Late Tallies Lift Hawks Over Alfred on Senior Day

ONEONTA, NY Visiting Alfred attempted to spoil Hartwick's Senior Day on Saturday at Wright Stadium, but two goals in the final 5:18 put the Hawks on top to stay in a 9-8 win. The Hawks close out the regular season 8-8 overall and 3-5 in the Empire 8 and will hope for a berth in the ECAC Upstate Tournament in two weeks. The field will be announced on May 9.

After Alfred rallied from a 7-3 deficit to tie the game in the fourth quarter, senior Dave Aitchison (Farmingdale, NY/Farmingdale) set up sophomore Harry Hughes (Holtsville, NY/Sachem East) for the go-ahead goal with just over five minutes left. Later, senior Alex Skvarch (Syracuse, NY/Marcellus) stripped an Alfred player of the ball for one of his game-high five caused turnovers and Aitchison set up Hughes again with 2:45 left to play to put 'Wick up, 9-7.

The Saxons pulled to within one with 1:18 left to go in the game. Alfred won the faceoff but then committed its 29th and final turnover of the game and the Hawks ran out the clock for the victory.

Hughes finished the day with a game-best four goals to give him 49 on the year. The total is tied for third in a single season in Hartwick history with Ian Ritchie (1995). Hall of Famer Steve Evans holds the benchmark after netting 53 in 1992.

Aitchison closed out the afternoon with two goals and two assists. With 81 career helpers, Aitchison currently ranks 8th in the 'Wick record books.

Phil Schaefer (Holbrook, NY/Sachem North) netted two goals for the Hawks. Joe Shields (Loudonville, NY/Shaker) contributed a goal and an assist and Carl Lengel (Lynbrook, NY/Lynbrook) registered seven saves.

Hartwick took control of the game with five consecutive tallies in the first and second quarter to turn a 2-1 deficit into a 6-2 lead. The Hawks were dominant in the second quarter as they outshot the Saxons 17-6 with Aitchison finding the net twice and Schaefer and Shields each tallying in a nine-minute span. Alfred would make it a three-goal game in the final two minutes of the half.

Hughes scored 4:28 into the third period, but three straight Saxon goals in a 4:31 window cut the lead to one, 7-6, heading into the last quarter of play.

Stefan Dabkowski, who paced the Saxons with two goals, finished off his second to tie the score at 7-7 2:16 into the fourth and final frame. Both teams fired two shots on cage in the next six and a half minutes to no avail before the Hughes-Aitchison connection put the Hawks in front to stay with 5:18 on the clock.

Hartwick finished the game with a 37-28 advantage in shots. The Saxons edged 'Wick in ground balls, 35-31, and won 14 of the day's 18 draws.

The Hawks forced 15 turnovers, their third-highest total of the season. Skvarch caused five with Schaefer, Bobby Cassidy (Oceanside, NY/Oceanside), Brandon Murtha (West Islip, NY/West Islip), and Mike Morrison (Holbrook, NY/Sachem East) each adding two.

Jake Cooper (Manlius, NY/Fayetteville Manlius) had a game-high seven ground balls for Hartwick. Skvarch added six and Cassidy grabbed four.

Marc Zoyhofski led the Saxons with four points on a goal and three assists. Jay Whyel added a goal and one helper. Tyler Brooks-Lambert tied for a team-best with six ground balls. He also won 13 face-offs. Jake Spadoni tallied once and contributed six ground balls.

The game marked the final regular-season home contest for Hartwick's six seniors - Aitchison, Skvarch, Tim Antos (Marcellus, NY/Onondaga), Mike McCabe (Camillus, NY/West Genesee), Daggett Morse (Needham, MA/Catholic Memorial), and Ian Skudin (Long Beach, NY/Long Beach). The six players' accomplishments were recognized in a pregame ceremony.

2011-04-30



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