The Hobart College hockey team held at No. 5 in the USCHO.com poll announced this afternoon. The Statesmen will wrap up the regular season this weekend, Feb. 14-15, when they travel to Boston for a pair of New England Hockey Conference games. Hobart will take on UMass Boston Friday at 7 p.m. and sixth-ranked Babson Saturday at 4 p.m.
Additionally, Hobart is sixth in the PairWise rankings. The Beavers are ranked seventh. PairWise is a system which attempts to mimic the method used by the NCAA selection committee to determine participants for the NCAA Division III hockey tournament.
The Statesmen are 16-4-3 overall and 10-4-2 in NEHC following a weekend sweep of Southern Maine and New England College. The Statesmen scored four goals in the second period to knock off the Huskies 5-3. The following day, Hobart defeated the Pilgrims 3-2. Junior defenseman Mike Faulkner earned a spot on the NEHC’s weekly honor roll, four assists over the weekend. He assisted on three of the five goals against the Huskies.
Hobart enters the week ranked eighth in the nation in scoring offense (4.33 gpg), scoring margin (+2.04 gpg) and winning percentage (.761). The Statesmen are 14th on the penalty kill (87.2%) and 15th in scoring defense (2.26 gpg).
Individually, Hobart is led by junior Alec Robitaille, who has 11 goals and eight assists for 19 points. Seniors Zach Sternbach (10g, 8a) and Lawson MacDougall (5g, 13a) are right behind him with 18 points each. Faulkner leads the team with 17 assists. The Statesmen have 14 different players who have reached double digits in points. Twenty different skaters have at least one goal and 24 have tallied a point.
Sophomore Joe Halstrom and Liam Lascelle have split the minutes in goal this semester. Overall, Halstrom is 12-3-3 with a 2.25 goals against average and a .908 save percentage. Lascelle is 4-1-0 with a 2.21 GAA and a .904 save percentage.
The Statesmen are currently tied with New England College for third in the NEHC. Depending on results elsewhere, Hobart can still finish anywhere from second to fifth in the conference standings. With at least a point this weekend, the Statesmen will secure a spot in the top four and a home game in the quarterfinals.
UMass Boston is 13-9-1 overall and 9-6-1 in the NEHC. The Beacons are currently fifth in the conference with 19 points. UMass Boston is averaging a league-best 4.65 goals per game while surrendering 3.09. Daniel Nachbaur leads the team with 28 points on six goals and 22 assists. Nolan Redler is right behind him with 27 points on 17 goals and 10 assists. Bailey MacBurnie and Sam Best have split time in goal this season. MacBurnie is 6-4-0 with a 2.55 GAA and a .910 save percentage. Best is 4-4-0 with a 2.86 GAA and a .887 save percentage.
Friday’s game will be the 13th meeting between the Statesmen and the Beacons. UMass Boston leads the all-time series 6-4-2, including a 4-1-0 mark in Boston. Hobart has won two straight games, including a 6-2 decision in Geneva on Jan. 11.
Babson enters the week with a 16-4-2 overall record and an 11-3-1 mark in the NEHC. The Beavers are in second place, one point ahead of the Statesmen. The Beavers can lock up the No. 2 seed with four points in its three games this week. Babson is averaging 3.86 goals per game while allowing 1.59. Ryan Black leads the team with 29 points on 10 goals and 19 assists. Mike Egan has a team best 12 goals. Aidan Murphy has played a majority of the minutes in goal. He is 10-1-1 with a 1.61 GAA and a .943 save percentage.
Saturday’s game will be the 20th meeting between Hobart and Babson. The Beavers lead the all-time series 10- 5-4, including a 7-1-1 mark on home ice. Hobart is unbeaten in its last five games against Babson (3-0-2), including a 0-0 tie in Geneva on Jan. 10.