Final Four set at Men's Division 1 National Championships2014-03-10
Arizona State, Oklahoma, Robert Morris (IL) and Stony Brook all advanced to Monday's Final Four with victories in the quarterfinals on day four of the Men's Division 1 National Tournament.
After a few upsets, the 2014 semi-finals shook out almost exactly according to seed. With victories on Sunday Arizona State, Oklahoma, Robert Morris (IL) and Stony Brook advanced to the Final Four of the 2014 ACHA National Championship.
Stony Brook, the nation’s fifth ranked team, is the only squad that is out of rank as the top three teams in the final rankings round out the rest of the semi-final round.
Stony Brook advanced thanks to an three-goal first period that led to a 4-0 lead prior to Navy finally breaking through halfway through the second period. The Seawolves led wire-to-wire, taking a 6-2 win into the semis.
The game was a showdown between two of the nation’s most potent goal scorers. Navy’s Thomas Krysil entered the tournament with 35 goals, good for third in DI, while Stony Brook’s Ryan Cotcamp finished the season just one goal back of Krysil. Cotcamp got the better of the matchup, picking up a pair of goals and one assist on Saturday. Cotcamp’s tally with 10 seconds remaining in the first period would go down as the game winner.
It seemed as if Krysil’s magic finally ran out on him as he played the hero for Navy in each of their first two games. Entering Saturday’s game with four goals on the tournament, Krysil opened the scoring for Navy halfway through the second, but was stymied beyond that.
Navy brought the margin to two goals halfway through the third, but Andrew Cetola added an insurance marker prior to Scott Casley’s empty net goal to close out the contest.
Stony Brook plays in the first semi-final on Monday, facing off with #1 Arizona State at 5:00 pm.
Arizona State 4 – Minot State 0
Arizona State received a pair of goals from both Troy Scott and Dave Jantzie along with 19 saves from Robert Levin on their way to a shutout victory over the 2013 National Champions on Sunday.
Despite holding the number one seed, ASU faced the highest remaining seed of all the teams to advance on Sunday due to upsets in the second round. With Ohio, Liberty and Adrian all losing, Minot remained as the highest seed outside of the top-five entering their contest with ASU.
The Sun Devils didn’t flinch at facing the defending champions, as Scott picked up goals late in the first and second period to give ASU a two-goal advantage entering the final frame. Jantzie would score the insurance marker at 6:53 of the third period before adding an empty net goal in the dying seconds.
While Levin wasn’t bombarded, he was forced to be sharp at times and held the fort well in his second-straight shutout of the tournament. Through two games, Levin has stopped all 37 shots he has faced.
The Sun Devils advance to face Ryan Cotcamp and Stony Brook at 5:00 today as Cotcamp will showdown with another prolific scorer in ASU’s Kale Dolinski.
Oklahoma 3 – Iowa State 1
The Cylcones had another upset on their minds as they carried a 1-0 lead into the third period, but three unanswered tallies from Oklahoma ended ISU’s run to the final.
Jordan Greenberg broke the ice for the Sooners just 2:51 into the final frame and then Tyler Jones scored two goals 1:33 apart to seal the victory for the number two seed.
It was a goaltending clinic for both Matthew Cooper and Nick Holmes. Cooper was sensational in the loss, stopping 42 shots and bringing his total to 84 saves on 88 shots (.954 SV%) for the tournament. Holmes tested to a nearly equal level as he was against Illinois, stopping 28 Cyclone chances and recording his second win of the tournament.
The trio of Jones, Darrell Boldon and Mason Miller were potent for the Sooners as Jones’ two goals were complimented by a pair of assists each from Boldon and Miller.
The victory sets the stage for a date with the stingy defense and goaltending of Robert Morris in Monday’s second semi-final at 8:00 pm.
Robert Morris (IL) 6 – Central Oklahoma 0
Robert Morris got an early start before putting the pedal to the floor in the second period as they cruised past Central Oklahoma 6-0.
Robert Chapman opened the scoring just 31 seconds into the game and the Eagles rode a four-goal second period to an easy victory. Goals from Tony Domico, Christopher Cimoch, Gehrett Sargis and Champan built RMU’s lead to five and Domico’s second of the game in the third period was simply icing on the cake.
Chapman and Domico’s two-goal efforts paced the offensive game but it was RMU’s stout defense that again defined their victory. After picking up a 20-save shutout over Oakland in the second round, Anthony Petrak made 26 saves to post his second clean sheet on Sunday. Of the remaining teams, only Arizona State has allowed fewer shots through two games.
Petrak’s play has been a defining quality of RMU’s season and berth in the semi-finals. While the offense has churned at an impressive rate (11 goals in two games), their goaltender has been equally efficient and will face a stingy test on Monday against Oklahoma.