2014 Nationals - Day 1 recap

2014-03-11

Live from Coral Springs, FL

Goals were in high demand on the first day of the DIII National Tournament as a number of high scoring affairs highlighted the first day of action from Coral Springs, Florida.

Davenport rode a five-goal second period to a 7-2 win over Aurora University in the first game of the tournament.

Davenport and Aurora traded goals in the first period as Byron Guerin and Thomas Massman scored for their respective squads. However, Massman’s tally and Aurora’s second goal – scored at 6:42 of the third period – sandwiched five tallies from Davenport that put the game well out of reach.

Guerin added his second of the game during the second period flurry which featured four different scorers. Jordan Steger’s goal ten seconds into the period served as the offensive spark Davenport needed and would go down as the game winner. A pair of goals from Blake Damerow helped build the lead to 5-1 and Daniel Hume closed out the period, building Davenport’s lead to five goals.

Brandon Madaj would add one more goal for Davenport to make the final 7-2. John Cruse made 22 saves for Davenport who play Mississippi in their second game. Aurora’s second contest comes against California (PA).

Hope 7 – Colorado State 4
Hope’s offensive attack was relentless as they scored multiple goals in each period of their victory over CSU.

Hope would score four of the next five goals after Jake Christofferson opened the scoring for CSU, staking them to a 4-2 lead after two periods. The teams combined for five goals in the third period alone, but Hope held the advantage in the final frame as well, scoring three times to ice their first game of pool play.

The offensive explosion from the two teams featured 10 different goal scorers with only one – CSU’s Christofferson – recording more than one goal on the day. While Christofferson’s pair paced the Rams, Hope was led by Robert Calvert and Jamie Haak who each picked up a goal and two assists.

California (PA) 8 – Mississippi 2
Two goals each from Ben Zalewski and Brad Mitchell along with a four point effort from Dan Bailey (1+3) powered Cal (PA) past Mississippi on the back of eight-straight goals from the Vulcans.

Mississippi opened the game well enough as Dan Warnecke picked up a power play goal to open the scoring. They’d hold Cal off the board for most of the frame with Thomas Graw finally scoring to tie with 2:22 remaining. Graw’s goal would be just the beginning as it set off an eight-goal outburst that put the game away quickly.

Three more goals would be added in the second period and another four in the third before Cameron Cook answered for Mississippi. By then, there were just seven minutes remaining and Cook’s goal made the score 8-2.

Central Florida 4 – Neumann 3
A narrow victory by UCF would be the first in a string of games that were far closer than the blowouts from earlier in the afternoon.

Ryan Nelson scored a power play goal with just 3:38 remaining in the third period to secure the win for UCF. Nelson’s goal came after Matt Pierson scored with just fractions of a second remaining in the second period to tie the game at three.

Pierson’s goal couldn’t have come any closer to the buzzer at the end of the second and it served as a pivotal moment in the game. Neumann had scored the final two goals in the first period with tallies from Ryan Dreger and Matt Fox. A goal from Ryan Dolan but Neumann back ahead 3-2 late in the second and it appeared as if they’d enter the third with a one-goal lead. But Pierson’s buzzer beater on the power play set up Nelson’s third period game winner.

Robert Morris White 3 – Oakland 2
More late heroics put RMU past Oakland in overtime as Vito Bruno scored the deciding tally in the extra frame.

Brendan Cullen deserves equal credit as his tying goal in the dying moments of the third put RMU in the position to take the come-from-behind victory from Oakland. Cullen scored off a feed from Dice Reyes with just 1:16 remaining to force OT and Bruno’s goal 12:22 into OT was the game winner.

Oakland held the lead for most of the night as Collin Elkins opened the scoring at 14:22 of the second. After RMU tied the game at one, Chris Hellebuyck put Oakland ahead once again with just over four minutes remaining. Hellebuyck’s goal capped a span that saw the two teams combine for three goals in just 1:25.

Florida Gulf Coast 5 – Pittsburgh-Johnstown 2
FGCU ran out to a 3-0 lead after two periods and held on through the final 20 minutes to put Pitt-Johnstown away 5-2 on Tuesday.

Eugene Mack scored 19 seconds into the third period for Pitt to break their 40-minute goalless drought but it would be too little, too late as FGCU answered both Mack and Bryan Albright’s third period goals to keep their three-goal lead intact. Although the teams combined for four goals in the third period, it was Nicholas Mucerino’s power play goal in the second period that would serve as the game winner.

Mucerino’s goal added to goals from Jacob McCabe and Thomas Patterson to give FGCU a comfortable lead entering the final period. Although Pitt’s first goal came before a minute had passed in the final period, Jordan John and Brett Sutton provided insurance markers for FGCU in the final period to ice the victory.

Adrian Gold 4 – Arkansas 3
Adrian jumped to an early lead but had to weather the storm late as Arkansas battled back from a 4-1 deficit late in the contest.

Edward Schaffer scored twice, including the game winner, and Myles Maltz and Nicholas Rueter added goals of their own to give Adrian a 4-1 lead by the 1:39 mark of the third period. The final 18 minutes would belong to Arkansas as Martin Sundstedt added a second goal to the one he scored in the first and Mason Browner picked up a shorthanded tally to bring the deficit to just one. Adrian was able to hold on to capture the victory but not before Arkansas gave them a scare.

Farmingdale State 5 – Miami 3
After trading goals in the first period, Farmingdale jumped to a 4-1 lead thanks to second period goals from Brandon Ciliotta, Joseph Petrizzo and John Mendicino. Mendicino also opened the scoring in the first, picking up a shorthanded goal with just under eight minutes left in the opening frame.

However, Miami would come back to bring the score to 4-3 thanks to back-to-back third period goals by Brock McGinn and Paul Nardone. Ultimately it wouldn’t be enough to bring the game to a tie and Farmingdale received an insurance tally from Petrizzo – his second of the game – to seal the victory.

Petrizzo and Mendicino each picked up a pair of goals with the latter leading the way with a four point (2+2) effort.