The Elmira Soaring Eagles solidified their position atop the ECAC West standings with a solid 6-4 victory over the Hobart Statesmen.
The game kicked off a home-and-home series between the teams who came together for a fundraiser towards the Wounded Warrior Project. Each home team over the weekend is wearing camouflage jerseys that are available for purchase and also are selling sweatshirts, wristbands and other items to raise money for the charity that assists servicemen coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Soaring Eagles scored the first six goals of the game before Hobart rallied, scoring three power-play goals and a late even-strength goal to narrow the scoreboard.
“We played pretty well,” said Elmira coach Aaron Saul. “We knew that team like Hobart wasn’t going to quit. Their power play was pretty good tonight.”
“You have to bounce back after a rough start,” said Hobart coach Mark Taylor. “You have to find a way.”
Elmira romped to a 3-0 lead in the first period by taking advantage of its opportunities. Jesper Strale, Eric David and Rick Acorn scored for the Soaring Eagles.
Colin Hoey increased Elmira’s lead to 4-0 just over a minute into the second period and that was the end of the night for Hobart’s starting goaltender Marrty Ausserhofer. Nick Broadwater skated in to the Hobart net, seeing his first action since suffering an injury on November 26.
Broadwater hardly had time to settle into the crease before a trio of Elmira players crashed the net and Darcy Vaillancourt scored to make it 5-0.
“We were pretty focused before the game,” said Saul. “The guys came out and played hard.”
Hoey tallied again for Elmira at 5:49 to finish the Soaring Eagles’ scoring on the night.
“Colin has world-class speed,” said Saul. “He has been chipping away as of late and it is good to get him scoring.”
Hobart finally got its offense going with a pair of power-play goals mid-period. Bobby Hannah deflected in a slap shot and Greg Ciciola tapped in a goal off a scramble to narrow Elmira’s lead to 6-2.
Emotions built higher and higher during the second period resulting in a steady parade of players to the penalty box.
The frustration level and scoring touch both cooled off in the third period, which went by relatively quietly.
Hobart got two goals very late off the sticks of Frank Salituro and Peter Ryan.