Men’s D-III East weekend wrap Jan. 7: Multiple upsets in tournament action, Cortland claims Codfish

Nick Modica of Cortland (Erin Locascio)
Nick Modica of Cortland made 90 saves on the weekend as Cortland won the Codfish Bowl. (Erin Locascio)

This weekend saw tournament action that included upsets and shootouts to determine winners in both the Codfish Bowl and Northfield Savings Bank Holiday Tournament. There were other upsets of ranked teams in nonconference and league play, as most teams were active on the first weekend of 2019. Tournament winners this weekend included Cortland, Endicott, New England College, Oswego, and Plattsburgh.

It took a shootout in Northfield, Vermont, for Endicott to down the host Norwich Cadets and win the Northfield Savings Bank Holiday Tournament. Following a 3-3 overtime tie, forward Tommy Besinger scored in the third round of the shootout while Conor O’Brien kept the Cadets at bay to give the Gulls the tournament title. In the opening round, the Gulls rallied from a 3-1 deficit to Buffalo State with three-period goals to earn a 4-3 win and a spot in the title game.

In a highly entertaining nonconference game between the University of New England and Plymouth State, the host Nor’easters rallied twice from one-goal deficits to earn a 3-3 tie with the Panthers. Brett Mecrones scored the tying goal for UNE, while goaltender Evan Morelli stopped 41 of 44 shots to help Plymouth State earn the tie.

Canton won their opening round game of the Pathfinder Bank/Oswego State Hockey Classic Tournament, downing Concordia (Wis.), 5-2. Five different players scored for the Kangaroos, who needed empty-net goals from Adam Petric and Sean David to break open a close game. On Saturday, in the title game, Canton fell to Oswego, 6-2, as the Lakers went 3-for-7 on the power play to help open a 3-0 first-period lead.

Chatham’s Michael Thambert scored a hat trick, and teammate Clay Plyler added two goals to help the Cougars to a 7-5 win over Anna Maria on Friday. After building a 6-2 lead, the Amcats rallied with three third-period goals, including a pair from Nick Kukuris, to close within one goal, but Plyler’s empty-net goal sealed the win for the home team. On Saturday, the teams closed out the weekend series by skating to a 2-2 overtime tie.

Massachusetts-Dartmouth won a thrilling overtime game over Fitchburg State to level their conference record at 3-3-0. Eric Bolden scored the game-winner in the extra session to give the Corsairs a 3-2 win. Falcons goaltender Brian McGrath made 40 saves in the loss as Fitchburg State was outshot, 43-25.

Worcester State used a pair of goals from Mike Moran and three points from Matthew Manning to take a 4-1 win over conference leaders, Plymouth State. The Lancers broke open a 1-1 tie with three goals, two by Moran, in the first five minutes of the third period to take the win.

Saint Anselm rallied from three goals down to beat Manhattanville, 6-4, in the opening round of the WB Mason Winter Classic at Plattsburgh. Six different players scored for the Hawks, and Colin Soucy made 30 saves to overcome a hat trick from the Valiants’ Matt Lippa.

Nate Indelicato, Chris Stevenson, and Paul Antkowiak helped Franklin Pierce build a 3-1 lead on the way to a 4-2 win for the Ravens over Western New England.

In a nonconference game, Stonehill took advantage of two goals each from Shamus Maloney and Nick Schofield in a 6-2 win over Johnson & Wales on Saturday.

New England College won the Boston Landing Invitational in convincing fashion with wins over Nichols and Lebanon Valley to earn the title. On Friday, the Pilgrims broke open a 1-1 game with the Bison by scoring three unanswered goals in the third period on the way to a 4-1 win. Connor Fries scored a pair of goals for NEC. On Saturday, the Pilgrims shelled Lebanon Valley, 10-1, behind Nikita Pintusov’s hat trick and two-goal games from Adam Zollner and Daniel Bergqvist. Entering the third period with a 4-1 lead, NEC tacked on six more goals for the lopsided final score and Boston Invitational championship.

Hobart continued its winning ways with a weekend sweep of Potsdam by 5-0 and 5-3 scores. Pierre-Anthony Martineau’s short-handed goal broke a 3-3 tie in the third period on Saturday, and his empty-net goal in the final minute sealed the win for the Statesmen, who have opened the second half with four straight wins.

In a nonconference rivalry game, Babson needed a four-goal third period to overcome a 2-0 deficit at Curry and earn a 4-2 win. Mike Egan, Tommy Munichiello, Max Torrez, and Patrick Flynn scored for the Beavers to help Bryn Botcher earn his sixth win of the season.

Wesleyan picked up a four-point weekend with a 5-1 win over Middlebury and 5-0 win over Williams. Goalie Tim Sestak stopped 70 of 71 shots to earn two wins and record a shutout for the Cardinals. On Saturday, forward Spencer Fox posted a goal and added three assists in the 5-0 win over the Ephs. The strong weekend moved the Cardinals to the top of the conference standings with a 5-0-1 record.

Amherst also picked up a four-point weekend with a tennis-like sweep of Bowdoin and Colby by identical 6-3 scores. Joey Lupo and Patrick Daly each picked up three points in the win over Bowdoin, while the Mammoths scored three power-play goals in the opening period against Colby to pace the win.

Plattsburgh needed a shootout, but took home the title in their own tournament, with Pat Egan being the offensive hero for the host Cardinals. Egan scored in regulation of the 1-1 tie with Saint Anselm and then scored the only goal of the shootout in the fourth round to give Plattsburgh the championship. Goaltender Lawson Fenton made 35 saves, including four in overtime, to preserve the tie and send the game to a shootout.

Cortland became the latest team to upset Massachusetts-Boston in the Codfish Bowl, winning the title 2-1 behind 44 saves from goaltender Nick Modica. Alex Storjohann scored a power-play goal with just 56 seconds remaining in regulation to give the Red Dragons the win and the tournament title. On Friday, Cortland earned their way into the final by defeating Bryn Athyn, 2-1, despite being outshot, 47-19. Modica was again large in goal with 46 saves, while Storjohann and Connor Beck scored to give Cortland a come-from-behind victory.

Geneseo downed Nazareth, 4-3, on Saturday as Conlan Keenan and Tanner Salsberry scored in the second period to overcome a one-goal deficit and give the Knights their 13th win of the season.

J.T. Entelisano, Brett Everson, and Jarrod Fitzpatrick each recorded a goal and an assist as Utica downed Skidmore, 5-1, in a very physical game on Friday. After surrendering Will Steele’s first-period goal, Utica scored three in the second and two more in the third period to move to 9-5-0 on the season.

Stevenson dropped a pair of hard-fought games to Fredonia, 3-1 and 1-0. On Friday, the Mustangs outshot Fredonia, 40-30, but could only beat goaltender Anton Rosen with Nick Gray’s first-period power-play goal. On Saturday, Eric Bogart did his teammate one better by stopping all 29 shots he faced in earning a shutout win over Stevenson. Riley McVeigh stopped 27-of-28 for the Mustangs in the loss.

Three Biscuits
Nick Modica, Cortland: Modica stopped 44 of 45 shots as the Red Dragons upset Massachusetts-Boston, 2-1, to win the Codfish Bowl hosted by the Beacons.
Nikita Pintusov, New England College: Pintusov scored a hat trick for the Pilgrims in their 10-1 win over Lebanon Valley to win the Boston Landing Invitational tournament.
Matt Lippa, Manhattanville: Lippa scored a hat trick for the Valiants during their 6-4 loss to Saint Anselm in the opening round of the WB Mason Winter Classic at Plattsburgh.

Another great weekend of hockey is in the books, and now the second half of the season is in full swing for teams looking to build momentum and play their best hockey when it matters most.