The Hobart College hockey team held at No. 5 in the first USCHO.com poll of 2022 released on Monday. The Statesmen will kick off a four-game homestand when they return to New England Hockey Conference play this weekend, Jan. 7-8, when they welcome eighth-ranked Norwich and New England College, which is receiving votes, to The Cooler. The Statesmen will take on the Cadets on Friday at 7 p.m. and the Pilgrims on Saturday at 4 p.m.
Hobart wrapped up the first half of its season on Sunday, Jan. 2, with a 4-1 victory over Middlebury in the Friends of Panther Hockey Classic championship game. Reid Lindsay and Luke Aquaro led the way with a goal and an assist each. Joe Halstrom started in goal and made 16 saves. Aquaro and Halstrom were named to the all-tournament team.
The Statesmen enter the second half with a 9-2-1 overall record. Hobart sits atop the highly competitive NEHC with a 5-0-1 record and 15 points. The Statesmen will play five of their next six games at home and have four matchups against nationally-ranked opponents. In addition to the Cadets, Hobart will play No. 6 Babson Jan. 14, and No. 15 Elmira Jan. 21-22.
The Statesmen’s offense has been clicking on all cylinders through the first 12 games of the year. Hobart leads the nation in scoring offense (5.50 gpg), assists (122) and points (188). Hobart is second in scoring margin (+3.50) and third in power-play percentage (.311). In addition, the Statesmen are eighth in the nation in winning percentage (.792), 11th in scoring defense (2.00) and 13th in penalty kill percentage (.882). A complete team effort, Hobart has seven players who have hit double digits in points and 28 players with at least one point.
Individually, Hobart is led by Aaron Maguyon and Luke Aquaro, who have 14 points each. Maguyon has a team-best 10 goals to go along with four assists. Aquaro has nine goals and five assists. Cooper Swift has a team-high 12 assists. Maguyon ranks third in the nation with five power-play goals and is eighth in goals per game (0.83). Swift is 10th in the nation averaging 1.09 assists per game.
Halstrom and Liam Lascelle have split time in goal this season. Halstrom is 4-1-1 with a 1.73 goals against average and a .921 save percentage. Lascelle is 4-1-0 with a 2.41 GAA and a .897 save percentage.
Norwich brings a 6-1-4 overall record and a 3-1-3 mark in conference play into this weekend’s action. The Cadets are third in the NEHC with 12 points. The Cadets have the nation’s top power play unit, connecting on 37 percent of its chances. Devon Becker leads the team with 15 points on a goal and 14 assists. Clark Kerner is right behind him with 14 points on eight goals and six assists. Andrew Albano and Drennen Atherton have split time in goal. Albano is 4-1-0 with a 2.01 GAA and a .914 save percentage. Atherton is 2-0-4 with a 1.89 GAA and a .929 save percentage.
Friday’s game will be the 13th all-time meeting between Hobart and Norwich. The Cadets hold a 7-4-1 edge in the series and have won the last six meetings. Norwich is 2-0-1 at The Cooler.
The Pilgrims bring a 7-2-1 overall record into the weekend with a 2-2-1 mark in conference play. New England College is seventh in the NEHC standings with seven points and will be at Elmira on Friday night. Trevor Momot leads the team with 12 points on five goals and seven assists. Alex LaPlante has a team-best six goals and is second with 10 points. Andrew Kormos has played a majority of the minutes in goal. He is 5-1-0 with a 2.00 GAA and a .938 save percentage.
Saturday’s game will be the 10th meeting between the Statesmen and the Pilgrims. Hobart holds a 6-2-1 advantage in the series, including a 5-0-0 mark at the Cooler.
All spectators are asked to monitor their health and stay home if experiencing any COVID symptoms. Spectators are required to wear a properly fitting mask while inside The Cooler.
Fans who cannot make the trip to The Cooler can follow all the action with Live Stats and HWS All-Access video.
(Hobart Men’s Hockey Photo)