Gagnon ‘19 hat trick lifts men’s hockey to tourney championship

Rory Gagnon ’19 scored the 12th goal of his Hamilton career against SUNY Canton (Michael P. Doherty photo)
Rory Gagnon ’19 scored the 12th goal of his Hamilton career against SUNY Canton (Michael P. Doherty photo)

The nationally ranked Hamilton College men's hockey team defeated SUNY Canton 3-1 on Saturday evening at Skidmore College's Thanksgiving Invitational in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

The Continentals (2-0-1 overall) advance to the championship game on Sunday at 4 p.m. against the host Thoroughbreds (1-6-1). Skidmore defeated SUNY Fredonia 3-2 on Saturday to advance to the tournament final. Hamilton is ranked eighth in the D3hockey.com Top 15 poll and 10th by USCHO.com.

Anthony Tirabassi '20 made 14 saves for the Continentals in the first period alone compared to six stops for Austin Washkurak, but it was Rory Gagnon '19 who capitalized on a Hamilton power play with eight seconds remaining in the period. Gagnon skated around the Roos' net and tucked the puck inside the right post for his second goal of the season.

Canton's Joe Deveny tied the score 13:40 into the second period. Josh Sova skated around the Hamilton net into the right corner and passed to Deveny in the slot for a one-timer past Tirabassi. The score remained 1-1 going into the final period.

Gagnon notched the game-winner halfway through the third period with help from Sterling Bray '20. The Continentals took a shot from the point that went wide left of the net and the puck wrapped around the boards. Bray gathered the puck in the right corner and passed out to Gagnon who whipped a backhander over the glove of Washkurak.

The Roos gained a two-man advantage with two minutes left in the third after a Hamilton penalty and Washkurak went to the bench for the extra skater. Canton was only able to get one shot on Tirabassi before Gagnon stole the puck in the neutral zone and pushed a shot over the goal line with 12 seconds left for his 12th goal in a Hamilton uniform.

The Continentals finished the game with a 36-28 shot advantage.