(Photo Courtesy of Army Athletics)
With mere seconds left in regulation, Will Coletti handled the rock off the faceoff and pushed up field against a pressing Boston U. defense before scoring an empty-netter with 16 ticks remaining. The score ensured the the Army Black Knights would be the only Patriot League team to knock off Boston U. in the regular season, and would give the Black Knights the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament.
Army came into Friday night’s game looking for a big win after faltering against arch-rival Navy last Saturday. And while Colletti’s game-winner, as well as his 51% (17-for-33) performance at the dot, helped the Black Knights seal the deal and accomplish that feat, he was far from the only star of the night in the black and gold.
Brendan Nichtern led the way for the Black Knights’ offense with a program-record eight assists and two goals for 10 points. Nichtern’s two goals came in the fourth quarter as he found himself in front of an open net and converted off a Paul Johnson feed with 11:44 left, and then got a step above GLE off a dodger from X with 9:25 remaining.
Nichtern’s two scores were the final Army goals before Coletti’s game-winner and helped the Black Knights stay ahead during a fierce late-game surge from the Terriers’ offense. Boston U. ended the game on a 7-4 run as they ended the third quarter with three consecutive scores before putting in four more in the fourth quarter.
Thomas Niedrighaus and Jett DZiama scored with 24 and seven seconds left in the third quarter to cap that three-goal Terriers run and make it a one-goal, 11-10, contest heading into the fourth and final frame. And while the Terriers continued to find success, the Black Knights wouldn’t go away either as they constantly stayed one goal ahead, never letting a tie occur or falling behind in those final 15 minutes.
Prior to that late-game Terriers surge, the Black Knights went on a run of their own as they outscored Boston U. 7-1 from the nine-second mark in the second quarter through the 1:58 mark in the third. That run included two man-up scores and four consecutive scores to cap off the momentum-shifting offensive surge. Nichtern assisted on five of those scores for the Black Knights.
That run not only helped Army get their first lead of the game, 7-6, early in the third quarter, but also eventually extend that lead out to their largest of the game, 11-17, and to a place where the Terriers were unable to fully comeback from.
During that Black Knights’ run, the faceoff battle between Will Coletti went 5-for-9 (55%) during a stretch of the game that showed how much of a battle it was between Coletti and Connor Calderone at the dot. Additionally, Wyatt Schupler made four saves during that stretch to help hold the Terriers’ offense at bay. Schupler ended the day with just six saves and a 30% save percentage.
Louis Perfetto led the way for the Terriers’ offense with seven points off five goals and three assists. He was involved in four of the Terriers’ late-game goals, assisting on two and scoring two. That included the final goal of the game with one second left. Thomas Niedrighaus had a hat trick.
Matt Garber made 16 saves with a 51% save percentage. 10 of those stops cam in the first half of play. Roy Meyer grabbed six ground balls and caused three turnovers, playing down low at close for another week despite the return of Patrick Morrison.
Loyola Beats Lehigh in Overtime
The Loyola Greyhounds’s all-time record against the Lehigh Mountain Hawks remains with just one blemish as they pulled out the win at home in overtime on Friday night, 13-12.
It what can only be described as a game of runs, the Greyhounds’ man-up unit saved the day. Aidan Olmstead put in the game-tying and overtime-forcing goal with 29 seconds remaining in regulation and Kevin Lindley put home the overtime, game-winner with 3:31 left in the extra frame. Each score came off a man-up opportunity.
Olmstead scored on another man-up possession earlier in the game to push the Greyhounds ahead 10-8 late in the third quarter.
Each of the three man-up scores Loyola converted on came off penalties from the same Lehigh player: Michael Gomez. A double illegal body check penalty on Gomez with 39 seconds left in regulation led to each of those final scores for the Greyhounds while he was flagged for unnecessary roughness late in the third quarter.
Falling behind 5-0 early, Lehigh went on two massive runs in Friday’s contest to make it a game and not fall to far behind. The Mountain Hawks answered that 5-0 game-opening run from Loyola with a four-goal run to open the second quarter. They then scored four more times in the third to make it an 8-2 Lehigh run from the 5:57 mark of the second through the 4:12 mark in the third, at which point they pulled ahead 8-7.
Loyola struck back, but so did Lehigh as they scored four unanswered in the fourth quarter to take the 12-11 lead before Olmstead’s game-tying goal. The Mountain Hawks won the ensuing possession after their final goal of that run and could’ve had an opportunity to expand the lead, but a Cam Wyers caused turnover handed the ball back over to Loyola for that final possession.
Wyers’ play late was indicative of how well the Loyola defense had been all day. SSDM Payton Rezanka grabbed six ground balls and caused three turnovers while Sam Shafer made eight saves as the anchor on t he back end.
Lindley’s game-winner marked his fifth goal of the day as he led all scorers. Olmstead had four goals and one assist. Bailey Savio went 17-for-28 (60%) at the faceoff dot against Mike Sisselberger.
Justin Tiernan, in just his third game back from injury, had a hat trick for Lehigh. Two of his scored came consecutively during that initial big run. Tommy Schelling (3G/3A) and Scott Cole (3G/2A) each had six and five points apiece.
James Spence anchored the Lehigh defense with 15 saves in cage.
Other Notable Scores
- UMass topped Drexel 13-7 to punch their ticket to the CAA Tournament
- Navy beat Bucknell 13-6 to settle the fifth and sixth seeds in the Patriot League Tournament
- Georgetown beat Villanova 13-7 to end the season unbeaten in Big East play
- Denver beat Marquette 16-8