The Geneseo Ice Knights stormed back from a three goal deficit in the third period to tie the game with less than a two minutes remaining against the Manhattanville Valiants. But sophomore Evan Michalchuk saved the day for the Valiants, scoring off a rebound with 44 seconds remaining to give Manhattanville the 6-5 victory.
“”We took some penalties that brought them back in the game,” said Manhattanville coach Keith Levinthal. “We had the game and put it up for grabs.”
Both teams came out a tentatively in the first period with neither generating much offensive pressure. But a pair of too many men on the ice penalties by Geneseo provided Manhattanville with an opening that the Valiants took advantage of.
The first came just past midway through the period. Freshman Scott Hudson dug the puck out of the left corner for Manhattanville and fed junior linemate Mickey Lang who was cutting across the slot. Lang settled the puck and whipped a strong wristshot pas t freshman Geneseo goaltender Adrian Rubeniuk to give the Valiants a 1-0 lead.
Less than two minutes later, Geneseo took another too many men on the ice penalty, this time while already killing off another minor, to give the Valiants a 5-on-3 power play. Senior Matt Piegza poked in a goal at 13:39, as the puck spun just outside of the goal line, to stake Manhattanville to a 2-0 lead.
Rubeniak kept the game close early in the second period when he denied a 2-on-0 shorthanded breakaway by Manhattanville. Piegza tried to finish off the play from in close, but Rubeniak closed his pads while down and stopped the puck underneath himself before it could cross the goal line.
The offenses eventually took control in the second period scoring a total of five goals between the two teams.
Manhattanville extended its lead to 4-0 with a pair of goals. Sophomore Bill Silengo picked up a loose puck in the slot and rifled a low shot through a crowd of legs to tally the first Valiant goal at 7:50.
Lang scored his second power-play goal of the night at 8:40 when he got a stick on the loose puck during a scramble at the side of the crease.
“Lang, Hudson, and Arlen Marshall are a quick line and were very effective down low,” said Levinthal. “When we were able to get the puck down low, we generated a lot of offense. One of our keys was to get pucks in deep and use our system. When we didn’t, we got scrambling at times.”
The Geneseo offense finally got going midway through the period as Manhattanville got into a bit of penalty trouble. Sophomore David Arduin scored a pair of power-play goals, separated by just under three minutes, to narrow the Manhattanville lead to 4-2.
Arduin’s first goal came at 11:46 when he took a pass off the half boards and wristed the puck
high over Valiants goaltender Pierre-Olivier Lemieux’s shoulder. His second tally came at 14:33 when Arduin collected his owned rebound and patiently steered it around Lemieux.
The Valiants extended their lead at 16:13 of the second period when junior Artem Gumenyuk blasted a slapshot from the left boards past Rubeinuk’s pads to end the period with Manhattanville up 5-2.
Geneseo netted an early third period goal to chip away at the Valiants lead. Sophomore Clint Olson finished off a pretty tic-tac-toe passing play as the Ice Knights skated into the Manhattanville zone, scoring Geneseo’s third goal of the game at 4:58.
The Ice Knights narrowed Manhattanville’s lead to 5-4 at 11:20 when sophomore Stefan Decosse swatted in a rebound for a goal while Geneseo was on a 5-on-3 power play.
Geneseo tied the game at 18:49 off a fluky bounce. Freshman Blake O’Connor was checked hard just outside the Valiants zone, but flipped the puck high into the zone. The puck took an unexpected bounce over Lemieux’s stick and into the back of the net to tie the game 5-5.
Manhattanville (8-4) answered just 27 seconds later off a defensive miscue by Geneseo (5-8). Sophomore Evan Michakchuk pounced on a rebound as he was all alone at the side of the net and tallied the game winning goal at 19:16 to preserve the win for Manhattanville.