Rutgers, Stony Brook, Central Oklahoma and Liberty all advanced to the second round with victories yesterday.
The Men’s Division 1 National Tournament is underway from Bensenville, IL and the first day of play offer four exciting games in the first round.
Central Oklahoma 1 – Niagara 0 (OT)
Central Oklahoma and Niagara opened the tournament in style with a thrilling overtime game. After playing 60 minutes of scoreless hockey, UC0 needed just over two minutes to end the game in the extra frame. Luke Ward broke the scoreless tie 2:09 into overtime off a feed from Shane Khalaf.
Ward’s goal was the 40th shot of the game for the Bronchos as they directed a steady onslaught at Dane Wakefield for the entire game. Niagara tested Tory Caldwell 24 times on the day but weren’t able to find the back of the net. Caldwell’s shutout provided UCO the exact support they needed in trying to find a chink in Wakefield’s armor.
The victory punched UCO’s ticket into the second round of play where they will face #3 Minot State.
Rutgers 5 – Navy 3
A three-goal first period gave the Scarlet Kinghts all the support they needed in their first round triumph over Navy.
John Beatrice scored the first two goals of the game for Rutgers, with his second goal being followed just 42 second later by teammate Kevin Mathers’ first of the tournament. The three-goal onslaught would stand up for Rutgers as Navy battled back to make it a one-goal contest in the third period.
Thomas Krysil factored on all three Navy goals; scoring late in the first to put the Midshipmen on the board before assisting on Chris Day’s power play goal to open the third period. Krysil would add his second of the game to make the score 4-3 with just under two minutes remaining in the contest.
Krysil’s second tally brought Navy to within one goal after Jay Ewan staked Rutgers to their second two-goal lead of the afternoon. Ewan’s goal at 13:56 of the third period would go down as the game winner as Andrew Koslov’s empty net tally sealed the game for the Scarlet Knights. Rutgers advances to #2 Arizona State this afternoon.
Stony Brook 6 – Rhode Island 3
Ryan Cotcamp hit for the hats yesterday afternoon in a game that was highlighted by a number of impressive individual performances.
Cotcamp’s hat trick was pivotal in Stony Brook’s 6-3 victory over Rhode Island as he potted a pair of goals in the first period and topped off the three-goal effort with the empty netter late in the third period. Cotacamp’s two first period tallies sandwiched one of three unassisted URI goals on the afternoon.
Brian Gara, Mike Tait and Ben Upham each scored for the Rams on strong individual plays. However, URI was unable to claw back after Stony Brook’s Mike Amodeo increased the Seawolves’ lead to 3-1 with 5:49 elapsed in the second period.
Vincent Lopes and Wesley Hawkins also scored for Stony Brook, who had 11 different players register at least one point. Brendan Jones turned aside 24 shots in the winning effort and will face the nation’s top team in Adrian today.
Liberty 7 – John Carroll 1
John Carroll, making their first appearance at Nationals, started to stir the upset pot when Sean Lattal scored the game’s first goal just two minutes in. The CHMA champions hung with Liberty through the first 40 minutes before breaking down in the third period.
Liberty answered Lattal’s opening marker with goals from Cam Bakker and Christian Garland and skated into the third period with a one-goal advantage. That is when the Flames’ depth took over.
A late penalty on Parker Phillips gave the Flames a fresh sheet of ice and a powerplay to start the final period and Rick Turner tallied just 59 seconds into the final frame to extend the lead to 3-1. Turner added his second of the night four minutes later. Andrew McCombe and Caleb Grown would score just 47 second apart to put the final nail in the coffin as Scott Morongrell polished of the scoring for the night.
Liberty directed 63 shots on goal, with many coming in the five-goal third period. JCU netminder Justin Camuto ended his busy night with 56 saves while his counterpart, Clayton Brown shook off his early hiccup to turn aside 25 shots.