RYE, N.Y. — Manhattanville continued its recent hot streak in its return to ECAC West Conference play on Friday night, as netminder Pierre-Olivier Lemieux made 32 saves to extend the Valiants’ unbeaten streak to seven games with an impressive 3-0 victory against seventh-ranked Neumann at Playland Ice Casino.
It was a great team effort for the Valiants, who improved to 3-1-1 against nationally ranked teams this season and moved to 5-0-2 in the last seven games, the second-longest active unbeaten streak in Division III.
The leader of the pack for the home team was once again Lemieux, who extended his own program record with his 10th career shutout and moved into a tie for the D-III lead with his third clean sheet of the year — all coming in the last six games. The senior netminder turned aside all 32 shots faced, including 26 in the final two periods alone, to improve to 9-3-3 on the year.
After spotting Neumann a two-goal lead the last time the teams played in November, this time it was Manhattanville on the attack early on Friday night, scoring twice in less than four minutes in the first frame. Marcus von Sydow opened the scoring at 6:13 of the first with his fifth goal of the year, dropping off a pass then driving to the net to tip it past Neumann keeper Matt Tendler. Brendan Turner and Louie Balzano picked up assists on the tally.
|TOP 25 SCORES|
|St. Scholastica 3, No. 4 UW-River Falls 2|
|No. 5 Castleton 4, Southern Maine 1|
|Manhattanville 3, No. 7 Neumann 0|
|No. 11 Elmira 2, Utica 2 (OT)|
|No. 14 Milwaukee Engineering 3, Lawrence 2|
Then at the 9:41 mark, Mark Rivera continued his excellent campaign with his sixth goal of the season, making it a two-goal advantage with a beautiful backhanded tally. Turner and Adam Young assisted Rivera on the goal, which gives him a conference-best 11 points by a freshman so far this year.
After the first 20 minutes, the home team had an 11-6 edge in shots, but more importantly held a two-goal lead on the scoreboard heading into the second.
Neumann came out desperate to get back in the game in the middle frame, posting a 14-7 edge in shots but still was unable to find the net. The major momentum swing of the game came late in the period, when Neumann had a power-play goal called off due to goaltender interference and a few minutes later Luc Van Natter scored a breakaway tally to give the Valiants a 3-0 edge with 4:06 left. Joel Rosenberg recorded his first career point on the goal, as his outlet pass sprung Van Natter, who deked to the backhand before lifting the puck over a prone Tendler.
Manhattanville remained on point defensively for the remainder of the contest, killing off seven man-down chances in the final two periods alone to preserve the shutout. For the game, the Valiant penalty kill went a perfect 8 for 8 against the Knights, including a five-on-three situation late in the contest.