March 1, 2009

Courtesy of Hobart

RYE, N.Y. – Fifth-ranked Hobart College scored three unanswered goals in the final two periods to earn a 3-1 victory over #7 Manhattanville College in the semifinal round of the ECAC Men’s West Conference Tournament on Saturday night at Playland Ice Casino.


Third-seeded Hobart (19-5-2, 9-4-2 ECAC West) advances to the ECAC West Championship game, where the Statesmen will take on fourth-seeded Neumann College, 2-1 winners over top-seeded Elmira College on Saturday night. Manhattanville (16-4-5, 8-3-4 ECAC West) will await official word on whether the Valiants advance to the NCAA Tournament after the selections are made on March 8.


Manhattanville struck first on their first power-play chance of the night, taking a 1-0 lead 4:49 into the game on a strike by senior assistant captain Derek Lynden (Pickering, Ontario). After junior Danny Genovese (New York, N.Y.) took a shot from the point, sophomore Mickey Lang (Hillsdale, N.J.) corralled the rebound on the left dasher and skated toward the net before feeding a nice cross-ice pass to Lynden at the back door for the easy put away.


The Valiants went into the first intermission with that 1-0 lead after outshooting the Statesmen by a 12-7 margin in the first 20 minutes of play.


Hobart came back strong in the second period, however, posting a 15-9 edge in shots on goal and scoring the only two goals of the frame to take a 2-1 lead. The Statesmen knotted the score 5:12 into the period as junior Gregory Alberti deftly redirected a shot from the point by classmate Dan Miller over the shoulder of sophomore goaltender Sergiy Sorokolat (Kharkiv, Ukraine).


The visitors took the lead with 6:05 left in the middle frame, as a long pass from the defensive zone by sophomore Thomas Capalbo sprung classmate Matthew Wallace for a rush up the ice. The forward managed to elude the Valiant defensemen and somehow found a way to stuff the puck between the pads of Sorokolat and just over the goal line for his seventh tally of the year.


Manhattanville increased the pressure in the third period, holding a 9-4 shot advantage, but could not beat Hobart senior Keith Longo. Hobart junior Nick DeCroo posted a big insurance goal for the visitors with 11:28 left in the third period while the Statesmen held a 4-on-3 advantage.


Longo finished the night with 29 saves on 30 shots to improve to 16-5-2 on the season, while Sorokolat turned aside 23-of-26 attempts for Manhattanville to fall to 10-3-4.


After scoring on their first power-play chance of the evening, Manhattanville went 0-for-5 the rest of the way to finish at 1-for-6 on the night with the man advantage. Hobart also managed one power-play goal on five chances.