Score: Elmira College 4, Manhattanville College 4 (OT)
Record: Elmira (8-8-2, 3-4-2 UCHC), Manhattanville (8-6-4, 5-3-1 UCHC)
Location: Playland Ice Casino -- Rye, N.Y.
RYE, N.Y. -- The Elmira College men's ice hockey team battled back from a two-goal deficit to draw to pick up a crucial point in the United Collegiate Hockey Conference (UCHC) standings with a 4-4 overtime draw against Manhattanville College on Friday night at the Playland Ice Casino.
After scoring three times on 23 shots in the second period alone, the Valiants took a 4-2 lead over the Soaring Eagles heading into the final 20 minutes of regulation. However, as Elmira's top line has done all season, Nick Ford '20 and Matthew Cuce '20 each deposited one goal into the back of the net in the third period to force overtime.
Ford had a hand in all four goals against Manhattanville, as he finished the contest with a game-highs for points (4) and assists (3). His tally at the 5:06 mark of the third stanza marks his team-leading 16th goal of the season, just one shy of the most in all of Division III. The New Lenox, Illinois, native deflected the puck past Valiants goalie Tyler Feaver after it was backhanded towards the net by defenseman Spencer Carter '20.
With 8:13 remaining in regulation, Ford earned the primary assist on Cuce's game-tying goal. His centering pass allowed Cuce to race over the blue line with a full head of steam, and the second-year forward from Fort Myers, Florida, was able to collect his own rebound off of his initial shot. His top-shelf tally was his second of the night, as Cuce also netted Elmira's first goal of the night early in the second period with assists from Ford and linemate Connor Powell '20.
Elmira goalie Jake Sabourin '21 saved the final five shots on goal, three of which came in overtime, to preserve the tie. On the night, Sabourin made 40 saves, the second-highest single-game total of his freshman season. He withstood a violent second-period attack by Manhattanville, making half of his saves in the middle frame. Fellow freshman Ryan Blais '21 also turned in a solid performance for the Purple and Gold, as the first-year blueliner netted his first career goal on the power play, as part of a two-point night (1g-1a).
In addition to Blais, Cuce, and Ford, Powell also recorded a multi-point outings with two helpers, bringing his season's assist total to a UCHC-leading 19 thus far in his sophomore campaign.
In Their Own Words…
Head Coach Aaron Saul on Elmira's third-period comeback to secure a point in the UCHC standings…
"It was important for us to get off to a strong start with the second half of the conference schedule remaining. To battle back from two down in the third on the road versus a good opponent is hard, but we showed some character in doing so."
Coach Saul when asked about another standout performance from Nick Ford…
"He was great again tonight. Nick and his linemates showed us the way again, and we are going to need them if we want to make a run."
News and Notes
- Elmira's overall record remains at .500 with eight wins, eight losses, and two ties.
- Against UCHC competition, EC is 3-4-2 so far in 2017-18.
- Although EC was outshot, 44-to-25, Sabourin turned in his second game of the season with 40-plus saves.
- Sabourin is 2-0-1 in his last three starts.
- Fellow rookie Blais netted the first goal of his career on a second-period power-play.
- Cuce scored multiple goals for the third time this season.
- Powell logged the ninth multi-point game of his sophomore season with two assists.
- Ford posted a career-high three assists as part of a four-point night, which included his team-leading 16th goal of the year.
- Ford (16g-14a-30p) is the first Soaring Eagle to reach the 30-point plateau in 2017-18, joining UMass Boston's Colin Larkin (16g-15a-31p) as one of just two players in the country with at least 30 points.
Elmira will continue its weekend road trip with a matchup against UCHC foe, King's College (Pa.) on Saturday, January 20, at 7:00 p.m. in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.