Men's hockey scores three goals in first period, defeats Colby

Photo by Josh McKee
Photo by Josh McKee

The Hamilton College Continentals scored three times in the first period and went on to defeat the Colby College Mules 4-2 in a NESCAC game at Colby's Alfond Rink on Saturday afternoon.

Hamilton (4-6-2, 3-4-0 NESCAC) recorded its first road win this season as Bennett Morrison '20 and Joey Moore '22 netted a goal and an assist apiece. Justin Felhaber '21 won 15 of 19 faceoffs and Anthony Tirabassi '20 made 20 saves including the last 17 shots he faced.

Hamilton opened the scoring at 4:02 in the first period. Sterling Bray '20 and Moore rushed up the ice with the puck -- Bray down the center and Moore on the right wing. Moore fired a high shot that drew Andrew Tucci (33 saves) out of the net to block the shot with his shoulder. Morrison was able to collect the puck on the rebound and fire it into the net before Tucci could recover for his first goal and sixth point this season.

The Continentals doubled their lead at 7:24 of the first on a breakaway by Jordi Jefferson '22. The Mules lost control of a bouncing puck in the neutral zone and Tommy Tanner '23 was able to quickly one-touch a pass to Jefferson as he rushed up the right side with no defense ahead of him. As Jefferson rushed into the zone, he got off a quick wrist shot from the right faceoff circle that sailed over Tucci's shoulder and knocked the water bottle on top of the net into the air. Jefferson is tied for the team lead with four goals and six points.

J.P. Schuhlen scored on a rebound with just under five minutes left in the first and cut the Mules' deficit in half. Spencer Hewson took control of the puck in the corner and passed it to Sean Holly, who was ready for a one-timer. Tirabassi blocked that shot with his chest, but was unable to cover the puck before Schuhlen got to it and knocked it in.

Colby (5-6-0, 2-5) tied the score with 1:13 left in the period. Schuhlen took control of the puck after he stopped the Continentals' attempt to clear the zone. He dumped it into the left corner where Logan Clarke controlled it and waited for a passing lane to open. Clarke eventually sent a pass across the ice to Mark Leprine at the right circle and he dropped to one knee as he slapped the puck through traffic into the back of the net.

Hamilton regained the lead mere seconds later on their second power play. Holly had been sent to the box for slashing Felhaber on a one-on-one scoring opportunity with 1:01 remaining. The Continentals took advantage 12 seconds into the penalty when Moore received a pass from Morrison at the blue line and skated with it before he fired a slap shot through a crowd of players with 49 seconds to go.

Hamilton cemented their lead 5:01 into the second period. The Continentals caught Colby on a line change and were able to pass the puck all the way from their defensive zone to the forwards on the rush with no opposition. Tanner carried the puck to the left-side corner before he centered a pass to Nick Ursitti '20. Ursitti quickly snapped a shot up into the air and high into the back of the net for his fourth goal and sixth point this season.

Moore's power-play goal stood as the only one of the day despite multiple opportunities for both teams. A total of 10 penalties were called -- four on Hamilton and six on Colby -- and the teams skated 4-on-3 for 20 seconds of the second period following matching penalties after a scrum and a slashing call on the Continentals.

The Mules pulled Tucci for an extra skater with 1:29 left in the third period and managed to put two shots on goal in the final minute, but Tirabassi turned away both of them and sealed the victory. Hamilton ended the game with a 37-22 shot advantage.

The Continentals play again on Friday, Jan. 17 at 7 p.m. against Tufts University Jumbos in NESCAC action at Valley Forum in Malden, Mass.

-- Recap by Amanda Ghiloni '22