#14 Manhattanville Advances to Middlebury Title Game with 4-1 Win over WIT

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MIDDLEBURY, Vt – The Manhattanville men's hockey team, ranked 15th in Division III by USCHO.com and 14th by D3hockey.com, got goals from four different players in picking up a 4-1 win over Wentworth Institute of Technology on the first day of the 2012 Middlebury Holiday Classic, held on Sunday afternoon at Kenyon Arena.

Manhattanville (9-3-1) advances to tomorrow's championship game, where they will face off with the winner of today's second game between #12/10 Middlebury and Babson at 4 p.m. Wentworth (5-5-1) will face the loser of Middlebury-Babson in the consolation game starting at 1 p.m.

Freshman Matt Coleman (Brentwood, N.Y./Springfield Pics (EJHL)) led all players with a game-high two points for Manhattanville, scoring once and adding an assist. Juniors Luc Van Natter (Fort Erie, Ont./Aurora Tigers (OPJHL)) and Adam Young (Edmonton, Alta./Grande Prairie Storm (AJHL)) and sophomore Rich Meyer (Port Monmouth, N.J./Boston Bulldogs (AJHL)) also scored for the Valiants in the win, while junior Andrew Yarber had the lone goal of the game for the Leopards.

The Valiants got the scoring started less than six minutes into the first period, taking advantage of their first man-up situation of the day. After winning a faceoff in the offensive zone, senior co-captain Brett Skalski (Exton, Pa./Des Moines Buccaneers (USHL)) had his shot from the low slot denied by WIT sophomore Alex Peck, but Van Natter was there to clean up the rebound for his sixth goal of the year.

WIT had a golden chance to knot the score with 5:33 left in the period, when a penalty shot was whistled against Manhattanville. But sophomore netminder Brian Fleming (Saint John, N.B./Northern Cyclones (AJHL)) came up big for the Valiants, denying Shaun Jameson to retain the lead.

Seizing on that momentum, Manhattanville doubled its lead on the next shift, when Meyer streaked up the left side of the ice and picked the top corner for his first collegiate tally. However, Wentworth struck back 46 seconds later, when Yarber corralled the rebound of a shot from the point by sophomore Ben Iwanowski and stuffed it home for his first of the season.

The suddenly potent Valiant power play connected for a second time 4:20 into the middle frame, needing just five seconds to make it a 3-1 lead. Sophomore Mark Rivera (Belmar, N.J./Springfield Pics (EJHL)) won the draw to the near point for senior Brendan Turner (Tisdale, Sask./Lloydminster Bobcats (AJHL)) and he fed across for Young, who walked in from the point and beat Peck for the score at 4:20.

The goals kept coming for Manhattanville a few minutes later, when senior assistant captain Scott Hudson (St. Albert, Alta./Sherwood Park Crusaders (AJHL)) forced a turnover in the offensive zone and fed in the slot for a wide-open Coleman, who deposited his sixth of the year to tie his two linemates for the team scoring lead.

Neither team was able to get on the scoreboard in the third period, but that suited the Valiants fine as they picked up the 4-1 win.

Fleming (7-3-1) earned the win in goal for Manhattanville, turning aside 24 of the 25 shots he faced. Peck (3-3-1) took the loss for Wentworth, allowing four goals on 24 shots.

No contests today.
No contests today.
No contests today.