No. 11/13 men’s hockey blanks Skidmore at Clinton Arena

T.J. Daigler ’18 scored his first two goals of the season on Sunday evening (Josh McKee photo).
T.J. Daigler ’18 scored his first two goals of the season on Sunday evening (Josh McKee photo).

Behind a 31-save effort by Anthony Tirabassi '20, the nationally ranked No. 11/13 Hamilton College men's hockey team shut out Skidmore College 4-0 on Sunday evening at Clinton Arena.

T.J. Daigler '18 notched his first goal of the season 5:14 into the first period to give the Continentals (7-2-1 overall) an early one-goal advantage. Sam Jones '20 broke the puck out of the Hamilton defensive zone and passed to Nick Ursitti '20 at the red line. Ursitti skated deep into the Skidmore end and found Daigler in the slot. Daigler collected the puck and fired a snap shot over the right shoulder of Skidmore goalie Brian Kowalski (18 saves).

Ursitti and Rory Gagnon '19 added insurance goals for Hamilton before the end of the opening period. Daigler denied a breakout attempt by Skidmore as Ursitti gathered the loose puck at the blue line. Kowalski stopped Ursitti's initial shot but Ursitti one-timed the rebound into the upper left corner of the goal at the 15:45 mark. A Thoroughbred player entered the penalty box immediately following the goal to give Hamilton a one-man advantage, and Gagnon converted his ninth goal of the season 31 seconds later with the help of Neil Conway '18 and Josh Labonte '21.

Daigler recorded his second goal 11:35 into the second period. Ursitti found the loose puck at the top of the Skidmore zone and knocked the puck off the boards to Brandon Willett '18. Willett quickly passed to Daigler in the slot for a wrist shot past Kowalski.

Skidmore's Brandon Kasel replaced Kowalski following Hamilton's fourth goal. Kasel made 23 saves and kept the Continentals scoreless for the remainder of the game.

Tirabassi protected his shutout when Max Hegge won a battle at Skidmore's blue line to earn a breakaway with 12 seconds remaining in the third period. Hegge attempted to deke past the Hamilton netminder, but Tirabassi made a toe save to ensure his second shutout of the season. Tirabassi -- a sophomore transfer from the College of the Holy Cross -- has given up just one goal through 180 minutes this season for a 0.33 goals against average and .989 save percentage. Hamilton won all three non-conference meetings against the Thoroughbreds (1-11-1) this season. 

The Continentals (2-2-1 NESCAC) return to conference action next weekend as they travel to No. 15/RV Colby College (6-2, 5-1 NESCAC) on Friday, Jan. 5 and Bowdoin College (4-6, 2-4 NESCAC) on Jan. 6.