Nationally-Ranked Men's Hockey Captures Buffalo State Bengals Classic

The 2019-20 Buffalo State Bengals Classic champion Adrian College Bulldogs. (Photo courtesy of BSC Athletic Communications)
The 2019-20 Buffalo State Bengals Classic champion Adrian College Bulldogs. (Photo courtesy of BSC Athletic Communications)

BUFFALO--The Adrian College men's hockey team completed its season-opening trip to the Empire State with the 2019 Buffalo State Bengals Classic championship on Saturday after defeating Manhattanville in a 1-0 shootout following the teams' 3-3 overtime tie.

THE BASICS
= Final Score: Adrian College 3, Manhattanville College 3 (Adrian wins shootout 1-0)

= Location: Buffalo State College Ice Arena; Buffalo, N.Y.

= Records: Adrian Bulldogs 1-0-1 overall (0-0 NCHA-South); Manhattanville Valiants 1-0-1 overall (0-0 UCHC)

= National Rankings: Adrian--#7 in United States College Hockey Online (155 points) preseason poll (Note: D3hockey.com has not yet published a 2019-20 preseason poll.)

TOP 'DAWGS
= Junior goalie Cameron Gray made 19 saves.

= Sophomore Sam Ruffin posted two points on a goal and an assist. He also was 9-for-16 on face-offs.

= Senior Dino Balsamo was 5-for-10 in the face-off circle and he scored a goal. 

THE OPPOSITION
= Alex Rowella led the Valiants with a goal and an assist.

= Niko Happo was credited with two assists.

= Alexei Masanko had 42 saves in 65 minutes of action. 

HOW IT HAPPENED 
= Senior Vincent Paquette scored the lone goal of the two-round shootout to give Adrian the Classic title.

= The Valiants rallied for two goals in the third period to knot the score at 3 and force overtime. Ken McLean scored on the power play with 11 minutes and 39 seconds left and Josh Fletcher tied it 5:11 later.

= Hayden Taylor could have won it in regulation for Manhattanville, but Gray stopped him. The Valiants held a 4-3 shots on goal edge after the 3-3 tie.

= After the teams played a scoreless first period, Ruffin gave Adrian a 1-0 lead with a shorthanded marker early in the second at 3:06.

= But just 42 seconds later, Manhattanville tied it at 1 while on the same power play with Rowella getting the goal.

= The Bulldogs, however, took a 3-1 advantage on goals 4:32 apart by senior defenseman Joey Colatarci and Balsamo, starting at the 13:37 mark of the second stanza.

= Adrian held a commanding 45 to 22 shots on goal edge, including all four shots by either side in the five-minute extra session.

= The Valiants were 2-for-4 on the power play and killed off all four attempts by the Bulldogs.

BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
= Adrian evens the all-time series with Manhattanville at one win apiece. The Valiants defeated the Bulldogs, 6-2, in their only previous meeting on Dec. 31, 2010, in Northfield, Vt. 

= Manhattanville College, located in Purchase, N.Y., is a member of the United Collegiate Hockey Conference.

= After two games, sophomore newcomers Ruffin (2g, 1a) and Andrew Bellant (1g, 2a) pace the Adrian offense with three points each.

UP NEXT
= Adrian will open next weekend the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association circuit at Marian University in Fond du Lac, Wis. Friday's contest is scheduled to start at 8 p.m. Eastern, followed by Saturday's series finale at 5 p.m. Eastern.

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