Big games require big time effort and that was clear in the performances of teams like Norwich, Williams, Hobart, Wilkes and UNE over the weekend. Other teams continued to stumble a bit as was the case for Plymouth State, Stevenson and Trinity. The groundhog came out yesterday and saw his shadow so just maybe an early spring aligns with the very few games in the regular season to showcase your best brand of hockey when it is needed most.
Here is this week’s summary of more exciting action in the East:
The University of New England took a win and a tie in their weekend series with Curry. On Friday night, a power play goal from Michael Curran and a shorthanded tally from Matthew Henderson gave the visiting Colonels a 2-1 lead entering the third period. In dramatic fashion, the Nor’easters tied the game with the extra attacker in in the final 75 seconds as Brendan Donohue tied the game at 2-2.
On Saturday, the game went back and forth as the host Colonels took leads of 3-1 and 4-3 only to see UNE storm back. In the third period, down 4-3 after Alex Ochterbeck scored for Curry, three unanswered goals from Alex Sheehy, Jimmy Elser and Chris Jones gave the CCC leaders a big road win.
Endicott continued their hot play with a weekend sweep of Western New England by 3-0 and 5-2 scores. Conor O’Brien made 19 saves to earn the shutout win on Friday night for the Gulls. On Saturday, five different players scored for Endicott including James Winkler picking up his 16th on the season in the 5-2 road win that moved Endicott to 10-2-0 in CCC play.
Albertus Magnus and Post played the wild game of the week as the Falcons dropped an overtime thriller, 7-6 on Tuesday night. Cameron Weitzman scored a first period hat trick picking up a pair of power play goals and one shorthanded goal to help the Falcons race to a 4-1 lead after 20 minutes of action. It was a 5-2 lead after two periods before William Francis scored two goals and Tyler Hackett tied the game for Post at 5-5. The Falcons took the lead again at 18:16 on a goal by Owen Allan but Post answered with nine seconds left on the clock. Anthony Giacomin tied the game at 6-6 and then became the overtime hero for the Eagles when he scored the game winning goal just over a minute into overtime.
On Friday night, Bryn Athyn picked up a win over Albertus Magnus with goaltender Gabriel Couture earning the shutout with 26 saves and forward Nikita Smirnov scoring both goals in the 2-0 win for the Lions.
After playing a 1-1 tie on Friday night, Canton and Anna Maria both wanted a win on Saturday. Jesse Farabee scored an early power play goal and Michael Cerasuolo made 21 saves in helping to hold the AmCats to 0 for 5 on the power play in a 2-0 win for the Kangaroos. The win moved Canton to 10-6-3 on the season.
Salem State carried some positive momentum from Tuesday’s 4-4 tie with Worcester State into a big win over conference leading Plymouth State on Saturday. Matt Yianacopoulos scored the tying goal against the Lancers with just eight seconds remaining in regulation to earn the Vikings the tie and on Saturday, Spencer DeRidder’s two goals and Callum Hofford’s two assists help carry Salem State to a 4-2 win upset win over the Panthers.
Massachusetts-Dartmouth got back to their winning ways with home wins over Fitchburg State and Westfield State by 4-3 and 9-1 scores. In Thursday’s win over FSU, Jake Maynard, Austin Miller and Clay Ellerbrock rallied the Corsairs from a 3-1 deficit to the 4-3 win. Saturday saw a lot less drama as a six-goal third period broke open a 3-1 game in the runaway win for UMD. Melker Kroon and Eric Bolden each scored two goals for the Corsairs who moved to 6-5-1 in MASCAC play.
St. Michael’s used the same recipe for success in a pair of 5-4 wins over rival St. Anselm over the weekend. In both games the Purple Knights had to rally back from two-goal deficits to earn the wins. On Saturday, Thomas Flack scored the game winning goal at 16:03 of the third period and on Sunday, Ethan Hendrickson scored the winning goal with Tim Decker’s 37 saves helping to preserve the win and weekend sweep. The two wins vaulted the Purple Knights into second place in the standings with 17 points, just one behind NE-10 leading Assumption.
The Greyhounds helped themselves with a 2-0-1 record on the week. Starting with Tuesday’s 3-3 tie against St. Anselm, Assumption then swept a weekend series with Post. On Friday, Dante Maribito and Robert Holyoke scored in the final ten minutes of regulation to give Assumption a 3-2 win. Saturday night John Fine-Lease, Elliott McGuire and Matt Drake staked Assumption to a comfortable 3-0 lead and they cruised to a 4-1 win with David Altman making 26 saves.
Norwich and Babson needed to take care of business on Friday night before their big NEHC game on Saturday. The Cadets dispatched Massachusetts-Boston, 5-0 while the Beavers downed Castleton 6-1 to set up the game between the top teams in the NEHC on Saturday afternoon. Norwich has been very stingy in surrendering goals as Tom Aubrun demonstrated again against the Beavers in a 4-0 shutout win on the road. Aubrun made 23 saves in earning his seventh shutout of the season and Felix Brassard scored two goals to pace the offense for the Cadets who moved to 13-1-1 in league play and a six-point lead over Babson in the standings.
In a battle of travel partners, Hobart took both games with Skidmore to help them move into fourth place in the standings. Travis Schneider, Dan Sliney and Jake Gresh staked the home team to a quick 3-0 lead on the way to a 4-2 win over the Thoroughbreds on Friday night. On Saturday, the Thoroughbreds got the early lead on a goal by Mike Gelatt but Hobart’s Dan Sliney answered just 33 seconds later for a 1-1 tie after one period. Zach Sternbach and Travis Schneider scored power play goals in the first three minutes of the second period to give Hobart a 3-1 lead and Felix Lamoureux iced the 4-1 win with an empty-net goal.
Williams used two goals from Nick Altmann and 36 saves from goaltender Evan Ruschil in a 3-1 win over Connecticut College on Friday night. Saturday, the Ephs built a 4-1 lead over Tufts only to see the Jumbos score twice in a one-minute span to make it a 4-3 game with a minute and a half to play in regulation. Jack McCool’s first goal of the season into the empty net iced the 5-3 win for first place Williams who sits at 10-2-0 in NESCAC.
Trinity saw the opposite end of a weekend sweep for the second weekend in a row as the Bantams continue to struggle scoring goals. Giancarlo Ventre’s 35 saves and a late goal by Patrick Daly in the final 65 seconds of regulation gave Amherst a 2-1 win over the Bantams on Friday night. On Saturday it was surging Hamilton’s turn to shut down Trinity as Anthony Tirabassi made 31 saves and Justin Felhaber led the offense with two goals in a 4-1 win for the Continentals. Hamilton moved into third place in the standings, one point behind Trinity. Just five points separate second place from eighth place with three weekends remaining in the regular season.
Geneseo swept Morrisville 6-0 and 8-3 to maintain their top spot in the SUNYAC standings. On Friday night. Tyson Empey earned a goal and an assist to surpass the 100-point mark and join teammates Conlan Keenan, Andrew Romano and David Szmyd in the Century Club for the Knights. On Saturday it was Keenan’s hat trick and four assists from Romano that paced Geneseo in the win that saw a rally from an early 2-0 deficit against the Mustangs.
Oswego kept pace behind Geneseo with wins over Plattsburgh and Potsdam this weekend. Alex DiCarlo scored a pair of power play goals and goaltender Steven Kozikoski made 31 saves in the 4-2 win at Plattsburgh. Against Potsdam, the Lakers got two more goals from DiCarlo as part of a three-goal outburst in the second period on the way to a 5-1 win over the Bears. Kozikoski made 30 saves and picked up his third win of the season.
As expected, the travel partner battle between Fredonia and Buffalo State provided lots of exciting hockey. On Friday, Colin O’Connor’s goal midway through the third period gave the Bengals a 5-2 lead but the Blue Devils weren’t done. After Jacob Haynes made it 5-3, two extra attacker goals from Jasper Korican-Barlay and Charlie Manley earned the home team a 5-5 overtime tie. On Saturday it was the Bengals turn to host and rally from a deficit as Zach Remers closed a 3-1 deficit to 3-2 at the end of the second period before Matt Minerva and AJ Marinelli scored in the third period for the 4-3 win.
After downing Chatham 5-2 on Friday, Wilkes hosted a big UCHC game with fellow front runner Stevenson (who beat King’s on Friday) on Saturday night. The Colonels broke open a scoreless tie with five second period goals led by Tyler Barrow who picked up two goals and an assist on Donald Flynn’s power play goal that opened the scoring. Michael Paterson-Jones made 23 saves to earn the shutout win.
Utica downed Nazareth 9-1 as Conor Landrigan scored two goals and added two assists for a four-point game in the rout. Defenseman Daniel Fritz added three assists as the Pioneers went 2 for 5 on the power play and four times in each of the second and third periods.
Elmira picked up a hard-fought 2-1 win at Manhattanville as Nick Ford and Spencer MacLean provided the offense in front of goaltender Chris Janzen who made 15 saves for his eighth win of the season. On Saturday, the Soaring Eagles weren’t as fortunate against Neumann. After taking a 2-0 lead, Elmira saw the Black Knights take a 3-2 lead on three power play goals – two from Glenn Florczak and one from Barry Kneedler. Connor Powell tied the game at 3-3 midway through the third period but Neumann’s Clayton Boyd scored with 47 second remaining in regulation to steal the 4-3 win.
Tom Aubrun – Norwich – made 37 saves in posting a 5-0 shutout over Massachusetts-Boston on Friday before doubling down on a second shutout with 23 saves in a 4-0 win at Babson.
Conlan Keenan – Geneseo – scored a hat trick and added an assist in Geneseo’s 8-3 win over Morrisville on Saturday night.
Cameron Weitzman – Albertus Magnus – scored a first period hat trick including two power play and one shorthanded goal for the Falcons in a hard-fought 7-6 overtime loss to Post on Tuesday.
The standings are tightening up everywhere, so points are even more important over the final weekends of the regular season upcoming.