The third-seeded Hobart College hockey team jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period and then cruised to a 6-2 victory over No. 2 seed Manhattanville in an ECAC West semifinal game played tonight at the Valiants’ Playland Ice Casino. Six different Statesmen scored in the win.
Hobart (15-10-1, 5-6-1) advances to the ECAC West championship game for the first time since 2009. The Statesmen will host No. 5 seed Neumann who upset top-seeded Elmira 5-4 in overtime in the other semifinal game tonight. The championship game will be played at The Cooler on Saturday, March 3 at 7 p.m.
Sophomore Tommy Fiorentino and juniors Harry Radovich and Mike White each recorded a goal and an assist. First-year Ian Coleman chipped in two assists. Junior Nick Broadwaterplayed all 60 minutes in goal for the Statesmen and finished with 26 saves.
Manhattanville finished the season with a 13-9-3 overall record and a 6-6-0 mark in conference play. The Statesmen defeated the Valiants all four times they have played them this season. It’s the third game in a row that Hobart has won over Manhattanville, as the Statesmen defeated the Valiants, 3-0 and 10-3 last weekend.
Radovich put Hobart up 1-0 just 1:39 into the game. Junior David Stevens and senior Greg Ciciola earned the assists. At 5:23, first-year Tommaso Traversa made it 2-0 after passes from Fiorentino and Coleman. It was Traversa’s 10th goal this winter.
With 24 seconds left in the second period, White sent home a rebound to stretch the Statesmen lead to 3-0. First-years Peter Quigley and Coleman set up the play. Hobart continued to pile it on in the third period. Just 3:01 in junior Brad Richard found the back of the net after a pass from White to make it 4-0. It was Richard’s 11th goal this season.
At 5:15 in the third, Manhattanville was able to break through. Evan Michalchuk capitalized on a power play. Luc Van Natter and Dillon O’Hara were credited with the assists.
Fiorentino logged his seventh goal of the season at 10:53. Traversa and Radovich earned the assists. With 1:42 left sophomore Tom Rush recorded his second goal of the season to give Hobart a 6-1 advantage.
With just seven seconds remaining and after Manhattanville had pulled its goalie for the extra skater, Mark Riveria scored on a Valiant power-play for the final. Scott Hudson and Brendan Turner registered the assists.
The Statesmen enjoyed a 35-28 advantage in shots. Hobart went 0-for-5 on the power-play, and the Valiants were 2-for-5. Pierre-Oliver Leimieux played 59:21 in net for Manhattanville and turned aside 29 shots.