Men’s hockey fires five goals past Wesleyan in NESCAC victory

Fred Allaire ’23 celebrates his first collegiate goal (Josh McKee photo)
Fred Allaire ’23 celebrates his first collegiate goal (Josh McKee photo)

Fred Allaire '23 and Nick Hawkins '23 scored the first goals of their Hamilton College careers and the Continentals posted a 5-4 NESCAC win against the Wesleyan University Cardinals at Hamilton's Russell Sage Rink on Friday night.

Hamilton (2-1-0, 1-1 NESCAC) fell behind 2-1 after the first period before igniting with three goals in the second to take a 4-3 lead into the third period.

Chad Varney '22 scored his first of the season and the eventual game-winner 2:07 into the third stanza. Allaire controlled the puck behind the net and passed out to Josh Labonte '21 on the right point. Labonte deked around the defender and rocketed a cross-ice pass to Varney at the opposite faceoff dot for a one-timer into the open net, giving Hamilton a 5-3 edge.

Wesleyan (1-2-0, 1-2) took the early lead with its first power-play opportunity of the contest. Walker Harris passed out to Matt Zandi in the high slot. Zandi's shot was denied by Anthony Tirabassi '20 (21 saves) but Tyler Kobryn flipped the rebound over Tirabassi's left shoulder and into the net at 3:37.

Allaire knotted the game 1-1 with help from fellow classmate Sean Thomson '23 at 9:18. Allaire won the faceoff to the right of Tim Sestak (31 saves), dropping the puck back to Thomson. Thomson snapped a shot on goal where Allaire deflected the puck into the opposite corner of the cage.

Walker Harris gave the Cardinals their second lead of the game with 6:50 remaining in the first.  Tirabassi denied back-to-back shots by Tyler Levine and Harris before Harris poked his own rebound across the goal line.

All four goals in the second period were scored less than four minutes apart. Hamilton started the scoring frenzy with unanswered goals by Rutigliano at 7:19 and Nick Ursitti '20 at 9:19, giving the Continentals their first lead of the game at 3-2. Just 10 seconds later, Wesleyan's Tyler Wyatt tied the game 3-3 before Hawkins gave Hamilton back the lead at 10:49.

Stephen O'Connor got the Cardinals back to within one goal at 6:19 in the third. Sestak headed to the bench with 1:41 left in the game to give Wesleyan an extra attacker. The Cardinals fired off three shots in the final seconds that were sequentially blocked by Sam Jones '20, Sterling Bray '20 and again by Jones.

Hamilton hosts nationally ranked No. 8 Trinity College for another NESCAC game on Saturday, Nov. 23 at 3 p.m.