Hamilton College's Robbie Murden '17 scored two goals and Evan Buitenhuis '18 made 34 saves as the Continentals defeated SUNY Oswego 3-1 in a 2017 NCAA Division III Men's Hockey Championship first round game at Oswego's Marano Campus Center Arena on March 11.
Hamilton (20-4-4 overall) will travel to Norwich University for an NCAA quarterfinal that will be played on Saturday, March 18, at 7 p.m. The Continentals won their team-record 20th game this season in the program's NCAA championship debut.
Jon Stickel '19 added an empty-net goal with 1:05 left in the third period and Bennett Morrison '20 picked up two assists for Hamilton. Neil Conway '18 collected his team-leading 20th assist and 28th point.
Chris MacMillan scored his second goal this season and Shawn Hulshof and Kenny Neil were credited with their 28th and 26th assists, respectively, for the Lakers (21-6-1). David Jacobson turned away 26 shots.
Hamilton will play Norwich University on Saturday, March 18, at 7 p.m.
The Continentals are ranked ninth by D3hockey.com and 11th by USCHO.com in this week's Division III Top 15 polls. Hamilton is third in NCAA Division III in scoring defense with 1.71 goals allowed per game. The Continentals went 1-for-3 on the power play and weren't whistled for a single penalty.
Oswego entered the evening ranked third in Division III in scoring offense with 4.74 goals per game but the Lakers ran into one of the best goaltenders in the nation in Buitenhuis, who leads Division III with a .945 save percentage and is third with a 1.66 goals against average.
Oswego was in the NCAA championship for the 15th time. The Lakers -- ranked fourth by D3hockey.com and fifth by USCHO.com -- lost for the first time in 2017 to a team not named SUNY Plattsburgh.
Murden gave Hamilton a 1-0 lead at 9:30 of the first period when he snapped a quick wrist shot from the left circle. Both teams finished with 11 shots in the opening period.
The Continentals made it a two-goal advantage with 19 seconds left on their second power play of the night at 12:54 of the second period. Murden deflected Morrison's blast from the point past Jacobson for his 50th career goal and 102nd career point. Murden missed five weeks with an injury but returned on March 5 for the 2017 NESCAC Men's Hockey Championship final against Trinity College. He has three goals in two games since he returned to the lineup. Conor Lamberti '17 registered his 13th assist on the play. Oswego held a 12-8 shot advantage in the period.
MacMillan cut the Lakers' deficit in half with 6:47 remaining in the third period. Oswego used its timeout with 1:36 to go and pulled Jacobson for an extra skater. Stickel clinched Hamilton's historic victory 31 seconds later on assists from Conway and Morrison (his 11th). The Lakers held a 12-10 edge in shots in the final 20 minutes. The Continentals are 8-2-0 in February and March.