#14 Manhattanville falls to Babson in finals of Middlebury Holiday Classic

More news about: Babson | Manhattanville

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – Babson junior Connor Berto scored twice on the way to Most Valuable Player honors as the Beavers held off the #12/14 Manhattanville men's hockey team by a 3-2 score in the championship game of the 2012 Middlebury Holiday Classic, held on Monday afternoon at Kenyon Arena.

Babson (7-2-2) extends its winning streak to seven games with the win, while Manhattanville (9-4-1), which was gunning for its third holiday championship in the last four years (2009-10 at Assumption and 2010-11 at Norwich), settles for the runner-up spot.

Berto was the key player of the game for Babson, scoring his team's first goal and then netting the game-winning tally late in the second period. Freshman Mike Vollmin also scored for the Beavers, while Manhattanville received goals from sophomore Rich Meyer (Port Monmouth, N.J./Boston Bulldogs (AJHL)) and senior assistant captain Scott Hudson (St. Albert, Alta./Sherwood Park Crusaders (AJHL)) in a losing effort.

Hudson, Meyer and Berto all earned spots on the All-Tournament team, as did Manhattanville junior Luc Van Natter (Fort Erie, Ont./Aurora Tigers (OPJHL)), Ben Kravitz and goaltender Jamie Murray of Babson, and Wentworth's Shaun Jameson.

It did not take the Valiants long to get on the board, as Meyer continued his productive weekend with his second goal in as many games just 85 seconds in. Freshman Matt Coleman (Brentwood, N.Y./Springfield Pics (EJHL)) cycled the puck behind the net to Van Natter, who eluded a check and passed out into the high slot for a one-timer from Meyer that beat Murray.

But Babson came back to tie the score at the midway point of the frame, capitalizing on its first power-play chance of the afternoon. Berto stood in front of the Valiant cage and made a nice redirection of a shot from Kravitz, beating Valiant sophomore Brian Fleming (Saint John, N.B./Northern Cyclones (AJHL)) for the score at the 9:51 mark.

At the end of the opening frame, the Valiants had a 13-7 edge in shots.

Just as the Valiants did in the first period, the Beavers wasted no time taking their first lead of the game on the opening shift of the second stanza, as Vollmin drove home a pass from behind the net by sophomore Mike Driscoll. But Manhattanville responded quickly at the 2:08 mark, when Hudson took a feed from Meyer and scored from a nearly impossible angle along the goal line to give him a team-leading seven goals on the year.

Both teams had multiple great chances to unknot the score, including a beautiful post-to-post save by Fleming on Vollmin that saw the goal light go on but the puck not go in. The Beavers finally got that third goal later in the frame, however, when Berto notched his second of the night by backhanding home the rebound of a Ryan Heavey attempt with 4:37 remaining in the frame.

As a result of the two goals and a 13-10 edge in shots, Babson went into the third period with that one-goal lead.

For the second straight game, neither Manhattanville nor their opponent could find the back of the net in the third period. However, this time that proved to be a negative for the Valiants as they dropped their fourth game of the year to round out 2012.

The Valiants finished the afternoon with a 34-30 edge in shots, but Murray turned aside 32 of those attempts to earn the win. Fleming suffered the loss despite making 27 saves.

The Valiant special teams also did not have the best of nights, as the squad went 0 for 5 with the man advantage and also ceded a power-play tally in three man-down situations.

Manhatttanville will take nearly two weeks off before commencing the 2013 portion of its schedule on January 12, when the Valiants continue their five-game road trip at SUNY Cortland beginning at 7 p.m.

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