Pine Valley, NY – The Elmira College Men's Ice Hockey team used great effort and solid defense to battle its way to a 5-3 win Friday night against visiting Hobart College at the Murray Athletics Center. The win improves the Soaring Eagles to 3-2-0 overall and keeps them undefeated in conference play at 4-0-0. The Statesmen fall to 2-4-0 overall and 1-3-0 in the ECAC West.
Elmira got out to a quick start 4:14 in when Colin Hoey '14 (Doylestown, PA -- New England Huskies) gathered a loose puck behind the net, making a nice move out in front on the right side. The Hobart defense had a mental breakdown leaving Hoey as he wristed a shot beating Statesmen goaltender Nick Broadwater's glove side just inside the right pipe. Jesper Strale '14 (Uppsala, Sweden -- Springfield Pic's) and Kevin Willer '12 (Toronto, ONT -- North York Rangers) were credited with assists on the score.
EC failed to clear the puck from its defensive end and Tommaso Traversa fired a shot saved by Soaring Eagle netminder Ryan deMelo '15 (Brampton, ONT -- North York Rangers). The rebound went right to Terrence O'Neill who fired it into the open right side of the goal, tying the game at one. With eight seconds left in the first Hoey gave Strale a lead pass, as he took the puck two-on-two into the zone and snapped a wrist shot past Broadwater's glove side once again, giving the Purple and Gold a 2-1 advantage after one.
EC carried its momentum into the second period when Strale scored again just over two minutes in as Broadwater came out to challenge him. Strale slid around him scoring into the open net for his second marker of the game with Wes Consorti '12 (Brantford, ONT -- Niagara) tallying the helper on the play.
Just over 14 minutes into the second stanza Michael Kirby '12 (Delta, BC -- Melford Mustangs) fed Eric David '15 (Dorval, QUE -- Pembroke Lumber Kings) who beat the Statesmen netminder five-hole to create a three-goal deficit at 4-1. Hobart answered back at the 16:51 mark when Traversa tallied his second point of the game as he scored out in front off the pass from Tommy Fiorentino and Bronson Kovacs. This brought the Statesmen within striking distance at 4-2. Elmira used solid defense to kill an important Statesmen power play near the end of the second period and early into the third period.
In the early stages of the third Elmira increased its lead when Brendan Sanders '12 (Mississauga, ONT -- Vaughan Vipers) received a pass from Rick Acorn '12 (Barrie, ONT -- Couochiching Terriers) in the corner and beat him on the blocker side down low, opening the gap to three once again. Once again Hobart proved to be a pesky squad. Gregory Ciciola scored off passes from O'Neill and Frank Salituro, bringing the score within 5-3 in favor of the Soaring Eagles. The Purple and Gold used solid D to hold off a feisty Statesmen squad.
deMelo finished with 29 stops between the pipes for EC, while Broadwater finished with 30 saves for Hobart. Elmira returns to action a week from today when they square off in the Prime Link Tournament against host Middlebury at 7:00 p.m.