Manhattanville jumped all over Neumann this weekend, earning its first season sweep of the Knights since 2004-2005, and vaulting into second place in the league.
The Valiants shutout Neumann, 3-0, on Friday, notching two goals in the first 10 minutes of the game and then riding goaltender Pierre-Olivier Lemieux to his third shutout of the season.
“The biggest thing for us was energy,” said Neumann coach Dominick Dawes. “It was the first time in a long time that we got outplayed and outworked. Traditionally we have been very good out of the gate.”
Manhattanville scored two goals in the first period on Saturday and looked to be rolling again after adding another pair of goals in the second period. Neumann was down but not out. The Knights scored three goals in a 45-second span early in the third period to claw back into the game. Brendan Turner scored for Manhattanville two minutes later to take the steam out of the Neumann rally and the Valiants won 5-3.
“To the kids’ credit, we manned up a little bit in the third period and got three bang-bang goals,” said Dawes. “We just couldn’t scratch and claw all the way back. We are a better team than just putting in one period. We expect more.”
Neumann was knocked off kilter on Thursday by the announcement of probation and postseason ban by the NCAA. That topic will be covered more deeply in my column later this week.
The other league contest this past weekend saw Elmira and Utica skate to a 2-2 tie at The Aud. It was a back-and-forth affair, as Utica scored, Elmira answered, the Pioneers reclaimed the lead, and then the Soaring Eagles tied it in the third. Elmira outshot the Pioneers, 41-24, but Utica stayed out of the penalty box and stayed in the game for its entirety.
On Saturday, Elmira, Hobart, and Utica finished off their nonconference schedule in grand fashion. Elmira blasted Cortland 6-2, including a hat trick by John Clewlow in the second period. Darcy Vaillancourt assisted on all three of Clewlow’s tallies.
Hobart celebrated alumni weekend with a 4-0 drilling of Potsdam. Brad Richard sent two rockets into the back of the net to lead the Statesmen. Marty Ausserhofer recorded the first shutout of his career for Hobart.
Utica beat nationally-ranked Amherst 3-0 as well. The Pioneers tightened up the defense, limiting the Lord Jeffs to only 12 shots on goal for the entire game. Jon Gaffney netted the first and last goals for Utica, with his linemates Chris Santiago and Steve Charest assisting.