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Division II National Championships Day 1 recap


There was plenty of drama and plenty of goals scored on the opening day of pool play at the 2014 National Championship.

The final National Tournament of the 2013-14 season kicked off on Friday as the first games of pool play began in Boston for the DII National Championship.

New Hampshire opened the tournament with a win in the day’s first game, dispatching Northern Arizona 3-1. The Wildcats enjoyed a steady offensive effort, picking up a goal each period on their way to the victory.

Austin Sprague and Cody Nizolek scored in the first and second periods, respectively, to open a 2-0 lead after 40 minutes. Benoit Cousineau finally broke through for NAU only to have his goal answer 1:22 later by Blake Cardali. Cardali’s insurance put the icing on the cake for UNH as they staked themselves to an early lead in Pool D.

New York 4 – Florida Gulf Coast 3
A heated back-and-forth affair between NYU and FGCU wasn’t resolved until Paul Kazarnovsky scored a shorthanded goal with just 3:15 remaining in the third to give the Violets the victory.

Kazarnovsky’s tally was the lone goal of the final frame, following up a frantic second period that saw a total of four goals scored and three coming off FGCU sticks. The Eagles’ comeback was necessitated by Evan Ripley and Niko Masotta opening a 2-0 lead for NYU after the first period.

Carlo DiPiazza and Myles Neuneker each scored on the powerplay for FGCU to tie the score at two. However, Michael Cambria gave the lead back to NYU with a power play goal of his own. Ryan McAleese scored for FGCU to tie the game at three entering the third period. Ultimately it would be Kazarnovsky scoring the games’ fourth special teams goal to give NYU the win.

UMBC 4 – Illinois State 3
A four-goal outburst was all UMBC needed to knock off Illinois State despite allowing the game’s first goal.

Trent Webb opened the scoring for ISU with just under five minutes elapsed in the contest. The Redbirds wouldn’t score again for nearly 42 minutes while their counterparts ran out to a 4-1 lead. Matt Bloom and Ryan Atkinson pushed the Retrievers ahead before the end of the first period and Bloom added his second of the game on a second period powerplay. Zac Tracy scored what would become the game winning goal to extend UMBC’s lead to three before a late flurry from ISU.

Connor Anderson brought the Redbirds within two with 3:41 remaining and Tim Talty’s powerplay goal cut the deficit to one with just over a minute to go. Despite having time to get goaltender Ryan Siuzdak to the bench, it was too little, too late for ISU as Jon Drago stood tall in net for UMBC to stifle the final push to tie.

Liberty 3 – Grand Valley 2 (OT)
The tournament’s first overtime decision went to Liberty as the Flames overcame two separate one-goal deficits to defeat GVSU on Friday.

Brad Docksteader was the OT hero for Liberty, scoring with 4:35 remaining in the first overtime session. It was his teammates, however, who battled back from behind twice to push the game to the extra session.

Tyler Stroller was the only goal scorer of the first period and GVSU almost carried the lead his goal provided into the second intermission before a pair of late tallies pushed the score to 2-1. Nat Arbour scored with 1:34 left in the second stanza to tie the contest only to see Jake Endicott take the lead back for GVSU with just 34 seconds remaining in the period.

The late tally didn’t deter Liberty as Paul Inges scored to tie the game yet again with just 18 seconds elapsed in the final period. After only scoring once in the opening 38:26, the two teams combined to score three times in just 1:52 – a run that spanned the second and third periods.

Both teams played at an electric pace as Byron Cary turned aside 58 of the 60 shots he faced in the winning effort while Scott Tiefenthal made 47 saves in the loss.

William Paterson 4 – San Jose State 1
William Paterson scored a pair of goals in both the second and third period to topple San Jose State 4-1 on Friday.

Trailing after one period on a Sam Cimino goal, WPU’s power play went to work as Edmund Coxe and Matthew Hunter each scored while on the man advantage. Pat Walsh and Eric Simone would follow suit in the third period, scoring twice at even strength to build the lead to 4-1.

WPU controlled the play for most of the game, peppering Mario Retana with 51 shots, 47 of which the Spartans goaltender turned aside. Meanwhile, Jordan Huhlahan was forced to only make saves on 13 shots.
WPU’s win keeps them even with UMBC at the top of Pool B entering play on Saturday.

Lindenwood 6 – Utah State 3
Lindenwood scored early and late as they ran away with a three-goal victory over Utah State.

Tobias Dahlstrom and Eric Combs opened the scoring in the first and Niklas Bunnstedt kept the lead at two goals when he answered Ian Beckstrom’s power play goal in the second. The Lions ran away in the third, scoring three more to erase any doubt from the result.

Goals from Utah State’s Chase Allington and Josef Chase served as only reprieves to Lindenwood’s attack. Bunnstedt scored his second with John Mulligan and Scott Leslie each adding tallies to stretch the final to 6-3.

Missouri State 5 – Weber State 3
While there was no shortage of scoring at any point in Friday’s contest between Missouri State and Weber State, the Ice Bears doubled up on the Wildcats in both the first and second period to open a 4-2 lead after 40 minutes.

Both the first and second periods were nearly identical as the lone Weber State tally in each frame was sandwiched by a pair of Missouri State goals. Blake Ryan and Kyle Brown picked up goals in the first while Jacob Holmes tallied for Weber State. In the second, Robby Knott’s tally was sandwiched by tallies from Adam Otten and Justin Buchheit, whose goal would go down as the game winner.

Jake Webber scored on a power play to cut the Missouri State lead to one, but Jack Ryan added a late insurance goal to seal the win for the Ice Bears.

Penn State 7 – Northeastern 1
Penn State did not play the role of a gracious guest, dispatching the tournament hosts by a wide margin in the final game of the night on Friday.

It was 5-0 before Kenneth Phillips scored for Northeastern and PSU would go onto score twice more for posterity by the end of the game.

Penn State was led by Fredrik Lange’s two goal and three point effort while Joe Bonazelli and Austin Meegan each added a goal and an assist in the contest. Michael DeGaetano was forced to make 31 saves in the game as Northeastern matched PSU almost shot-for-shot, but couldn’t keep pace on the scoreboard.

PSU is currently tied with Missouri State at the top of Pool C and the the two will need to get through one another in order to advance to the next round.

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