D-III East Hockey Weekend Wrap-up – January 30, 2023 – College Hockey
Andrew Kurapov and Endicott had a strong weekend against Curry, including a 2-1 overtime victory Saturday at home (photo by Endicott Athletics)
There is no doubt that things are heating up in all the conferences in the east. Plattsburgh now sits atop the SUNYAC while Trinity has taken over the top spot in the NESCAC. Utica, Endicott and Plymouth State continue undefeated in conference play, but the battles up and down the standings are even more contentious in the final weeks of the regular season heading into the conference tournament. Here is the summary of action in the East last week:
Endicott and Curry played a critical home-and-home series for the battle atop the CCC standings. On Friday, the host Colonels took advantage of a Timmy Kent goal in the first period and Ben Beister’s shorthanded tally in the second period for a 2-1 lead entering the final 20 minutes of regulation. Andrew Kurapov tied the game with just 39 seconds left on the clock for a 2-2 tie. Overtime failed to decide a winner, but Kurapov scored the only goal in the shootout for the Gulls. Reid Cooper was outstanding in goal for Curry stopping 38 of 40 shots. On Saturday, the scene shifted to Endicott where the game was once again tight in the playoffs. Makem Demers gave the Colonels a 1-0 lead that stood until Jackson Sterrett tied the game with a power play goal midway through the third period. In overtime there was a winner, and it was Kurapov who scored another big goal for the Gulls in a 2-1 win.
Canton hosted Anna Maria for a two game series and took both games over the AmCats. Sam Martin got the Kangaroos off to a quick start on Friday with a power play goal and a shorthanded goal for an early 2-0 lead. AMC would tie the game in the second period before Brendan Morrow and Zac Sirota gave the Kangaroos some respite in the final period of a 4-2 victory. On Saturday, the Kangaroos had a 3-0 lead after two periods of action only to see the AmCats tie the game in the first eight minutes of play in the third period. Noah Robinson would score the game-winner just over a minute later in a 4-3 win for Canton – the team’s 10th win of the season.
Plymouth State got a big surprise by visiting Salem State on Thursday night when the Vikings took a 4-1 lead just over a minute into the second period. That’s when the Panther offense kicked things into high gear, scoring six unanswered goals en route to an 8-5 victory. On Saturday, things were a little tighter on the ice at home against Fitchburg State. Gene Bouthiette scored both Falcon goals as the visitors held a 2-1 lead after two periods of play. With just under five minutes left in regulation, Carson Lanceleve scored a power play goal to tie the game at 2-2. It took a while, but in overtime Niks Krollis gave PSU the 3-2 win with just three seconds left in the extra session to keep the Panthers undefeated in MASCAC play.
Six different hitters and three power play goals helped Assumption beat Franklin Pierce 6-3 on Friday night. On Saturday, the Greyhounds couldn’t hold off the Ravens as the home team rallied from a two-goal deficit three times to tie the game at 4-4 early in the third period on a goal by Cody Rumsen. William Smith provided the game-winning goal for Assumption to clinch a 5-4 victory and weekend sweep of the Ravens. Assumption is now 10-4-0 in NE-10 play.
St. Michael’s continued their hot play in January with a weekend sweep of Southern New Hampshire. Jeremy Routh recorded a hat trick in a 6-1 win for the Purple Knights on Friday. On Saturday it was SNHU who broke the ice before St. Michael’s scored five goals in a row for the 5-1 victory. Brennan McFarland scored a pair of goals and Routh added three assists in the game that moved the Purple Knights to 8-5-1 in conference play.
Adding to the growing list of upsets across D-III hockey, Castleton played the first of their travel buddy games with the Spartans on Tuesday night. Leading 3-2 late in the third period, Castleton’s Andrew Stefura scored with just under two minutes left in regulation to tie the game at 3-3 before stunning the Thoroughbreds with the overtime winner. Goaltender Brandon Collett was outstanding with fifty saves for Castleton in the 4-3 OT win.
Hobart took a pair of games over Massachusetts-Boston and Johnson & Wales this weekend to move to 19-2-0 on the season. Artem Buzoverya scored a pair of goals in Friday’s 6-1 win over the Beacons. On Saturday, the Wildcats scored first for a short-lived lead as Jonah Alexander scored twice in a 5-1 win for the Statesmen.
Norwich played just a single NEHC game against fellow travel partner New England College and walked away with a 6-0 victory. Andrew Albano made 33 saves to earn the shutout, while Patrick O’Neal scored a pair of goals for the Cadets who moved to 11-1-2 in NEHC play.
Trinity continued their strong play in January with a 1-1 draw with Hamilton on Friday night and a 4-0 win over Amherst on Saturday. The win moved the Bantams to the top of the NESCAC standings. On Friday, Trinity outshot Hamilton by a wide margin, but the Continentals’ Jack Grant made 46 saves, holding up only Nicholas Siffringer’s second-period goal in a 1-1 overtime tie. On Saturday, the battle for the top of the standings saw a scoreless first period before the Bantams broke through with four goals in the second period, led by Gerrard Maretta’s hat-trick. Devon Bobek made 13 saves for the Bantams in the knockout win.
After tying Trinity on Friday, Hamilton extended Wesleyan’s tough week with a 2-1 overtime win on Saturday. Grant was again outstanding in goal for the Continentals, making 24 saves while Grisha Gotovets scored the game-winner just 28 seconds into overtime. The win moved Hamilton to 9-8-1 overall and 7-4-1 in NESCAC play.
Colby extended an exceptional record in their long-standing rivalry with Bowdoin Saturday night with a 4-0 win. Andy Beran returned the win while four different players scored for the Mules who are now 11-0-1 in their last 12 games against the Polar Bears.
Plattsburgh moved to the top of the SUNYAC standings with a pair of wins over Brockport and Geneseo. The Cardinals took advantage of two goals by Bennett Stockdale to break a 1-1 tie en route to a 4-1 victory over the Golden Eagles. Eli Shiller got the win with 25 saves. On Saturday, the Cardinals took a 2-0 first period lead on goals by Adam Tretowicz and Jake Lanyi, only to see the Knights answer with two quick goals in the opening minutes of the second period. The score remained tied until Carson Gallagher broke the deadlock midway through the third period for the 3-2 road win. Jacob Hearne made twenty-two saves for the win.
Oswego started the weekend atop the standings, but fell to Cortland in overtime on Friday. Evan Beaudry’s goal in the last minute of the period left the teams tied 2-2 after 20 minutes of play. Cortland’s Nick Grupp gave the Red Dragons a one-goal lead after two periods of play. Alex DiCarlo tied the score at 3-3 early in the third period and the score remained that way to close out regulation time. In overtime, Domenic Settimo scored to give Cortland the upset victory just over a minute into the extra session. Goalkeeper Luca Durante made thirty-nine saves for Cortland.
Nazareth traveled to Utica for two games this weekend looking to prove their stature against the top team in the conference. The Pioneers were hardly hospitable hosts as they swept the weekend series by scores of 6-1 and 4-1 over the Golden Flyers. The Pioneers opened a 2-1 game on Friday night with two goals in each of the second and third periods to win comfortably. Six different players scored goals for Utica. Henry McKinney gave the visitors a 1-0 lead after the first period on Saturday, but four unanswered goals, including two on the power play, provided all the offense Utica would need in the 4-1 victory that moved them to 14 -0-0 moved up. in UCHC play.
It wasn’t easy, but Wilkes extended their winning streak to seven games with a pair of 4-3 overtime victories over Lebanon Valley this past weekend. Wilkes took three different leads over LVC on Friday only to see the Flying Dutchmen rally to tie the game at 3-3 at the end of regulation. In overtime, Ben Stefanini scored the decisive goal for the Colonels in the victory. On Saturday, it was Wilkes’ turn to rally, as Cam Lowe’s third period goal sent the game into overtime, where Billy Berry was the hero with the game-winner to extend the Colonels’ winning streak.
Andrew Stefura and Brandon Collett – Castleton – each contributed significantly in the Spartans’ 4-3 overtime win over Skidmore on Tuesday night. Collett stopped 50 of 53 shots while Stefura provided both the game-tying and game-winning goals.
Gerrard Maretta – Trinity – scored a hat trick in the second period to lead the Bantams to a 4-0 victory over Amherst on Saturday. The win moved Trinity into first place in the NESCAC standings.
Andrew Kurapov – Endicott – scored three goals, including an overtime game winner for the Gulls in their weekend series with Curry where they earned a tie (shootout win) and an overtime win to remain undefeated in CCC play.
There are going to be more and more ups and downs as we officially enter February and the final weeks of the regular season. Everyone looking for wins and points and the consistent game that will keep the team playing for something meaningful come playoff time.