Labonte ’21 nets first collegiate goal in men’s hockey setback

Nick Ursitti ’20 matched a career-high three points against Wesleyan (Josh McKee photo)
Nick Ursitti ’20 matched a career-high three points against Wesleyan (Josh McKee photo)

Josh Labonte '21 scored the first goal of his Hamilton College men's hockey career in the Continentals' 5-3 setback against Wesleyan University on Sunday afternoon at Russell Sage Rink.

Wesleyan (3-2-1, 0-2-1 NESCAC) recorded the first three goals, scoring at 14:47 and 15:56 of the first period and again 58 seconds into the second period. The Cardinals scored their fourth goal at 8:02 of the second and added an empty-net goal at the 16:49 mark of the third period.

The Continentals are ranked fifth in the D3hockey.com poll and eighth in the USCHO.com Division III poll.

Nick Ursitti '20 matched a career high with three points on two goals and one assist. Ursitti scored the first goal for Hamilton with 1:01 left in the second period to cut Wesleyan's lead to 3-1 at the second intermission. Labonte delivered a slap shot from the point and Ursitti backhanded the rebound that went wide left of the net. Sean Allen '21 collected the loose puck in the corner and passed back to Ursitti in the slot for a one-timer past the Wesleyan goaltender.

Midway through the third period with the Continentals trailing 4-1, Allen fired a wrist shot from the left point that Ursitti tipped into the back of the net at 10:26. Allen finished the game with his first two collegiate assists.

Hamilton (3-2-1, 0-2-1) added the final goal with 1:02 remaining. Labonte started the attack after denying the Wesleyan breakout along the boards. Ursitti gathered the puck and passed to T.J. Daigler '18 at the left faceoff circle. Daigler drew in the Cardinal defender before passing to Labonte at the far post for a redirect into the goal.

Evan Buitenhuis '18 denied 27 shots for Hamilton while Tim Sestak made 45 saves for Wesleyan.

The Continentals host Middlebury College on Friday, Dec. 8 at 7 p.m. and Williams College on Saturday at 5 p.m. in NESCAC action at Russell Sage Rink.