Sports

Men’s hockey overpowered by NESCAC rivals

By Kaitlin McCabe '16

February 21, 2013

Despite the enthusiasm generated by this year’s Feb Fest, the Hamilton men’s ice hockey team was unable to add to the triumphs on campus. Having lost to Middlebury and Williams this past weekend in its last home games, the team just qualified for the post-season competition due to its recent 7-3 win over Connecticut College.

Currently, Hamilton is ranked eighth in NESCAC standings, with an overall record of 6-15-3 and a NESCAC conference record of 4-12-2. Although earning two victories over the course of the weekend was anticipated to be difficult, some were optimistic because Hamilton only lost to Williams and Middlebury, currently ranked third and fifth in the league, respectively, by one goal earlier in the season. Yet, the lack of alertness and drive on the ice during Friday’s game against Middlebury and the team’s failure to pull through the full game against Williams on Saturday prevented the team from making solid progress.

“It was a disappointing weekend for us.  We played well for long stretches but failed to put a complete game together,” said Head Coach Robert Haberbusch.

The loss to Middlebury can easily be attributed to the team’s poor show of effort early in the game. Forward Brian Ferrell ’16 commented, “We got off to a really slow start. We didn’t come out ready to play, and we dug ourselves into a hole in the first period that was too deep to come out of.” In the end, Middlebury left Hamilton staggered with a final score of 1-6.
However, the team’s match against Williams was a huge turnaround from its weak performance the night before. Starting off strong, Hamilton managed to score three goals early on—a lead that was upheld through the third period until the last 10 minutes of the game, when Williams finally reached three goals as well.

According to Ferrell, “We just fell apart.” In overtime, the men “played on [their] heels,” knowing that their huge lead and clear victory could now favor either opponent.

Unfortunately, Williams scored in the last 11 seconds of the game, ending the game with a final score of 3-4. Though the loss was certainly disappointing and a setback for the team, Coach Haberbusch maintains that the tough fight the team gave was commendable in their circumstance. He said, “Williams is ranked [second] in the NESCAC and [10th] in the country, so we showed that we can play with anyone despite our depleted lineup.” The coach remains confident that this achievement will encourage the team for its upcoming game against Bowdoin this Saturday, Feb. 23.

Though Bowdoin is currently number one in NESCAC standings, Hamilton is hoping to bounce back and play a full, strong game. Having held a lead against such a talented team for three periods, the team is confident that such skill can be demonstrated on the ice once more. As the team prepares for its match in the NESCAC League quarterfinals, the Hamilton community has its fingers crossed for a good fight against Bowdoin.

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