The top-seeded Hobart College hockey team earned its second straight ECAC West tournament title with a 5-0 victory over No. 3 seed Utica in the championship game played on Saturday in front of a soldout crowd at The Cooler. It’s the Statesmen’s fourth ECAC West tournament title in program history.
Hobart is now 21-4-2 this season, tying the program record for wins in a season. The Statesmen posted 21 wins last year and in the 2008-09 season. Saturday’s win was also the 250th career victory for Hobart Head Coach Mark Taylor. The
Senior Brad Robbins led Hobart with two goals in the win. He earned a spot on the all-tournament team and was selected the Most Outstanding Player. Junior Bobby Sokol added a goal and an assist. Senior goalie Lino Chimienti stopped all 30 shots he faced to secure the shutout. It was his first shutout of the season and third of his career, which ties him for fourth on the Statesmen’s career shutout list. Sokol and Chimienti as well as first-year Tanner Shaw joined Robbins on the all-tournament team.
Hobart took a 3-0 lead in the first scoring three goals in the final 2:16. Robbins scored first. He capitalized on a faceoff win by classmate Ben Gamache to score from right out in front. Robbins struck again 21 seconds later. This time senior Mac Olson set up the play. He fired a shot on goal, collected his own rebound and sent a no-look, behind the back pass from behind the goal to find Robbins. Robbins leads Hobart with 19 goals this season.
With 1:26 left in the period, junior Bobby Sokol found the back of the net on a shot through traffic from right out in front. Junior Nick Bingaman was credited with the assist.
Sophomore Vincent Russo extended Hobart’s lead to 4-0 with his fourth goal of the season 8:39 into the second period. Sokol set up the play. Sophomore Andrew Silard notched his fifth goal of the year at 12:06 into the third after passes from first-year Cam Shaheen and senior Jon Neal.
The Statesmen finished with a 37-30 advantage in sthots. Hobart went 0-for-2 on the power play, and killed all three of Utica’s power-play attempts.
The Statesmen, the No. 1 team in the East Region and No. 5 team in both the USCHO.com poll and the D3hockey.com poll, have been selected as one of 11 teams competing in the NCAA Division III Men’s Ice Hockey Championship. The Statesmen received a first round bye and will host a quarterfinal game on Saturday, March 19.