Hobart College junior Brad Robbins scored 1:51 into overtime to secure a 1-0 win for the No. 15 Statesmen hockey team over visiting Manhattanville in an ECAC West game played tonight at The Cooler. First-year goaltender Frank Oplinger stopped all 26 shots he faced to earn his first collegiate shutout.
Oplinger improves to 10-2-0 in goal for Hobart in his rookie season. The shutout was the second of the season for Hobart, who blanked Salve Regina 7-0 on Jan. 16. With tonight’s win, the Statesmen avenged a 4-3 loss to the Valiants in Purchase, New York, back on Nov. 7, 2014. The teams will meet again tomorrow, Feb. 14, for another ECAC West contest in The Cooler at 4 p.m.
Hobart has now won six straight games and improves to 17-6-0 and 10-3-0 in the ECAC West. Manhattanville falls to 7-11-5, 2-9-2 in conference play. The Statesmen finished with a 38-26 advantage in shots, including an 11-6 edge in the third period. Hobart went 0-for-4 on the power play and killed off all six of Manhattanville’s power-play attempts.
After an evenly played first period where the Statesmen held a 12-11 edge in shots, Manhattanville’s Phil Dinner rang a shot off the post in the first minute of the second period. The Statesmen also came inches away from scoring, when senior Sean Rudy’s shot at the right post was stuffed by the pads of Valiant goalie Brian Fleming. Fleming played all 61: 51 and finished with 37 saves.
In the opening minutes of the third period, junior Mac Olson also clanged a shot off the post. The Statesmen killed off two Manhattanville power play attempts late in the third, and neither team was able to score in regulation. Hobart called a timeout 1:48 into the overtime period, and then Robbins netted the game winner three seconds later. His goal came off an assist from senior Robert Sovik. It was Robbins’ eighth goal of the season and fourth in the last three games.