April 25, 2014
Final Stats |
BALTIMORE, Md. -
Lehigh's Reid Weber netted the game-winning goal with 3.7 seconds remaining as the third-seeded Mountain Hawks upset No. 2 Army, 12-11, in a Patriot League Championship semifinal game at a rainy Ridley Athletic Complex Friday night. Top-seeded Loyola will now host Lehigh for the 2014 title on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Army junior attackman John Glesener led all players with five goals - all scored in the first half - to go with one assist. The Camillus, N.Y., native and Tewaaraton Award Top 25 Nominee came out on fire, completing his 14th career hat trick in the first 15 minutes. Sophomore attackman Will Mazzone added two goals and one assist, while Jimbo Moore, Connor Cook, Matt Bowman and Cole Johnson each scored single Army goals.
The Mountain Hawks jumped out to a 3-1 lead, but a 7-3 Army run to close the half gave the Black Knights an 8-6 halftime advantage. Lehigh goaltender Matt Poillon made eight second-half saves and the Mountain Hawks outscored Army 6-3 over the final 30 minutes to come away with the one-goal victory.
"Our guys played their tails off tonight, but it was certainly not the outcome we were looking for," said 2014 Patriot League Bill Lawson Coach of the Year Joe Alberici. "Give Lehigh credit. (Matt) Poillon came up with some big second-half saves and their offense really got going. We knew it was going to be a dog fight, but unfortunately came up just short."
Lehigh's Dan Taylor led all players with eight points on four goals and four assists.
Army outshot the Mountain Hawks, 34-33, but Lehigh held a 32-24 advantage in ground balls. Lehigh was 3-for-3 on man-up chances, while the Black Knights went 0-for-2.
A back-and-forth game all evening, sophomore Alex Daly won the opening draw and the Black Knights made it count, as Jimbo Moore fed Glesener for a 15-yard rip past Poillon 46 seconds into the contest. Lehigh wasted little time leveling the score, 1-1, at the 13:24 mark on a Kurtis Kaunas goal. Kaunas' tally began a three-goal spurt as the Mountain Hawks took a 3-1 lead just under six minutes into the first frame. Glesener's second goal of the evening, netted just four seconds after Lehigh's third goal, stopped the run and pulled the Black Knights within 3-2.
Lehigh would stretch its lead to 5-2 on Dylan O'Shaughnessy's goal at 6:07 of the first. With time running out on the opening period, Glesener completed his 14th career hat trick and seventh of the season with 2:03 on the clock. The 5-3 Lehigh advantage stood at the break.
Army senior goaltender Bobby Sincero settled in and the Black Knights carried momentum into the second quarter, outscoring the Mountain Hawks 5-1 before the half. Cook got things rolling with his 15th goal of the season just over two minutes into the action. Lehigh then took advantage of a two-men up situation for its only second period goal at the 7:45 mark. The Black Knights ended the half on a 4-0 run to take an 8-6 advantage into the locker room. Glesener scored twice more and assisted on another, as the first team All-Patriot League performer tallied six first-half points (5G, 1A). Mazzone and a wide-open Bowman also beat Poillon, scoring at 6:47 and 2:36, respectively.
Lehigh opened the third with back-to-back goals, tying the game at 8-all at the 7:58 mark. With Poillon out of position chasing a ground ball, Mazzone's empty-netter put Army back on top, 9-8, with 2:38 on the clock. The Mountain Hawks leveled the score once again, 9-9, on a wild transition play with 0.7 seconds remaining in the third as the teams entered the fourth quarter with a blank slate.
Johnson's sixth goal of the game, scored on Poillon's doorstep, opened the fourth quarter scoring at 13:14 to give the Black Knights the 10-9 edge. Army went cold over the next 10 minutes, a span in which Lehigh scored twice to go ahead 11-10. Moore came up with a big goal late, scoring on the run with 3:29 remaining in the game. The Lynchburg, Va., native's third goal of the year tied the game for a sixth time and final time, 11-11.
Army won the ensuing face-off, but a turnover gave possession back to the Mountain Hawks. Lehigh had three shots off cage before eventually holding for the final shot. Weber's game-winner went top left with 3.7 seconds remaining. Daly won the forthcoming face-off and Army got a shot off, but Poillon was there to make his 10th save of the game to seal the win.
The Black Knights close out the regular season next Saturday, May 3, at Notre Dame. A noon start on ESPNU is slated.
Game Notes: Lightening in the Baltimore, Md., area during the first semifinal game delayed the start of Army versus Lehigh by 38 minutes ... John Glesener stretched his point-scoring streak to 28 games ... Glesener was named a Tewaaraton Award top 25 nominee during Friday night's contest ... senior close defenseman John Burk led the team out of the locker room bearing the American flag ... Army has made the Patriot League Tournament field every year since 2005 and earned its highest seed since winning the 2010 Patriot League Championship ... Army and Lehigh's goals in the first quarter, scored four seconds apart, tied for 2nd fastest back-to-back goals by opposing teams in NCAA history ... Army is 3-4 in one-goal games this season.