Connecticut College 4, Hamilton College 3 Petchonka (32 Saves) Leads Camels to Comeback Win

Connecticut College 4, Hamilton College 3 Petchonka (32 Saves) Leads Camels to Comeback Win

NEW LONDON, Conn.—(Photo of Mike Petchonka Shot by Paul Brandon/ Junior JC Cangelosi (Estero, Fla.) scored his second goal of the game with 1:32 remaining in regulation and senior net-minder Mike Petchonka (Ridgefield, Conn.) made two of his 32 saves in the last five seconds of regulation to lift the Connecticut College men's hockey team to a 4-3 victory against Hamilton College in front of 300 fans at Dayton Arena Saturday.

The Camels improved their record to 3-10-1 with a 2-6 mark in the NESCAC, while the Continentals fell to 4-8-1 with a 3-6-1 record in the NESCAC. 

"This was one of the best defensive efforts for us," Petchonka said after the win. "We are just trying to keep an even keel and stick to our system in the closing moments."

Kevin Reich (Montvale, N.J.) and Adam Patel (Alpharetta, Ga.) chipped in with scores for the Camels, who erased a 2-0 deficit in the comeback win. 

Robbie Murden (Georgetown, Ont.), Pat Curtis (Ashland, Mass.) and Seamus O'Neill (Amherst, Mass.) contributed scores for the visitors.  Truman Landowski (Appleton, Wis.) dished out two assists for the Continentals. Charlie Fennell (Elmira, N.Y.) had 25 saves in the loss.

Hamilton opened the scoring 3:35 into regulation when Murden went to his backhand in the slot to score his team-leading ninth goal of the season. DiMare and Kenny Matheson (Point Claire, Que.) assisted on the score.

Less than a minute later, the visitors doubled their lead when junior Pat Curtis (Ashland, Mass.) buried a wrist shot from the left circle with assists coming from Don Jancanterino (Honolulu, Hawaii) and Truman Landowski (Appleton, Wis.). 

Petchonka did everything he could to keep the game close and with 9:36 remaining, the senior net-minder made a save from point blank range on Robbie Gardiner (Larchmont, N.Y.) to keep it a two goal game. Later on in the frame with 5:40 remaining, Petchonka denied DiMare on a Hamilton power play with another diving stab.

The Camels had a nice chance on a power play of their own. Marc Roper (Moncton, New Brunswick) tried to go upstairs but with 5:09 to play but Fennell was able to make the stop. 

With 15:06 remaining in the second, the Camels nearly got on the board in short-handed situation.  Cangelosi and Tim DiPretoro (Philadelphia, Pa.) skated in on a 2-on-1 but DiPretoro's shot was saved by Fennell.

Later on in the middle period with 13:16 remaining in the second period, Petchonka broke up another 2-on-1 with a dazzling stop. Murden made a nifty drop pass to Mattheson in the slot but Petchonka was able to make save in the pressure situation. 

The Camels finally broke through with 2:48 remaining in the second. Senior Keith Veronesi (South Glastonbury, Conn.) cycled the puck to Reich at the center of the blue line and the senior defenseman unloaded for the goal that halved the Hamilton, making it a 2-1 game.

Both teams skated off penalties in the early stages of the third period. With 13:11 remaining in regulation the Camels scored the equalizer. Joe Giordano (Ellington, Conn.) wrapped around the goal and connected with Patel in the slot for the game-tying goal.

Just over a minute later at the 7:53 mark, the Camels took their first lead. Greg Liataud (Butler, N.J.) was able to lead Cangelosi to the goal in a 1-on-1 situation with the goalie. Cangelosi's first shot was saved but he followed the play and stuffed in the rebound to make it a 3-2 game. 

But Hamilton was not done. The Continentals induced a turnover while skating shorthanded to even things up at three. Landowski forced the Camel miscue behind the net and O'Neill cashed in with the shorty to make it a 3-3 game with 5:31 remaining.

However, the Camels responded with 1:32 remaining to take the lead for good. DiPretoro's shot was saved by Fennell but Cangelosi tipped in the loose puck to make it a 4-3 game. 

"It's been a lot of fun playing on the line with Timmy (DiPretoro) and Keith (Veronesi)," Cangelosi said. "This is our second year playing together. Those guys are doing the hard work in the corners and winning battles in the trenches and that is what is allowing me to score with the puck. It's a collective effort."

Hamilton emptied the goal with 1:26 remaining and the visitors had their chances to tie the contest. With 3.7 seconds left, Petchonka denied DiMare on his bid to score the equalizer. The visitors had one last shot at the buzzer but Petchonka was able to make the save for the Camels to preserve the victory.  

 Connecticut College was a perfect 8-for-8 in penalty killing situations.