Hamilton Can't Overcome Bates' Defense

Hamilton (3-6 overall, 0-5 NESCAC) dropped an 11-4 decision to visiting Bates Saturday at Steuben Field. The Bobcats, who won their third game in four tries, held the Continentals scoreless for a stretch of 29:50, including the first 28:14 of the second half.

Hamilton had cut Bates' 5-1 lead to 5-3 with a pair of late second-quarter goals. Casey Kopp '17 scored his first career goal with 79 seconds left in the half and on the Continentals' next possession, Connor Morgan '15 scored his team-leading 21st goal off an assist from Paul Armideo '14.

The Bobcats won the second half face-off and maintained nearly continuous possession for the first six minutes. They scored twice in that span and held Hamilton out of the Bates zone until the 8:30 mark, thanks in part to a ride that limited Hamilton to nine clears in 16 attempts.

Jack Strain '15 led Bates with five goals and Jack Allard '16 contributed a goal and four assists. The Bobcats scored twice in the opening 2:04 with Evan Chen putting them up 1-0 1:11 seconds into play and Strain following 53 seconds later.

After the Continentals closed to 2-1 on a first-quarter goal by Bryan Hopper '14, Kyle Weber '17 converted Bates' first possession of the second quarter for his seventh goal of the year and Allard fed Strain and Andrew Melvin '17 for goals that put the Bobcats up 5-1.

Bates' second-half dominance was sparked by Allard, who scored 10 seconds into the fourth quarter and assisted on two more goals, and Joe Faria '16, who entered the Bobcat net to start the third quarter and made seven saves. He held Hamilton scoreless until JD Brachmann '17 picked up his seventh goal of the season with 1:26 left in the game.

Ken O'Friel '16 paced Bates' defense, leading all players with eight ground balls and six caused turnovers. Strain and Allard picked up four and three ground balls, respectively, helping the Bobcats to a 42-30 team advantage.

Charlie Hildebrand '16 assisted on a pair of third-quarter goals for the Bobcats and Weber finished with two goals.

Trip Connors '17 led Hamilton with seven ground balls, winning 10 of 16 face-offs. Claeson Dillon '14, Will Driscoll '15 and John Zimmerman '15 had three ground balls apiece. Driscoll finished with 11 saves in net.

Charlie Kazarian '14 earned the win for Bates with three first-half saves.

The Continentals' three-game home stand continues Wednesday with a 4:00 p.m. game against Middlebury. The Bobcats host NESCAC rival Bowdoin Wednesday night.

2014-03-29



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