No. 6/9 men’s hockey hits the road for two NESCAC games

#4 Josh Labonte '21 and #12 Nick Ursitti (Michael P. Doherty photo)
#4 Josh Labonte '21 and #12 Nick Ursitti (Michael P. Doherty photo)

The Hamilton College men's hockey team travels to Connecticut College and Tufts University for two NESCAC games this weekend. The Continentals face the Camels on Saturday, Jan. 13 at 7 p.m. and the Tufts Jumbos on Sunday at 4 p.m.

The Continentals (9-2-1, 4-2-1 NESCAC) -- ranked sixth by D3hockey.com and ninth by USCHO.com -- are enjoying a six-game winning streak after two road conference victories over then-No. 14 Colby College and Bowdoin College by a combined score of 8-1.

Behind the efforts of netminders Evan Buitenhuis '18 and Anthony Tirabassi '20, the Hamilton defense leads Division III by only allowing 1.25 goal per game to the opposition. Buitenhuis left the Bowdoin game midway through the first period with an injury. The 2016-17 AHCA Division III Men's Hockey Player of the Year ranks third in the nation with a .946 save percentage and is seventh with a 1.60 goals against average. Tirabassi made nine saves to preserve the victory against Bowdoin. Tirabassi has two shutouts on the season while boasting a .990 save percentage and 0.26 goals against average though 226+ minutes of play.

Five Continentals have double-digit points so far this season. Rory Gagnon '19 has 12 points and ranks fifth in the country with 10 goals and a 0.91 goals per game average. Jason Brochu '19 leads the team with 15 points, including 10 assists. Neil Conway '18 has a team-high 11 helpers and three goals. Nick Ursitti '20 totals eight goals and five assists, and Brandon Willett tallies four goals and six assists.

ABOUT CONNECTICUT COLLEGE

The Camels (3-8, 3-3 NESCAC) have suffered four straight losses, all in non-conference action that included a 5-1 setback on Dec. 30 against then-No. 9 Hobart College.

Paul Capozzi and Chris Jellison each have nine points. Capozzi has five goals and Jellison has seven assists, both are team highs. Jacob Moreau and Ryan Petti both have four goals, and Mason Evans has five assists. Connor Rodericks and Avery Gobbo have split time in net for the Camels during conference play this season. Rodericks boasts a .941 save percentage and 2.09 goals against average while Gobbo has an .883 save percentage and 4.37 goals against average.

Hamilton has been victorious the last four matchups and controls the 22-10-2 all-time record over Conn. College.

ABOUT TUFTS UNIVERSITY

The Jumbos (1-9-2, 0-5-1 NESCAC) are coming off a 2-2 draw to non-conference opponent No. 2 Endicott College on Jan. 9 after falling 8-1 to Endicott three days prior at SUNY Plattsburgh's W.B. Mason Winter Classic. Tufts lone win this season was a 9-3 decision against King's College on Nov. 25.

Brian Brown totals a team-high five goals and eight points. Tyler Scroggins tallies five assists and one goal. Peter Hatton has five points, and Mason Babbidge and Brendan Ryan both have four points. Nik Nugnes and Drew Hotte have shared time in goal for the Jumbos this season, combining for a .871 save percentage and 4.07 goals against average in conference action.

The Continentals have a 15-7-2 record against the Jumbos.