shapiro made 39 saves as the Beavers outshot the Pilgrims, 42-24. On Saturday, the Pilgrims were again outshot by the Beacons, but Shapiro stopped 40 of 43 and Connor Fries and Osaka added two goals each in the 6-3 win.

Connecticut College kept their winning streak going with an overtime win on Tuesday night against Worcester State followed by another 3-2 overtime win against Wesleyan in conference play on Friday. The Camels couldn’t hold two one-goal leads against the Cardinals, but Paul Capozzi’s goal at 2:59 of overtime extended their win streak to four games. League-leading Trinity finally snapped the Camels’ streak with a 5-2 win on Saturday.

Bowdoin ended Williams’ five-game win streak with a 4-1 win on Friday night. The Polar Bears received a pair of goals from Matthew Lison to help goalie Erik Wurman earn his first win of the season.

Amherst kept Hamilton sliding with a 4-1 win on Saturday. Noah Gilreath scored midway through the third period to break a 1-1 tie, and the Mammoths added two more in the period from Will Vosejpka and Jack Fitzgerald to seal the win.

Geneseo picked up three points on the weekend, earning a 1-1 tie against Buffalo State before downing Fredonia on Saturday, 4-1. The Bengals also picked up three points when they defeated Brockport, 3-0, on Saturday.

Morrisville picked up a pair of wins over Potsdam, 6-4 and 6-1. The Mustangs got balanced scoring on both nights, led by Rick Eberhart’s three goals.

Utica might have been looking forward to Saturday’s big nonconference game against Oswego when they took the ice against Nazareth on Friday night. The visitors quickly took a 2-0 lead on a power-play goal from Austin Romzek and a short-handed goal from James McDonald. The Pioneers woke up in the second period, led by two goals from Roman Ammirato as they scored five unanswered goals for the 5-2 win.

On Saturday night, the battle of ranked teams ended in a 3-3 tie. The game was evenly played as the lead exchanged hands three times when Ammirato gave Utica a 3-2 lead late in the third period. Oswego’s Mitchell Herlihey scored an extra-attacker goal with just 29 seconds remaining in regulation time to earn the 3-3 tie as neither team could score in the extra session.

Ina a wild game at Lebanon Valley, the hosts downed Neumann, 7-6, led by five goals from Brian Hovanec. A 1-1 tie was broken open by a nine-goal second period that saw Hovanec score four times and Neumann close a 6-3 deficit to just a goal at the end of 40 minutes of play. Joe Mitchell completed the comeback for the Black Knights, but Hovanec delivered the game-winner in the final two minutes to send the home crowd home happy.

Three Biscuits
Brian Hovanec, Lebanon Valley: Hovanec scored five, count them, five, even-strength goals in LVC’s 7-6 win over Neumann on Saturday night. Hovanec scored four goals in a wild nine-goal second period and the game-winning goal in the final two minutes of the third period.
Zachery White, Curry: The Colonels forward provided all of the scoring in Curry’s 3-2 win over Salve Regina on Saturday. White’s power-play goal in the third period gave the visitors the win.
Tom McGuckin, Franklin Pierce: McGuckin stopped 50 of 51 shots in helping the Ravens to a 4-1 win over Southern New Hampshire on Friday night. The lone goal for the Penmen came in the opening 11 seconds, after which McGuckin stopped everything that came his way.

With just four weeks remaining in the regular season, now is the time for teams to start the playoff push. Most of the conferences are very tight, so wins and points are important to everybody.