The Hobart Statesmen (6-6-2) dominated the first two periods of tonight’s game against the Brockport Golden Eagles (7-6), building a 3-0 lead, but then had to withstand a ferocious comeback. Brockport scored a pair of power-play goals in the third period, but couldn’t get the equalizer, and Hobart held on for a 3-2 victory.
“We got the win,” said Hobart coach Mark Taylor. “We had some guys that played well, but the third period wasn’t very good.”
“We came out in the third and played real hard,” added Brockport coach Brian Dickinson. “We were able to get to their young defensemen. We just ran out of time in the end.”
Hobart dominated play territorially during much of the first period. The Statesmen were unable to convert on two early power plays, but finally cracked the scoreboard at the 14:07 mark.
Junior Christopher Bower took a pass from the corner and skated around behind the Golden Eagles’ net. As he emerged on the far side, he spotted freshman Frank Salituro on the far side of the crease. Salituro settled the pass on this stick and tucked the puck into the top right corner of the net to score his first collegiate goal and give Hobart a 1-0 lead.
“Frank has great poise, great hockey sense,” said Taylor. “He’s one of those guys who I think has an ability to slow the game down when he gets the puck on his stick.”
Brockport finally mounted significant offensive pressure in the final minutes of the opening period as they skated on their first power play of the game. The Golden Eagles best scoring opportunity came with only seconds left when a shot down the slot bounced off a defending player and trickled just wide of the net.
Hobart reestablished its territorial dominance in the second period and extended its lead. Sophomore Gregory Ciciola got the Statesmen rolling with a give-and-go goal at 7:12. Ciciola made a long pass across the neutral zone to freshman Bobby Hannah and then broke hard to the net. Hannah hit Ciciola with the return pass just inside the faceoff dot and Ciciola wristed it in the back of the net for the Statesmen’s second goal.
Just under five minutes later, junior Matthew Wallace extended Hobart’s lead to 3-0. Wallace dug the puck out from along the boards deep in Brockport zone and spotted daylight between Golden Eagles’ senior goaltender Todd Sheridan and the post. Wallace wound the puck through that seam from a tight angle to score at 12:02.
“We played OK in the first,” said Dickinson. “The second we were sleepwalking, and you can’t do that against Hobart. They work as hard as any team we’ll see all year, both ends of the ice. We didn’t work hard coming back into our zone.”
Again Brockport got stronger as the period wound down and had a grade ‘A’ scoring chance with just under four minutes remaining in the second stanza. Freshman Sean Archer poked the puck away from a Hobart defender deep in the Statesmen’s zone and found himself one-on-one against Hobart freshman netminder Nick Broadwater. Archer skated laterally across the slot and fired off a hard wrist shot, but Broadwater stuck his leg pad out to make the save.
Brockport came storming back early in the third period to make the game interesting. The Golden Eagles took advantage of Hobart penalties to score a pair of power-play goals and make the score 3-2.
“We’ve spent a lot of time on the power play to get them to understand where we want the puck to go,” said Dickinson. “It was good to finally see the practice incorporated in the game. Right now, they have a lot of confidence in it.”
The first goal came at 6:08, as Brockport did a great job moving the puck around the Hobart zone. They finally worked the puck down low to freshman Dan Galiani, who spotted junior Justin Noble alone in the slot, and Noble whipped the puck past Broadwater.
The second tally came just under two minutes later when senior Jason Gorrie scored with a big slap shot from the top of the slot, narrowing the lead to 3-2.
Brockport kept up the offensive pressure through the remainder of the third period, as Hobart clung to its narrow lead. The Golden Eagles got a late gift of a power play due to a goaltender interference call on freshman Chris Conniizzaro, but the power play was cut short when Brockport junior Chris Berardini was called for interference a minute later.
The Golden Eagles pulled netminder Sheridan with 50 seconds left, but the ploy failed when senior Blake Bonham scored an empty-net goal at 19:42 to seal the win.