Compiled by D3hockey.com Staff
Friday set the stage, and Saturday delivered an even bigger dose of drama in the Division III hockey landscape as a set of matchups in New York highlighted the card. The games spiced up conference races and the national picture by the time all was said and done, as three Top 10 teams in the state were dealt losses.
|Plattsburgh's Matt Quilty scored in the final minute of regulation to lift the Cards past rival Oswego.
Photo: Gabe Dickens for Plattsburgh State
Whiteout Washout In the Cards
As a large set of Oswego(16-4-1) seniors continue their push to get back to the NCAA championship site after a two year absence, a different box remained unchecked for the group going into their Saturday matchup against Plattsburgh: A victory against the Cardinals at home.
That box will remain unchecked, at least for now. A Plattsburgh team which has heated up after a sluggish beginning won its' fourth in a row while going unbeaten in their last eight, and they did so in grand style in front of a capacity crowd on the road. With 52 seconds left, Plattsburgh's Matt Quilty busted a 1-1 tie with a center lane drive redirect off a Ayrton Valente feed to pull the Cardinals ahead, and held off one extra attacker shot attempt from the Lakers to pull out a 2-1 victory. The Lakers have not won a game against the Cardinals at home since the 2013 SUNYAC title game, and the Cardinals earned their first Top 5 win since November of 2014, when they beat Geneseo.
The story of the opening period was Plattsburgh netminder Brady Rouleau, who denied every bit of an early Laker push in the scoreless opening frame. Rouleau stopped all 15 shots against while also helping to fend off two Oswego power plays. The 0-0 tally held all the way until the third period, with Rouleau's 24 saves through two periods giving the Cardinals a chance at the lid-lifter.
That strike came at 7:43 of the third. Defenseman Phillip Middleton crushed a one-timer past Laker netminder David Jacobson, with the assists credited to Valente and Cam Owens. The lead would be short-lived, as Oswego senior Kenny Neil restored the previous status quo by jamming in a rebound at 10:54 to square the game at one apiece. That score, despite a valiant attempt by Oswego's Shawn Hulshof that was thwarted by Rouleau, would hold until the final minute when Quilty delivered the game-winner to lift the Cards. Rouleau made 36 saves in a hostile road environment to earn Plattsburgh the victory.
With their latest surge, the Cardinals(13-8-1) move into a tie for second place with Geneseo at 17 points apiece in the SUNYAC, but the Knights have a game in hand on the Cardinals at present with four league matchups in the final two weeks. The Cardinals have a game in hand on the Lakers as well, with Oswego holding two league games after a nonconference series with Canton. Plattsburgh would need to win all three remaining games without Oswego picking up a point in its' final league weekend to have a chance to gain a share of the title. Geneseo has four games left, and could still grab the top seed with a minimum of seven points if Oswego gains none. A Laker win, or any non-winning result by Geneseo will assure the top seed for Oswego.
Pioneers finish Season Sweep of Statesmen, Remain in Drivers' Seat
When they visited Utica on Saturday, the Hobart Statesmen were on a colossal roll. The No. 3 Statesmen carried a 12 game unbeaten streak into Saturday's matchup, with no losses since November 19th, but still had a four point deficit behind first place Utica.
Leave it to the last team to beat the Statesmen to do it again. The Pioneers rallied out of an 0-2 hole in the second period with three unanswered goals to win their fifth game in a row, stunning Hobart by a 3-2 score in a high intensity, high drama affair at the Utica Memorial Auditorium.
In a fast moving opening period, Hobart would get the wheels in motion to strike first. After the Pioneers misfired on an odd-man rush, the Statesmen regrouped with the puck and broke ahead to the right wing circle, where Vincent Russo slipped a shot past Utica goaltender Patrik Virtanen to take a 1-0 lead in a period where both teams equally split 28 combined shots.
The outlook for the hosts took a dimmer turn when the Statesmen doubled their lead at 3:38 of the second. Zach Sternbach fed the puck from the backside of the cage to defenseman Jonas Toupal, who had pinched in the middle of the ice surface between the circles. Toupal redirected the feed from Sternbach, and in a relatively even contest, the Statesmen found themselves with a 2-0 advantage.
Hobart's lead looked even bigger considering the team was undefeated when scoring first for the season. The Pioneers had other ideas, and turned to a likely suspect to wipe out half the deficit and set the table for Utica to take the next step. On a power play generated by a Jack Macnee tripping minor at 15:12, Roman Ammirato delivered one for the highlight reels as he circled down the left wing boards and fired a wrist shot while being taken down by Hobart's Jordan Haskell. That shot would float by Oplinger's glove and inside the far post to put Utica on the board at 16:42.
Haskell was whistled for hooking on that play, giving Utica enough air in its' tires to tie the game. With five seconds left on the ensuing power play, Jarrod Fitzpatrick wrapped his way out of the corner and floated the puck to the net mouth. It changed directions and slipped past the Hobart netminder to tie the score at the end of two periods.
Shots were even at six apiece in the third, and in a tight checking period, the best offense was Utica's defense. With just inside eight minutes to play, Jarrod Fitzpatrick forced an own-zone giveaway by the Statesmen, and Kevin Valenti fed Shawn Lynch for the go-ahead goal with 7:50 left.
The Pioneers maintained the one-goal lead to the buzzer, outshooting the Statesmen 34-32 on the night en route to the ECAC West win. Patrik Virtanen stopped 30 of 32 Hobart shots to pick up the victory, as he stayed unbeaten in league play for the year. Frank Oplinger stopped 31 of 34 for the Statesmen in a losing effort. Fitzpatrick held the only multi point game of the evening with the tying goal, and an assist on the game-winner.
Utica, however, now has a different team sitting four points back. Manhattanville defeated Stevenson 5-4 to leap past the Statesmen and jump into second place. Utica(20 pts) and Manhattanville(16 pts), each have three games remaining, while Hobart has four.
Dutch Treat: Lebanon Valley Gets a Win Over a Decade in the Making
In other ECAC West news, something happened Saturday that has not happened since November of 2004. For the first time since that point, the Lebanon Valley College Flying Dutchmen have won an ECAC West game. The Dutchmen finally pulled it off on Saturday, as they broke a 1-1 third period tie with goals from Nick Skerlick and Travis Acker en route to a long-awaited 3-1 win in Aston, Pa. Joel Eisenhower earned the win in net as he made 44 saves on 45 Knight shots to shut the door on one of the nation's top scoring attacks. Coincidentally, the Dutchmen earned the win over the last ECAC West team they beat in Neumann. The Dutchmen beat the Knights in a 4-2 decision back on November 23rd, 2004.
The Dutchmen will host Nazareth and Utica next weekend.
Mustangs Shock Bengals
The Morrisville State Mustangs have had a tough year, but Kevin Krogol's squad seems to live for big games. Of the team's four wins this season, three of them have come against teams ranked in the D3hockey.com Top 15 at the time. The third win came on Saturday. Morrisville took advantage of an uncharacteristic performance by Buffalo State goaltender Mike DeLaVergne, scoring five times on their first 14 shots to dislodge him from the net, then scored two more off Andrei Svistunov in a 7-2 rout. Joe Santino had three goals and an assist for the Mustangs while Jared Young was credited with 41 saves.
New Sherriff in the NESCAC
Look at the NESCAC standings, and you may just see a different name at the top as a co-leader.
That name is Colby. The Mules have ridden a six game NESCAC unbeaten streak to a share of the top spot alongside Williams, and they got to that point Saturday. The Mules capitalized on a loss by the Ephs to Wesleyan with a 5-2 win over No. 13 Amherst in Waterville, Maine. The opening period was a back-and-forth affair, with the sides trading goals to end the first twenty at two goals apiece.
The dead heat held until the third period, where the Mules unloaded for a trifecta to pull away. Michael Rudolf, JP Schuhlen, and Cam MacDonald all connected with the nylon, with Rudolf's goal standing as the game-winner, as the Mules took out the Purple and White.
The loss by Williams also helped No. 9 Hamilton inch back into the picture with a win. The Continentals scored twice in the third period to slip past Bowdoin, 3-1. Evan Buitenhuis finished with 29 saves for Hamilton, who now is back in third place.
Wesleyan's win, along with No. 14 Trinity's 11-3 demolition of struggling Middlebury, places five NESCAC teams within a three point margin of the leaders, and Amherst and Tufts still sit a pair of wins back with two weekends left to play.
Worth noting in Trinity's performance was the play of Barclay Gammill, who totaled five points in the win.
Johnson and Wales Doesn't Sweat Storm Warning, halts UNE freight train
The University of New England scored two power play goals, but it wasn't enough to continue their recent hot streak on Saturday as Johnson and Wales scored three times in the third period while quieting the UNE offense to just a pair in a 5-2 win over the Nor'easters. The win for Johnson and Wales (9-10-2) halts a five game unbeaten streak that included wins over reigning ECACNE Finalists Salve Regina and Endicott.
The Wildcats got a goal and two assists from Ben Broulliard, while Joey Ballmer picked up the win for head coach James LaCour.
St. Thomas ended Friday in a tie for the MIAC lead after giving up a quintet in a 5-4 loss to Concordia-Moorhead, while Hamline added some zip with a shootout win over the Auggies of Augsburg, and St. Mary's continued to hang around with a win over Gustavus.
On Saturday, the Tommies(11-6-4) unloaded for a quintet of their own, with a pair from Johnny Panvica, and Ben Myers threw down a 20 save shutout in the Tommie net in a 5-0 win over the Cobbers and sole possession of first place. The outright lead, which now stands at two points, came at a small cost with three teams now breathing down their necks.
The slim divide opened up in the standings with some help from Hamline(10-8-5), who held No. 11 Augsburg(13-3-5) to a single standings point again while collecting two with a 2-2 tie and shootout win, in the process pulling the Pipers into the second position alongside the Auggies. Making things even more interesting was a regulation win by St. Mary's(12-8-3) over Gustavus, and we now have a three way tie for second place in the MIAC.
|No. 1 Norwich||4||Mass-Boston||1||Final||• *||BX|
|Plattsburgh State||2||No. 2 Oswego State||1||Final||• *||BX RC|
|No. 3 Hobart||2||Utica||3||Final||• *||BX RC|
|Northland||2||No. 4 St. Norbert||5||Final||• *||BX|
|UW-Superior||3||No. 5 UW-Stevens Point||6||Final||• *|
|No. 9 Hamilton||3||Bowdoin||1||Final||• *||BX|
|Morrisville State||8||No. 10 Buffalo State||2||Final||• *||BX|
|Hamline||2||No. 11 Augsburg||2||Final Shootout - Away||• *||BX|
|Wentworth||1||No. 12 Endicott||3||Final||• *||BX RC|
|No. 13 Amherst||2||Colby||5||Final||• *|
|No. 14 Trinity (Conn.)||11||Middlebury||3||Final||• *||BX|
|No. 15 Concordia (Wis.)||3||St. Scholastica||5||Final||• *||BX|
|Wesleyan||3||Williams||2||Final||• *||BX P|
|Western New England||1||Nichols||3||Final||• *||BX RC|
|Plymouth State||6||Mass-Dartmouth||3||Final||• *||BX|
|Southern Maine||2||New England College||6||Final||• *||BX|
|Daniel Webster||0||Saint Anselm||5||Final||BX|
|St. Michael's||0||Babson||4||Final||*||BX RC|
|Lebanon Valley||3||Neumann||1||Final||• *|
|Concordia-Moorhead||0||St. Thomas||5||Final||• *||BX P|
|Becker||2||Salve Regina||5||Final||• *||BX|
|Fitchburg State||3||Westfield State||2||Final||• *||BX|
|Stonehill||1||Assumption||1||Final - OT||• *||P|
|Skidmore||3||Castleton||3||Final - OT||• *||BX|
|Tufts||2||Conn. College||1||Final||• *|
|Stevenson||4||Manhattanville||5||Final||• *||BX RC|
|SUNY Potsdam||1||Cortland||5||Final||• *||BX RC|
|University of New England||2||Johnson and Wales||5||Final||• *||BX RC|
|Nazareth||1||Elmira||2||Final - OT||• *|
|Franklin Pierce||6||Southern New Hampshire||1||Final||•||BX P|
|Aurora||1||Lake Forest||7||Final||• *||BX|
|St. Olaf||5||Bethel||3||Final||• *||BX|
|St. Mary's (Minn.)||2||Gustavus Adolphus||0||Final||• *||BX|