(Photo Courtesy of Saint Joseph’s Athletics)
The LIU Sharks scored five of the last six goals of the contest, which included a game-ending four-goal run that saw Richie LaCalandra make it a one-goal game. However, it was the Saint Joseph’s Hawks who came out on top as they survived the late-game effort from the Sharks to earn the 11-10 victory and earn the right to play in the NEC title game on Saturday.
LaCalandra’s final goal of the day gave him his second on the day as he ended the contest with three points (2G/1A). Blake Behlen had a hat trick for the Sharks as he put home the first two goals for the Sharks in the first quarter before putting in one of two man-up scores for LIU in the third quarter.
LIU’s late-game run was their second such sequence of the day as they started the game strong, turning Behlen’s consecutive goals into a three-goal run and 3-1 lead with 7:25 left in the opening frame. The rest of the game was all Saint Joseph’s.
Anchored by a 15-for-24 (62%) mark at the faceoff dot from Zach Cole, the Hawks stepped on the gas late in the first quarter and rode that wave all the way through the half. A Mac McLaughlin score gave Saint Joseph’s the 4-3 lead with 3:25 remaining and they would never give it back.
Carter Page put home his second of the day with nine seconds remaining in the first quarter to give the Hawks the 5-3 lead. They would only add onto that advantage, putting in three goals in the second quarter – including a pair from Levi Anderson – in the second quarter while holding LIU scoreless to gain the 8-3 lead at the half.
McLaughlin scored that final goal of the first half to help him end the day with four points (2G/2A). Carter Page netted one of three Saint Joseph’s goals in the second half to end the day with a hat trick.
Winning three of seven faceoffs in the third quarter and Will Mark making four saves in the frame helped the Sharks to better control the possession battle for much of the second half, and ultimately outscore the Hawks 7-3 in those final two frames. However, Saint Joseph’s was able to stay above water with three second-half scores, plus a four-save fourth quarter from Robbie Seeley as he faced a Sharks offense that got off 13 shots (seven on cage) in that final frame alone.
Hobart Shoots The Lights Out in Win Over Bryant
Down 3-1 with 9:24 left in the first quarter, the Hobart Statesmen caught fire and never cooled down.
Four consecutive goals to end the first quarter turned into an eight-goal run to end the first half of play. Ahead 9-3, the Statesmen continued to pour on as they outscored Bryant 9-1 in the second quarter and 12-2 in the second half alone, helping them to a dominating 21-5 victory.
Derrek Madonna led the way with six goals and two assists for eight points. Anthony Dattellas tallied six points off four goals and two assists while Bradley Simas had a hat trick. In total, the Statesmen offense shot 55%. They took 54 shots and put 38 of them on cage.
Adam Shea went 17-for-27 (62%) at the faceoff dot. Kevin Holtby made 13 saves with a 72% save percentage.
Saint Joseph’s and Hobart will play in the NEC title game on Saturday at 1pm.