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Weekend Wrap: Final Four set at National Tournament


Two thrilling rounds of hockey played on Saturday and Sunday has set the Final Four for the 2013 National Tournament.

A thrilling weekend set of games has set the Final Four for the 2013 DI National Tournament. Minot State, Ohio, Arizona State and Lindenwood all advanced through two grueling days of hockey and will faceoff tomorrow for the chance to play for the National Title.

Oklahoma 5 – Oakland 4 (Round 2)
Oklahoma quickly earned a reputation for being cardiac kids at this year’s tournament. After a 5-4 OT win in the second round, the Sooners rallied from two separate two-goal deficits to advance to the Elite Eight.

The Sooners twice answered Oaklad goals within a minute to keep the game within reach. Darrell Bolden answered Patrick Smiatacz’s opening tally after just 62 seconds in the first period and Ryan Stouffer’s second period power play goal came just 58 seconds after David Merkle has staked Oakland to their first two-goal lead.

The real heroics came in the third period; down 4-2 entering the final frame, Brandon Dennis and Chad Hudson scored at 13:40 and 16:01, respectively to bring the Sooners back on level terms. Darrell Bolden then scored his second goal of the game after 2:13 of play in the third period to send the Sooners to the next round.

Matt Toter turned away 33 of the 38 shots he faced for Oakland and Colin Fernandes stopped 31 of 35 shots for the Sooners.

Minot State 5 – Central Oklahoma 0 (Round 2)
After a thrilling 1-0 shutout of Niagara the day before, Central Oklahoma was on the wrong end of a goose egg in their second-round loss to Minot State.

Wyatt Waselenchuk was tested early and often by UCO but stopped all 26 shots he faced on the day. He played a major role in keeping the Bronchos power play off the board on all eight chances they had on the day. While he was stellar in net, his teammates were quick to provide him with plenty of goal support.

Daniel Lamb scored two of Minot’s three first period goals that set up the Beavers for the rest of the contest. Lamb’s two tallies sandwiched Brody Haygarth’s goal midway through the first period. Haygarth and Lamb were joined on the scoresheet by Cam McGeough and Donald Iverson. McGeough finished the game with three points (1+2) adding helpers on each of Lamb’s goals along with his third period tally.

Tory Caldwell turned aside 22 shots for UCO and finished with 46 saves on 51 shots for the tournament.

Illinois 3 – Delaware 1 (Round 2)
The Illini dispatched the defending champions on the power of three unanswered goals and guaranteed yet another season without a back-to-back champion.

After Matthew Santucci opened the scoring for the Blue Hens, the Illini buckled down for the rest of the contest. It took a combined 33:46 for Illinois to solve 2012 Tournament MVP, SJ Broadt, but they got on the board with just under seven minutes left in the second period on an unassisted goal by John Scully.

Scully’s tying goal was reinforced by Derek Schultz with 7:13 remaining in the contest. Schultz’s goal would go down as the game winner as Nick Stuercke’s empty net goal provided all the security Illinois and Nick Clarke (32 saves) needed to advance to the third round.

Broadt finished with 33 saves of his own but didn’t get the goal support from Delaware’s special teams. The Blue Hens were held scoreless on five powerplays, including on in the final six minutes of regulation, on the afternoon.

Arizona State 8 – Rutgers 2 (Round 2)
After playing a chess match in the first period, ASU came out for the final two frames looking very much like the team that went undefeated in ACHA play through the first semester. The Sun Devils scored seven goals over the final 40 minutes of play to punch their ticket to the third round.

Stephen Collins was the only goal scorer in a penalty-filled first period as the Sun Devils and Scarlet Knights combined for 27 minutes in penalties in the opening frame. While ASU came away with a 1-0 lead, they were only 1-4 with the extra man that included a five minute major late in the frame.

The second period is when the goal scoring explosion started. Both teams scored four times in the opening ten minutes, with Dan Styrna and Ryan Clark putting ASU up 3-0 with a pair of goals just 1:06 apart.

Matthew McDonald’s goal offered Rutgers little support as the Sun Devils added Tallies from Kale Dolinski and Liam Norris gave ASU a 5-1 lead after 40 minutes.

Justin Gelesky’s third period goal was similar to that of McDonald’s as it was simply too little too late as Brian Parson, Kyle Bowen and Dave Jantzie each found the back of the net in what became a lopsided result despite the way the opening stanza played out.

Brandon DeLiberto was very busy, facing 57 shots (49 saves) on the day and his counterpart Joe D’Elia faced only 22 shots (20 saves) from the Scarlet Knights.

Lindenwood 5 – Davenport 2 (Round 2)
Lindenwood broke out to a 4-0 lead in this contest before Davenport was able to put a puck past Linus Ahgren.

Joe Kalisz, Steve Brancheau, Jeremy Meletti and Zach Glazer each scored for the Lions over the first 40 minutes as their goaltender, Ahgren, turned aside a majority of the 41 shots he faced on the day with perfection.

Travis White and Phil Wendecker finally solved Ahgren (39 saves) and brought the score to 4-2 before Steve Brancheau closed the scoring for Lindenwood and the game with just 1:33 left in the game.

Davenport was held in check for most of the game in what was a very disciplined effort from both sides. Both Davenport goals came with the man advantage but the Lions only gave four opportunities for the entire game to Davenport’s potent power play unit.

Adrian 6 – Stony Brook 3 (Round 2)
The nation’s number one team needed all 60 minutes to do away with a pesky Stony Brook squad.

The Seawolves hung around all day, answering every Adrian tally through the first two periods and making things very difficult for the tournament’s top seed.

After surrendering the game’s opening goal on a power play tally by Chris Joseph, Adrian scored two special teams goals of their own – seven of the nine goals scored came from a special teams unit. Spencer Bonomo put Adrian on the board with a power play goal and Robert Bodette put in a shorthanded tally to stake the Tigers to a 2-1 lead. However, Sam Brewster scored on the same power play to draw Stony Brook back on even terms.

The Seawolves also opened the scoring in the second period with another power play marker before giving up the lead on Ryan Bachman’s power play marker with just over a minute remaining in the middle frame.

A late penalty at the end of the second period by Kevin Barry put Stony Brook down a man to open the final period and another infraction by Brewster kept the Seawolves short for a great deal of the opening 10 minutes of the final stanza. Adrian did their damage on each power play, scoring the go-ahead goal (Andre Rakas) and the security marker (Tristan Musser) with the man advantage. Bonomo’s empty net goal was his second of the game and sealed the 6-3 win for Adrian.

Ohio 7 – Liberty 4 (Round 2)
Three separate two-goal leads for the Bobcats was too much for Liberty to overcome in their second round defeat.

Danny Logan scored with just four seconds left in the first period to answer goals from Ohio’s Tyler Benson and Mike Kretz’s and closed the first period 2-1. Ryley Egan brought Liberty back on even terms in the second period before Jonathon Glutch and Nick Rostek put the Bobcats up by a pair yet again.

Cam Bakker’s tally brought the Flames back to a one-goal deficit but it would not be enough. Jonathon Pietramala (GWG) and James Howard would extend the Ohio lead to 6-3 and Tyler Pilmore put the final nail in the coffin with a power play tally at 9:06 in the third. Ryley Egan scored his second of the game to give Liberty one final goal with just over four minutes remaining in the contest.

Iowa State 2 – Robert Morris 1 (OT) (Round 2)
ISU and RMU made sure to close out the second round in style as they engaged in a back-and-forth battle that needed extra time to decide who would advance to face Ohio in the third round.

Matthew Cooper (33 saves) and Andy DiCristofaro (25 saves) were sterling between the pipes as both teams battled to find a chink in the armor of either goaltender.

Derek Winlker’s first period goal would be the only time the host squad beat Cooper as the Cyclones’ netminder shut the door after being beaten just 1:59 into the game. DiCristofaro was equally impressive, only being beaten by Jon Feavel in the dying minutes of the second period.

Nate Pearcy sealed the upset with the OT winner on a feed from Chris Cucullu, his second helper of the night. The win for ISU was probably the biggest upset of the tournament through the first two rounds, although day three served up another stunning result.

Lindenwood 5 – Adrian 4 (Round 3)
After sneaking by a pesky Stony Brook squad, Adrian was unable to snuff out another upset attempt as Lindenwood scored three third-period goals to come back and pull a stunning upset of the nation’s number one team.

Goals from Joe Anstett, Spencer Bonomo and Alex Dobrzeniecki staked Adrian to a 3-2 lead after two periods. Grant Gorczyca and Darnell Dyck each scored for the Lions to eliminate two separate two-goal advantages – Gorczyca in the first and Dyck in the second – and kept Lindenwood within striking distance all game.

The Lions came out strong in the third period as Steve Brancheau and Jeremy Meletti scored at 10:29 and 11:16, respectively to put Lindenwood up for good. While Meletti’s goal built the two-goal lead that wouldn’t be erased, Peppi Sipila’s unassisted marker with 4:07 remaining would go down as the game winner.

Michael Moroso managed to put Adrian back within one with 33 second remaining, but it was too little too late. The Lions were able to protect their two-goal advantage in the third whereas Adrian was unable to secure a pair of two-goal advantages throughout the evening.

Arizona State 3 – Illinois 1
Arizona State’s Elite Eight showdown with Illinois was far more stressful for the Sun Devils than their second round victory.

ASU faced a similar challenge as they did against Rutgers, with a tenuous 1-0 lead after 20 minutes but they were not able to build on the advantage in the second period. Nick Clarke, who played a stellar game against Delaware was just as impressive against the Sun Devils.

Clarke made 39 saves on the night and held ASU scoreless for nearly 40 full minutes between Brian McGinty’s opening goal and Ryan Clark’s game winner with 7:03 remaining in the game.

John Scully was the only player able to solve Joe D’Elia (29 saves) as Illinois went 0-4 with the man advantage. Special teams turned out to be the difference as Clark’s winning goal game with the man advantage, the fourth and final power play for the Sun Devils.

ASU’s win and the Lindenwood upset against Adrian leaves the Sun Devils as the highest ranked team in the tournament.

Ohio 3 – Iowa State 2 (OT) (Round 3)
Iowa State very nearly rolled up back-to-back overtime upsets as they took Ohio to the brink less than 24 hours after dispatching Robert Morris in the second round.

First period goals from Austin Parle and Antti Helanto gave the Cyclones a 2-1 lead and chased Matt Michno after just 10:37. However, Tyler Pilmore added the tying goal to Brett Agnew’s first period tally to bring the Bobcats back on even terms.

A scoreless third period was almost followed by a scoreless first overtime before Michael Harris’ unassisted tally ended the game for Ohio. Harris finally solved Matthew Cooper who turned aside 48 of 51 shots a night after a 33 save performance against RMU.

Fedor Dushkin was perfect in relief for OU, making 31 saves and giving the Bobcasts the security for the comeback and ticket to the Final Four.

Minot State 5 – Oklahoma 4 (OT) (Round 3)
Like Iowa State, Oklahoma nearly pulled their second straight heart pounding win before losing in overtime in the third round.

The Sooners didn’t need a thrilling comeback against Minot as they built 3-2 and 4-3 leads before having the Beavers battle back to tie the game both times. Daniel Lamb tied the game with just 2:14 remaining and kept Minot alive just long enough to snatch the victory from the jaws of defeat.

The teams traded goals through the first 40 minutes as Brett Nespor and Cam McGeough each notched goals for Minot only to be answered with a pair from Jordan Greenberg. Greenberg’s pair were supplemented by two goals from Chad Hudson that sandwiched a goal by Minot’s Mitch Peeke.

Lamb’s tying goal was followed by Michael Jordan’s overtime winner and sent the Beavers into a Final Four matchup with Ohio.

The teams are off today with play resuming tomorrow with Minot State and Ohio facing off at 5:00 and Arizona State and Lindenwood playing at 8:00 (all times CST).

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