Racklin's OT Game-Winner Slays Red Dragons in Valiants' 3-2 Win

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CORTLAND, N.Y. – Sophomore Anton Racklin (Gothenburg, Sweden/Fairbanks Ice Dogs (NAHL)) scored the game-winning goal 1:54 into overtime as the #12/14 Manhattanville men's hockey team pulled out a gritty 3-2 (OT) victory over SUNY Cortland in a non-conference matchup on Saturday night at Alumni Arena.

Racklin, who had an apparent goal disallowed in the second period, made sure his team's only shot of overtime counted on the scoreboard this time, as he took a feed from junior Louie Balzano (Staten Island, N.Y./New York Apple Core (EJHL)) at the top of the left circle and fired a rocket over the shoulder of Cortland netminder Lyle Rocker. Freshman Paul Allan Bamberg (Lulea, Sweden/Lulea HF J20 (SWE)) earned his first collegiate point with an assist on Racklin's fourth goal of the year.

Sophomore Mark Rivera (Belmar, N.J./Springfield Pics (EJHL)) and senior co-captain Ron Smith (North Delta, B.C./Nanaimo Clippers (BCHL)) also scored for Manhattanville (10-4-1) in the win, while Adam Bevilacqua and A.J. Moyer found the net for SUNY Cortland (5-9-2).

The overtime heroics would not have been possible, however, without some exceptional play by the Valiant penalty kill and a great individual effort by Smith. Manhattanville was in the process of killing off a five-minute major when Smith forced a turnover in the offensive zone, turned around and fired a shot past Rocker to even the score and swing momentum to the visitors' side.

The Valiant penalty kill, which entered the night sixth in the nation, killed off all six opportunities they were faced with on the night and also scored a shorthanded tally to help earn the win. The power-play unit was successful on one of its six chances, but ceded a shorthanded tally as well.

The Valiants struck first on the power play 5:13 into the opening frame, when Rivera took the puck from the near corner and skated out into the slot to beat Rocker top corner. Senior assistant captain Scott Hudson (St. Albert, Alta./Sherwood Park Crusaders (AJHL)) and classmate Brendan Turner (Tisdale, Sask./Lloydminster Bobcats (AJHL)) recorded the assists on Rivera's fifth of the year.

Manhattanville's second power-play chance did not turn out so well, however, as it was Cortland that got on the board to even the score. Michael Lysyj fed Bevilacqua for a shorthanded breakaway chance, and he deposited his fourth man-down goal of the year past sophomore Brian Fleming (Saint John, N.B./Northern Cyclones (AJHL)) with 6:34 to go in the frame.

Both teams had power play chances later in the frame but could not score, with the best chance coming on a breakaway chance by Greg Ryan that was turned aside by Fleming. The shots were nine apiece after 20 minutes.

The second period featured only one disputed tally, coming off the stick of Moyer. At 5:26 of the frame, the Valiant net appeared to come loose before Moyer stuffed a puck home at the right side of the goal, and yet the goal stood to give the Red Dragons their first lead of the night.

Manhattanville looked to have the game tied when Racklin fired a slap shot from the high slot that seemed to hit off the back of the net and come out, and yet the referees ruled play would continue and the Red Dragon lead remained. Nevertheless, the Valiants had a golden chance soon after with over 90 seconds of 5-on-3 action, yet they could not convert and remained down by a goal headed into the third frame.

Fleming made 27 saves to improve to 8-4-1 on the year, while Rocker allowed three goals on 28 shots to suffer the loss.

Manhattanville will conclude its non-conference slate on Tuesday night, when the Valiants travel to Boston to face off with Suffolk beginning at 6:25 p.m.

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