D-III East, Weekend Recap – January 6, 2020

Wesleyan’s Tim Sestak made 39 saves to lead the Cardinals to the Codfish Bowl championship over Massachusetts-Boston (Photo by Jonas Powell)

Holiday tournaments are usually filled with upsets to start the New Year and this past weekend was no exception with tournament wins by Elmira, Cortland, Hobart, Wesleyan and St. Mary’s at the Oswego tournament. Other teams like Trinity, Utica and Geneseo showed that they were ready for all comers in their return from the holiday break while teams like Oswego and St. Anselm did not get off to the second half starts, they wanted or needed.

Here is this week’s recap of the tournament and non-conference action in the East:

Curry faced Franklin Pierce in a non-conference game on Saturday and skated away with a 5-2 win over the Ravens. Viktor Jansson and Michael Curran had three points each while Alex Ochterbeck scored two goals in a game the Colonels broke open in the third period. On Sunday afternoon the Colonels completed a winning weekend by scoring three goals in the third period to overcome a 3-2 deficit and defeat Potsdam, 5-3. Billy Vizzo scored a pair of goals and added an assist for Curry.

After a tough 2-1 loss to Williams in the opening round of the Pathfinder Bank/Oswego Tournament, the University of New England rebounded against the host team with a 4-3 win despite being outshot by a 42-22 margin. Brett and Derek Mecrones combined for five points with Derek collecting the game winning goal just under the midway mark of the third period for the Nor’easters.

After losing a wild game that featured seven special team goals to Cortland (more in the SUNYAC section) in the opening round of the Northfield Bank Tournament at Norwich, Salve Regina rebounded with a 4-1 consolation game win over Assumption. Four different players scored for the Seahawks with Erik Udahl picking up his tenth goal of the season for Salve Regina.

Anna Maria came back from a sour close to the first half and picked up two big wins over Western New England and St. Anselm. On Friday, Gavin Proeh and Patrick Manning gave goaltender Julius Huset all the offense he would need in a 21-save, 2-0 shutout win for the AmCats. On Saturday, Huset came up big as the Hawks outshot Anna Maria by a 44-17 margin. Huset made 42 saves and Jack Sitzman and Sam Cyr-Ledoux each had three points in a 4-2 win to move Anna Maria to 8-3-3 on the season.

An opening round loss to Codfish Bowl host Massachusetts-Boston on Friday didn’t bring down the Albertus Magnus Falcons too much as they rebounded nicely for the program’s first ever win in the consolation game on Saturday against Fitchburg State. Alexander Lazier gave Albertus Magnus a 2-1 lead with his power play goal in the second period but FSU answered with Kevin Perry’s goal in the third period. Lazier didn’t waste any time in the overtime session scoring just 14 seconds in to give his team and goaltender Pierce Diamond, their first ever win as an NCAA program.

Framingham State rallied from a two-goal deficit on goals from Zach Bettmeng and Jacob Garman to earn a 2-2 overtime tie with Western New England. Goaltender Blake Carlson made 38 saves for the Rams who were outshot 40-22 for the game and 17-5 in the opening period. Carlson only surrendered two power play goals to the Golden Bears’ Tyler Pohlig.

Despite being outshot 43-19 by Potsdam, Stonehill downed the Bears 6-4 paced by Zachary Frament’s four-point night that included two goals and two assists. A three-goal third period helped Matthew Schoen earn his first win as the Skyhawk netminder made 39 saves.

St. Anselm, in addition to dropping a game to Anna Maria lost a tough 5-4 battle to Bowdoin. On Friday, a power play goal from Chris Brown gave the Polar Bears the final lead of the game after the Hawks’ Troy Aiello tied the game at 4-4 with the man advantage in the first five minutes of the third period.

Babson took home the Middlebury Classic tournament title with a pair of wins over Manhattanville in the first round and St. Michael’s in the title game on Saturday. Against Manhattanville, great penalty killing, power play goals and strong goaltending from Brad Arvanitis (25 saves) helped the Beavers to a 6-1 win over the Valiants. On Saturday in a game that harkened back to the old ECAC East, Babson downed the Purple Knights (overtime winners over Middlebury on Friday) by a 6-2 score. The power play was again clicking for Babson who needed three unanswered goals to break open a 3-2 game in the third period. Aidan Murphy made 23 saves to earn the win and remain unbeaten on the season for the Beavers.

Hobart took the Boston Landing Invitational Tournament with an opening round win over St. John’s by a 4-2 score. Pierre-Anthony Martineau scored two goals for the Statesmen who recovered from a 2-1 first period deficit. On Sunday, Bryn Athyn was the opponent for the title and Hobart quickly raced out to a comfortable 5-1 lead after two periods, but the Lions would not go away quietly as they scored three goals in the third period to pull within a goal, but they could not get the equalizer and Hobart took the title with a 5-4 win.

Wesleyan took the Codfish Bowl tournament hosted by Massachusetts-Boston with a 6-2 win on Saturday against the Beacons. After goals by Quincy Gregg and Tyler Levine in the third period on Friday gave the Cardinals a hard-fought 2-1 win over Fitchburg State, the offense roared to life early against UMB as Cam Peritz’s two goals helped Wesleyan to a 5-0 lead midway through the second period. The Cardinals then leaned on tournament MVP Tim Sestak who made 39 saves as the Beacons outshot Wesleyan by a 41-24 margin.

Trinity flexed some offensive muscle in its two nonconference games against Plymouth State and Suffolk totaling 16 goals in the two games. In Friday’s 9-2 win over PSU, Lucas Michaud led the offense with two goals and an assist as seven different players scored for the Bantams in the runaway win. On Saturday, Michaud went one better as he scored twice more and added two assists in a 7-0 shutout win over the Rams. Goaltender Jonah Capriotti made 22 saves to earn his third win of the season.

Cortland and netminder Nick Modica must have the New Year circled on the calendar as the Red Dragons leveraged a 53 save performance against Salve Regina in the first round by Modica into a 5-4 win and a spot in the title game against Norwich on Saturday. In the title game Modica again came up big for Cortland as the Cadets outshot the Red Dragons by a 41-22 margin. Goals from Matt Jahn and Logan Blaser gave Cortland a 2-1 lead after forty minutes of play, but Norwich’s Felix Brassard tied the game in the third period, and nothing could be decided in overtime. In a five-round shootout, the Red Dragons pulled the upset by a 2-1 margin with Modica stopping Brassard in the final round for Norwich.

Geneseo showed there was no rust on their game as they downed King’s 11-0 and Neumann 7-4 in non-conference play over the weekend. Against King’s on Friday night, the Knights got a combined four goals and eight points from Conlan Keenan and Andrew Romano that started with Romano’s goal assisted by Keenan just 18 seconds into the first period. On Saturday, Tyson Empey scored a hat trick while Henry Cleghorn added two more goals in a win over Neumann that got a little uncomfortable in the third period when the visitors scored three times in less than three minutes to close the score to 5-4. Empey’s third of the night and Cleghorn’s second into the empty net created the final margin for Geneseo.

Elmira won the WB Mason Winter Classic at Plattsburgh by winning an overtime thriller over Endicott in the opening round before downing the host Cardinals on Saturday to earn the trophy. On Friday, Elmira wouldn’t quit against the Gulls rallying from three different two-goal deficits to tie the game at 5-5 in the third period. Matthew Cuce scored two goals to level the game at 5-5 before teammate Nick Ford added his second of the game to earn the 6-5 win in overtime. On Saturday, Ford and Cuce again were keys to Elmira’s offense as Ford tied the game at 1-1 in the first period and Cuce added a pair of goals in the second period including one shorthanded tally to break open the game and help Elmira to a 4-1 win over Plattsburgh.

In what was probably the craziest game of the weekend, Utica beat Adrian in an overtime thriller that featured eight third period goals and two in the final minute of regulation. The teams exchanged two goals each in the first forty minutes entering the third period tied at 2-2. Adrian scored two quick goals to open the third period for a 4-2 lead only to see the Pioneers roar back with three unanswered to take a 5-4 lead on Brandon Osmundson’s tenth goal of the season at 12:40. Zachary Heintz tied it for the Bulldogs before Vaden McManus gave the visitors the lead at 19:08. With the goaltender pulled for the extra-attacker, Adrian’s Matt McNair scored with just seven seconds remaining on the clock to send the game into overtime. In the extra session, Utica’s Regen Cavanagh scored just 1:51 into overtime to give the Pioneers the exciting 7-6 win. On Sunday’s second game of the two-game series, the teams again exchanged three-goal bursts to be tied at 3-3 after two periods of play. In the final period there were not any fireworks by either team leading to an overtime session where for the second night in a row, Regen Cavanagh scored the game winning goal for Utica to earn them a road sweep at Adrian

Three Biscuits

Nick Modica – Cortland – recorded 92 saves in the Northfield Bank Tournament including 53 in a 5-4 win over Salve Regina to help the Red Dragons earn the tournament title in a shootout over the hosts from Norwich.

Alexander Lazier – Albertus Magnus – scored a pair of goals for the Falcons including the winner in overtime to give Albertus Magnus their first win of the season and first as an NCAA program.

Regen Cavanagh – Utica – scored not one but two overtime winners for the Pioneers to help them take a two-game series at Adrian.

There were so many exciting and crazy games this past weekend that surely means we are in for some dramatic second half results across all the conferences in the region.