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2014 Nationals - Day 3 recap

2014-03-13

Pool play wrapped up on Thursday and Friday's Final Four is set as Adrian, Davenport, Hope and Robert Morris all advance.

Robert Morris was the first team to lock up their berth in the Final Four thanks to a 6-3 triumph over Miami.

Alec Skiadopoulous, Zachary Sargis and Joey Daniels scored three goals within two minutes of each other in the opening period to stake RMU to a 3-0 lead before the game was 10 minutes old. They would build upon that lead with two more goals in the first 10 minutes of the second period to build a 5-0 advantage in just under 30 minutes of play.

By the time Patrick Rodgers put Miami on the board, the game was well out of reach. Brock McGinn potted a pair of goals late in the frame to draw the Hurricanes within two. That would be as close as Miami would get however, as Dominick Rovito added his second of the night to seal the win.

RMU advances to the final four after running away with Pool A with a 3-0 record in round robin play. They will face Adrian in the Final Four.

Oakland 9 – Farmingdale State 3
Oakland did their part on Thursday in their push to sneak into Friday’s semifinals. They won by a wide enough margin to insure their goal differential would win them a tiebreaker. However, they didn’t get the help they needed from Miami who dropped their contest with Robert Morris.

Oakland led 8-0 before Farmingdale finally got on the board, adding three goals in the final period to draw closer to their opponent.

Derek Sulpizio scored four goals for Oakland, Jacob Harlick picked up four points (1+3) and Brendan Higgins added two goals of his own in the rout. Kyle Gagnon only needed to make 16 saves as Oakland’s primary focus was on catching RMU at the top of their pool.

Oakland’s run ends with a 2-0-1 record while Farmingdale ends up 1-2 for the tournament.

Arkansas 6 – Central Florida 2
The most competitive group of the round robin was Pool D as three teams entered Thursday with an opportunity to advance.

Central Florida, by virtue of their OT win over Adrian had control over their destiny. Meanwhile, Adrian needed Arkansas to beat UCF in order to advance. An Arkansas victory combined with a Neumann win over Adrian would send the Razorbacks through.

Adrian’s 5-2 win would ultimately seal Arkansas’ fate despite a four goal third period powering the Razorbacks to the victory they needed.

Ryan Machos and Marcel Toure opened the scoring for Arkansas only to be answered by a pair of second period goals from Casey Greenberg and Josh Drazin. Drazin’s goal with 47 seconds remaining would be the last time UCF got on the board as Arkansas ran way in the third period.

The run started early with Mason Brower scoring 58 seconds into the final frame and it ended late with a trio of goals coming in the final 3:38. In the end, six different players scored for Arkansas who fell just short of advancing to the semis.

Adrian 5 – Neumann 2
Needing a win, and a little help, Adrian jumped out to a 3-0 lead through 40 minutes and never let Neumann get closer than two goals as they rolled to a 5-2 win on Thursday.

Adrian advances to the Final Four thanks to Arkansas’ win over UCF and the power of five different goal scorers pushing them past Neumann on Thursday.
Fred Krause opened the scoring with just under two minutes left in the first period and Daniel Hudson picked up the game winning goal as he added to the lead built by Krause and TJ Lovell in the second.

Neumann responded in the third with a goal from Ryan Dreger, but Adrian added two more tallies to ice the game as Jake Slimm’s late goal only served to lock in Hudson’s goal as the game winner.

Adrian will face Robert Morris in the first semifinal.

Davenport 5 – California (PA) 2
The matchup between the tournament’s two highest scoring teams played out as a fast-paced  affair that saw Davenport run away in the third period after 40 minutes of back-and-forth hockey.

With both Davenport and Cal entering their final game with 2-0 records, Thursday’s game would serve as the decisive contest in determining the Pool B winner.

Branden Burton and Jake Hambidge put Davenport ahead 2-0 after the first period with a pair of power play goals. Cal came back with a pair of goals on the man advantage of their own. Brad Mitchell and Neil Stewart both scored in the second period to tie the game entering the final frame.

Davenport took over after seeing their two-goal lead evaporate, scoring twice in the opening five minutes and adding an empty net goal with 35 seconds left. Jordan Steger scored the winning tally at 4:38 of the third and Jake Otto added an insurance tally 1:20 later.
John Cruse made 22 saves on 24 shots and will likely get the nod again when they face Hope College in the semifinals.

Pittsburgh-Johnstown 3 – Hope College 2
With wins over their first two opponents and Pitt’s 0-2 record entering their contest on Thursday, Hope had locked up Pool C before the puck dropped between the two teams. Pitt managed to pull an upset, of sorts, over Hope and pick up their first win of the tournament.

Mark Swankler, Troy Schall and Bryan Albright all scored for Pitt with Schall and Albright’s goals coming back-to-back to build a 3-1 lead. Hope picked up goals from Ben Hoard in the first and Elliot Digison in the third but were unable to draw closer as Pitt locked down late in the game.

Dave Dunkleberger turned aside 30 shots on the night, serving as a pivotal cog to Pitt’s win.
Hope advances to face the high flying attack of Davenport and will need to rebound from their loss quickly.

A pair of mop up games that saw FGCU topple Colorado State 4-2 and Aurora roll Ole Miss 9-3 to finish the round robin and determine the middle of the standings in Pool C and Pool B, respectively.

FGCU’s win pushed them into a tie with Hope College for first in Pool C, but Hope’s previous victory over FGCU pushed the tiebreaker in their favor. The Eagles scored the game’s first three goals and  CSU never came closer than a two-goal deficit in the team’s final game of the tournament.

Aurora made quick work of Ole Miss, scoring five times in the first period to build what would be an insurmountable lead before the Rebels got on the board. Ole Miss would climb within two goals before Aurora put the pedal down once again, scoring four times in the third to lock up third place in Pool B.

Final Four
Robert Morris vs. Adrian – 12:00
Davenport vs. Hope – 3:00
Final Pool Standings


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