27 March 2023 • Alums • Athletics Statesmen win National Championship! By Mackenzie Larsen '12
The Statesmen defeated Adrian 3-2 in the NCAA Division III Men's Ice Hockey National Championship contested at Raymond J. Bourque Arena on Sunday, March 26.
Hobart College sophomore Wil Crane scored the game-winning goal with 5:05 remaining in overtime to lift the Statesmen over Adrian 3-2 in the NCAA Division III Men's Ice Hockey National Championship contested at Raymond J. Bourque Arena on Sunday evening. It is the first national title in program history for Hobart hockey.
Sophomore Luke Aquaro led the Statesmen with a goal and an assist. First-year Damon Beaver made a career-high 37 saves and was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.
Mathew Rehding and Alessio Luciani led the way for the Bulldogs. They both had a goal and an assist in the loss. Nic Tallarico played all 74:52 minutes in goal and made 32 saves. Adrian, who came into the game as the defending national champion, finished the year with a 25-5-2 overall record.
- Adrian finished the game with a 39-35 advantage in shots on goal. It was the first time all year that Hobart was outshot and just the third time this season that the Statesmen had surrendered 30 shots in a game.
- The Bulldogs were 1-for-3 on the power play and Hobart was 0-for-3 with the extra attacker.
- Sophomore Shane Shell opened the scoring at the 7:24 mark of the first period. He redirected an Aquaro centering pass through Tallarico's legs and into the back of the net. It was Shell's fourth goal of the season. Junior Jonah Alexander had a secondary assist on the goal.
- Aqruaro gave Hobart a 2-0 lead four minutes later. He picked an Adrian defenders pocket, deked around a defender and wristed a shot through the goalie's legs. It was his 21st goal of the season.
- The Bulldogs answered 56 seconds later when Ty Enns buried a one-timer for his 21st goal of the season., Rethding and Luciani were credited with assists on the power-play goal.
- Matus Spodniak tied the game at the 14:30 mark of the third period. He deked around a defender and ripped a shot past Beaver for his 30th goal of the season. Rehding and Luciani notched assists on the goal.
- Crane's game-winning goal came off a rebound late in the first overtime. He picked up a rebound and buried the shot into the back of the net. His fifth goal of the season was assisted by Kevin LAssman and Brenden Howell.
- Adrian had chances to tie the game in the second period, outshooting Hobart 15-9 in the middle frame. But Beaver, the tournament MVP, stood on his head, making several highlight reel saves.
- Hobart had a couple of chances to win it earlier in OT, but Tallarico was up to the task making four saves in the extra session. He stopped two point blank opportunities from Shane Shell.
- Beaver, was joined on the all-tournament team by, defenseman Austin Mourar, forward Luke Aquaro and forward Wil Crane.
BEYOND THE NUMBERS
- Hobart finished the year with a program record 29 wins.
- The Statesmen were 19-0-0 at home this season, the first undefeated season on its home ice.
- Beaver finished the season with a program record 1.04 GAA and a .955 save percentage. He also set the record for shutouts in a season with seven. He finished the year with an 18-2-0 record, matching the program record for wins in a season.
- The 38 goals Hobart allowed are the fewest in program history. The nine shutouts this year also set a new program standard.