2014 Nationals - Day 2 recap

2014-03-12

Favorites and longshots for the elimination round began to shake out after Wednesday's action.

Three players recorded hat tricks in Wednesdays’ pool play matchup between Neumann and Arkansas as the Razorbacks rolled 14-6.

Neumann’s Matt Fox and Arkansas’ Justin McDowell and Marcel Toure hit for the hats with Toure picking up four goals on the night. McDowell and Toure were amongst a group of 10 Arkansas skaters with at least two points and were joined by Ryan Machos and Martin Sundstedt with multiple goals against Neumann.

The game featured a torrid scoring pace as the teams combined for six goals in each of the first two periods. Neumann scored a pair of goals in each period only to be doubled up by Arkansas in the first two before the Razorbacks hung six goals in the final frame.

Arkansas needed a strong rebound after dropping a narrow 4-3 decision to Adrian (Gold) on Tuesday. The win keeps them within striking distance of Central Florida at the top of Pool D and on pace with Adrian after their loss on Wendnesday. The big goal differential will also help in any future tiebreak situations.

Neumann is looking up a steep mountain after two games. Four points behind UCF in the pool, they will need wins over both Adrian and UCF to give themselves an opportunity to advance to the elimination round.

Colorado State 7 – Pittsburgh-Johnstown 3
Much like Arkansas in the early matchup, Colorado State was in need of redemption in order to stay in contention in their pool. Their 7-3 bounce back win keeps them in the running to advance to the elimination games.

After a 7-4 loss on Tuesday, CSU wasted no time establishing dominance on Wednesday afternoon, scoring three times in the first period and adding the final nails in the Pitt coffin with a pair of goals in the second. Chris Mason drew first blood just 2:07 into the contest and his goal was followed by tallies from Jake Christofferson and Sawyer Stinchfield.

Pitt didn’t go down quietly as Bryan Albright scored to answer just 34 seconds after Mason’s opening goal and Eugene Mack scoring just 19 seconds after Stinchfieild’s goal. CSU still held a one-goal lead entering the second period and Stinchfield’s second of the night plus Andy Hohler’s goal with just 2:27 remaining gave the Rams a 5-2 lead after 40.

Troy Schall scored Pitt’s final goal of the game, ensuring Stinchfield’s second period powerplay goal would go down as the game winner as CSU got a pair of insurance markers late in the final frame.
Nicholas Church was impressive in net for CSU, making 32 saves on 35 shots.

Davenport 10 – Mississippi 2
It was the same story, different day for both Davenport and Ole Miss as a second period onslaught lifted Davenport to their second-straight lopsided win.

Davenport scored three goals between the final two minutes of the second period and the first minute of the second, building a 3-0 lead in a combined 2:18. Four players would add six more goals for Davenport while only Dan Warnecke scored for Ole Miss and the difference after 40 minutes had grown to 8-1.

Branden Burton finished the night with four points (3+1) and became the fourth hat trick of the day after the scoring explosion in the Arkansas vs. Neumann game earlier in the day.

Davenport has wasted little time establishing their offensive prowess, scoring 17 times in the first two games of the tournament. However, even with a +14 goal differential and a 2-0 record, they only hold a slight advantage over Cal (PA) for the lead in Pool B. The two offensive powerhouses faceoff Thursday afternoon at 4:30 in a game that will determine the Pool B winner.

Robert Morris 3 – Farmingdale State 2
Brad Voice completed the comeback for RMU as they erased a 2-1 deficit with a pair of goals in the third period on Wednesday.

Voice’s game winner came at 12:19 of the third period and just over five minutes after Joey Daniels scored to tie the game at two. RMU had opened the scoring at 8:11 of the first period when Vito Bruno put a puck past Farmingdale goaltender Austin Liddycoat.

Farmingdale came back with a strong second period, carrying the play and receiving goals less than two minutes apart from Matt DeMartini and Mike Leprine to carry the lead into the game’s final frame.

Liddycoat finished the evening with 25 saves as his counterpart, Andrew Poetzinger stopped 31 of 33 in the win. RMU takes over the top spot in Pool A with the win and will have the opportunity to put a stranglehold on the spot with a win on Thursday over Miami.

Hope 2 – Florida Gulf Coast 1
Late goals were the story of Hope’s 2-1 win over FGCU as the two teams scrapped to a narrow 2-1 decision.

Nearly 40 full minutes of scoreless hockey were broken by Caleb Morgan’s powerplay tally in the second period. Hope added to Morgan’s goal with another powerplay marker from Robert Calvert with under 10 minutes remaining in the game.

The shutout would be broken with just 39 seconds remaining on a 6-on-4 advantage for FGCU when Brett Sutton finally found a way to beat Andrew Cook. FGCU wouldn’t find a way to manufacture another goal, dropping their first of the tournament.

The loss may serve to be fatal for FGCU as they drop to third in Pool C behind Hope (first) and Colorado State (second) after two games. A head-to-head win over CSU is FGCU’s only hope to advance at this point as they sit behind CSU by virtue of a tiebreaker.

Meanwhile, Hope will be expected to wrap up pool play with a sterling 3-0 record as they showdown with Pitt-Johnstown on Thursday afternoon.

Oakland 6 – Miami 5
A fast and furious pace defined Oakland’s narrow win over Miami on Wednesday night as the Hurricanes nearly battled back from a 4-1 deficit.

After Oakland opened with four of the first five goals of the game, Miami surged with two goals in the final 2:59 of the second period. The late tallies cut Oakland’s lead to one but that would be as close the Hurricanes would be all game. Twice Oakland scored to extend their lead in the third while Miami could do nothing more than answer to keep the deficit at one. Time would ultimately run out on Miami as they couldn’t muster enough to overcome the original 4-1 lead Oakland jumped out to.

 Jonathan Graham would up being the hero for Oakland, scoring both third period goals to ensure the win as the early lead began to slip away. Oakland also received a pair from Zac Massa (2+1) and a three point effort from Collin Elkins (1+2). Paul Nardone had two goals and an assist for Miami while Eli Davis added a goal and two helpers himself.

Central Florida 5 – Adrian (Gold) 4
In what is likely the most exciting game of the tournament thus far, Central Florida scored the final three goals of the game to comeback and steal an overtime win from Adrian.

Will Roos opened the scoring for UCF but Nicholas Rueter, Jacob Ryan and Mitchell Khan scored the next three goals for Adrian, giving them a 3-1 lead early in the second. Josh Drazin would answer for UCF but Colin Gilead extended Adrian’s lead just 1:19 later.

It wasn’t until the final seven minutes of the third period that UCF began their comeback. Jacob Solomon picked up a powerplay goal to bring the score to 4-3. Then, with just 2:49 on the clock, Matt Pierson put home the tying goal.

Nearly 15 minutes of extra hockey were played before Jeremy Roberts scored the game winning goal for UCF, capping the comeback effort and elevating them to first overall in Pool D.

Five different scorers chipped in for UCF and Roos (1+1) and Jake Ninko (0+2) had multiple point efforts. Bryan Hyman made 35 saves for the Knights while Chirs Schornack turned away 31 for Adrian.

California (PA) – Aurora 1
The final game of day two was a swiftly decided affair as Cal (PA) had all the scoring they would need after the opening period.

A quick 3-0 lead grew to 5-1 for the Vulcans after two periods as they kept pace with Davenport in Pool B. Aurora joins Ole Miss at the bottom of the pool with matching 0-2 records and a head-to-head game that will serve as a consolation match, of sorts, for the two teams.

Jeremy Pell scored just 1:08 into the game and Dan Bailey added to the lead just 2:30 later and Cal was off and running before the ice needed to be resurfaced again. Tim Gleason added an insurance goal late in the period before Aurora finally answered in the second period.

Cal was unfazed be Kevin Salinas’ goal as they picked up tallies from Tim Mooney and Thomas Graw to build a 5-1 advantage before the end of the second. Jeremy Pell’s third period powerplay tally was merely icing on the cake as the game was well in hand far before his goal.

Here's how the standings look in each pool after two days of play.