No. 11/13 men's hockey wins behind four-goal second period

Nick Ursitti '20 (Michael P. Doherty photo)
Nick Ursitti '20 (Michael P. Doherty photo)

Hamilton College's Nick Ursitti '20 scored a pair of goals and the nationally ranked Continentals posted a 5-1 non-conference win against the Skidmore College Thoroughbreds in men's hockey action at Saratoga City Rink on Saturday.

Hamilton (6-2-1 overall) won its third straight game and defeated Skidmore for the second time this season. The Continentals recorded a 4-1 victory in the championship game of Skidmore's Thanksgiving Invitational back on Nov. 26. Hamilton is ranked 11th in the most recent poll and 13th in the Division III poll.

Ursitti has seven goals and leads the Continentals with 10 points as he notched his third multi-goal game of 2017-18. Brandon Willett '18 chipped in a goal and two assists for his second three-point game this season. Jason Brochu '19 contributed two assists and has a team-high seven helpers. Evan Buitenhuis '18 (1.74 GAA, .941 save pct.) started in net and made 21 saves in 51-plus minutes. Pete Negron '21 relieved Buitenhuis for the final 8:16 and turned away both shots he faced in his first collegiate action.

Tyler Bruneteau '18 gave Hamilton a 1-0 lead with 21 seconds left in the first period when he cleaned up a shot by Jon Stickel '19 that was stopped by Brandon Kasel (25 saves). Bruneteau's third goal this season was scored 90 seconds into the Continentals' third power play of the period. Hamilton held a 19-7 shot advantage after the opening 20 minutes.

Ursitti made it 2-0 with an unassisted goal at 5:11 of the second period when he forced a turnover in the Skidmore end and took a shot just outside the faceoff circle that bounced up and over Kasel's shoulder. The Thoroughbreds (1-10-1) cut their deficit in half on a power-play goal by Paul Vella with 6:26 remaining in the period. Vella's first goal this season was assisted by Matt Bernot and Corey Morgan.

A Skidmore player was sent to the penalty box for goaltender interference less than two minutes later and the Continentals capitalized. Willett restored Hamilton's two-goal lead with his fourth this season on assists from Brochu and Bennett Morrison '20 with 4:21 to go. Hamilton was 2-for-4 on power-play chances.

Ursitti put the Continentals up 4-1 just 26 seconds later on assists from Willett and Sam Jones '20, and Neil Conway '18 rounded out the scoring on his second goal this season with 2:51 left. Willett and Brochu had the assists as Hamilton wrapped up a four-goal second period.

Kasel was lifted after the second period and Brian Kowalski made nine saves in the third. The Continentals finished with a 39-24 edge in shots.

The teams play each other for the third and final time this season at Clinton Arena on Sunday, Dec. 31 at 4 p.m.