The No. 12/13 Hobart College ice hockey team notched its eighth straight victory, defeating host Elmira 2-1 in an ECAC West game played tonight in the Soaring Eagles’ Murray Athletic Center. The Statesmen completed the regular season with a 19-6-0 overall record and a 12-3-0 mark in conference play.
The Soaring Eagles finished the regular season with an 11-11-3 overall record and a 5-7-2 mark in the ECAC West. The Statesmen are the top seed in the ECAC West Tournament and have a first round bye. Hobart will host a tournament semifinal game at The Cooler on Saturday, Feb. 28, at 7:30 p.m. The Statesmen will face the lowest remaining seed. No. 3 Nazareth will host No. 6 Manhattanville and No. 4 Elmira will host No. 5 Utica in the first round games on Wednesday, Feb. 25. No. 2 seeded Neumann also earns a first round bye, and will host the highest remaining seed in the other semifinal game.
The third period featured all of the scoring in tonight’s game. The Statesmen outshot the Soaring Eagles 13-2 in the first period and held a 12-10 edge in the second, but were unable to get a goal. It was Elmira that struck first at 2:22 into the final period. Alexander Taulien scored on a power play off passes from Eric David and Greg Whittle. Just 1:36 later, sophomore Bobby Sokol tied the game at 1-1 for Hobart. It was his fifth goal of the season. First-year Jordan Haskell and junior Bo Webster were credited with assists. At 8:14 in, junior Ben Gamache capitalized on a power play for the Statesmen for his seventh goal of the year. Senior Ryan Michel set up the goal, which proved to be the game winner.
First-year Frank Oplinger played all 60 minutes in goal for the Statesmen and finished with 27 saves. Ryan deMelo played 58:51 between the pipes for Elmira and made 34 stops. Hobart finished with a 36-28 advantage in shots. The Statesmen were 1-for-9 on the power play, while the Soaring Eagles finished 1-for-7.