LAKE PLACID, N.Y.—The Hobart College hockey team finished the New Year’s College Hockey Classic with a 2-0 record, defeating Middlebury 4-1 last night at Herb Brooks Arena. Senior Tommaso Traversa (Torino, Italy) led the Statesmen with a goal and an assist.
Hobart improves to 8-4-0 this season, while the Panthers fall to 3-5-2. The game was the first meeting between the two teams since Jan. 1, 2007, when they played to a 3-3 tie in the Middlebury Holiday Classic in Middlebury, Vermont. The Panthers took the Classic crown that year 3-1 in a shootout.
Early in the first period, it appeared Middlebury had scored first, but the goal was called off due to a high stick. First-year Tyler Wolf (Naperville, Ill.) then put Hobart up 1-0 with 5:10 left in the opening period. He slid his shot over the goal line after a pass from classmate Kevin Loppatto (Alpharetta, Ga.). Junior Robert Sovik (Prague, Czech Republic) took advantage of a power play to give the Statesmen a 2-0 lead with 1:40 on the clock. He tipped in a blast from the blue line by senior Bronson Kovacs (Sault Ste Marie, Ontario). Traversa also earned an assist on the goal. With just 31 seconds left in the first period, David Belluche drilled a shot into the back of the net from the blue line on a Middlebury power play to get the Panthers within one. Mike Najjar and Evan Neugold were credited with assists.
The Statesmen added two second period goals to extend their lead to 4-1. Senior Brad McBride (Lone Tree, Colo.) scored just 14 seconds into the middle period to make it 3-1. He sent home his shot from right in front after passes from juniors Ben Gamache (Longlac, Ontario) and Bo Webster (Aurora, Ontario). At 5:10 into the period, Traversa connected after a feed from senior Ryan Michel (Camillus, N.Y.). The Statesmen kept control in the third period outshooting the Panthers 14-10. Hobart finished with a 35-28 advantage in total shots.
Junior goalie Lino Chimienti (Montreal, Quebec) finished with 27 saves in all 60 minutes in goal for Hobart. Stephen Klein played all 60 minutes in net for Middlebury. He logged 31 saves.
The Statesmen will be back in action on Friday, Jan. 9, when they travel to take on No. 6 Oswego in a non-league game at 7 p.m. The Panthers will also be in action on Jan. 9, when they play a NESCAC contest at No. 10 Trinity at 7:30 p.m.