The Hobart College hockey team advanced to the semifinal round of the New England Hockey Conference tournament with a 4-2 victory over Skidmore at The Cooler this evening. With the win, the Statesmen are now 19-4-3 overall this season.
The Thoroughbreds, who were the No. 6 seed in the tournament, finish the season with an 11-11-4 overall record. Hobart, the No. 3 seed, will host New England College in the semifinals next Saturday, Feb. 29, at 7 p.m. The Pilgrims defeated UMass Boston 4-1 in their quarterfinal tonight. No. 1 Norwich will host No. 7 Southern Maine in the other semifinal game on Feb. 29.
Owen Campbell led the way for Skidmore, scoring both goals. Brandon Kasel started in goal and made a season-high 45 saves.
Hobart controlled the pace of the game in the first period, outshooting the Thoroughbreds 15-5. After four whistles in the first 90 seconds, the pace picked up and nearly 10 minutes ticked off the clock before the next whistle. During that stretch of play, sophomore Aaron Maguyon fired a shot from the slot off of the cross bar and sophomore Zach Tyson ripped a shot from the left faceoff circle off of the right goal post.
At the opposite end of the rink Callahan Johnson wristed a shot from the slot that was turned aside by Lascelle. Thirty seconds later, Campbell opened the scoring with his seventh goal of the season. He collected a pass from Tim Allen and flipped a shot past Lascelle. Matthew Monk was also credited with an assist on the goal.
Hobart continued to apply pressure in the offensive end to close out the opening period, but Kasel stopped all 15 shots he faced in the first 20 minutes.
Six minutes into the second period, the Statesmen tied the game on Will Harrison’s seventh goal of the season. Juniors Mark Benemerito and Andrew Longo were credited with assists on the goal. Longo dug the puck out of the left corner and left a drop pass for Benemerito. Benemerito fed a cross-ice pass to Harrison, who one-timed a shot past Kasel. Sophomore Chase Bell gave Hobart a 2-1 lead on a power-play goal at the 12:52 mark of the second period. His first goal of the season was assisted by senior Julien Denicourt and Sternbach.
Less than a minute later, Skidmore drew level on Campbell’s second goal of the game. He redirected a Reid Russell shot from the point past Lascelle for his eighth goal of the season. William Brochu also notched an assist on the power-play goal.
Junior Travis Schneider scored what would prove to be the game-winning goal with just under five minutes remaining in regulation. Junior Mike Faulkner and sophomore Blake Coffey were credited with assists on the power-play goal. Schneider one-timed a shot from the right faceoff circle over Kasel’s left leg pad for his ninth goal of the season. Sternbach iced the game with an empty-net goal with five seconds remaining in the game. He poked a puck away from a Thoroughbred at his own blue line, raced the length of the ice and shoveled a backhanded shot into the empty goal. The unassisted tally was Sternbach’s 11th goal of the season.
Hobart finished the game with a 49-21 edge in shots on goal. The Statesmen were 2-for-4 on the power play and the Thoroughbreds were 1-for-2 with the man advantage.