Men’s hockey tallies six goals in home opener

Nick Ursitti ’20 scored two goals and added one assist (Josh McKee photo)
Nick Ursitti ’20 scored two goals and added one assist (Josh McKee photo)

The Hamilton College men's hockey team defeated non-conference opponent Stevenson University 6-0 on Sunday afternoon at Russell Sage Rink.

The Continentals (1-0-1) -- ranked ninth by D3hockey.com and 11th by USCHO.com – handed the Mustangs (4-1-2) their first loss of the season. This is Stevenson's second year on the ice after going 10-14-2 overall in the program's inaugural season last year.

Hamilton fired six early shots on goal before Stevenson earned the first power-play opportunity, but the Mustangs were only able to get one shot on goal. Just 33 seconds after the Hamilton penalty kill, Jonny Stimola '19 ripped a slap shot from the top of the right faceoff circle over the shoulder of Jacob Caffrey (41 saves) for the eventual game-winner at 6:58 of the first period.

The Continentals went on their first power play with 11:40 remaining in the opening period but were whistled for a penalty of their own just 17 seconds later to produce a four-on-four situation. The visitors then sent a second player to the box, giving Hamilton a four-on-three for 23 seconds. With play back to four-on-four, Neil Conway '18 earned his second assist of the day when he found Brandon Willett '18 to the right of the crease. Willett made a quick pass to Tyler Bruneteau '18 waiting at the back door for a one-timer into the net.

With one player still in the box for Stevenson, Hamilton added a third goal at the 11:00 mark as Rory Gagnon '19 deflected a blast by Stephen Cochrane '20 from the point after a pass across the blue line from Blayne Oliver '20. Hamilton entered the locker room with a 3-0 lead after the first period.

Stevenson was able to hold Hamilton scoreless for nearly the entire second period, but Nick Ursitti '20 added to the Continental lead with 15 seconds left. Following a turnover in the neutral zone, Ursitti used his speed to beat the defender and fired a wrist shot that went off the stick of Caffrey and flipped into the goal.

Ursitti and Willett each added a goal in the third period at 15:14 and 17:56, respectively. The duo finished the night with a combined three goals and three assists.    

The Continentals outshot the Mustangs 47-29 and won 46 of the 77 faceoffs. Anthony Tirabassi '20 made 29 saves to earn his first win between the pipes in a Hamilton uniform.

Up next is the Skidmore Thanksgiving Invitational in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. The Continentals will face SUNY Canton at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 25 at Saratoga City Rink.