By Adam Stio – firstname.lastname@example.org
The biggest surprise of the morning was Cal Poly’s win over Arizona State. Both teams played to a 1-1 game late with a lot of exciting action end to end. Lots of shots were turned away by both goalies. Precise passing was the key and with one mistake by anyone could come to a deciding fate. Alex Karic scored the game winner with less than 5 minutes to go. I asked Alex how it felt and he replied, “We’ve seen them all year, rivals, we’re at the same hotel and it feels unbelievable that we took them out.” “Every game (against them) was such a battle.” His teammates call him ‘no show’, but he showed up in the right place this morning. When asked about loss ASU Coach Nick Boyarsky said, “We came in with a certain expectation and I credit Cal Poly.” “We maybe came in a little too confident early, outshot them, but maybe they came in with intensity and we didn’t.”
Adversity is something you need to overcome in order to win. Being up 4-2 at one point in the game Rowan was pacing their way. The Profs, in their brief history, had never beaten West Chester. Perhaps it was playing in their heads as West Chester popped two quick goals in within a minute to tie it. Someone shined a light late in the game as WCU was whistled for hooking with under a minute to go. Vince Massamini was on the doorstep as clear as his shorthanded breakaway earlier in the game. He received the pass through the slot from Joe Kratchwell and it was over. 9.2 seconds was left on the clock, 5-4 was the score. Rowan punches their ticket forward to the elite eight.
Lindenwood had a bit of a scare for the first 29 minutes of its game. Eastern Michigan was on fire after a big win over Buffalo in the earlier round. Both teams played solid defense and the goaltending was spot on. Unfortunately, mistakes are just a part of the game. The Lions made less and they made their shots count taking it 4-1. They face a pesky Ohio State team in the next round.
Long Beach State is a team some can’t figure out. Having only eight skaters most feel that one unit is better than the other. UM St. Louis found out how both can be one in the same. Combined with strong goaltending they have a 10 player team that hits you from all angles. Not by number, but the 49ers second unit did most of the work putting up a 3 of the 4 goal second period. The first unit put in the other and an empty netter to advance.
Missouri State had a tight game as well. Salman Shah opened the door for them with two goals to lead them over WCRHL Champs UC Santa Barbara. State heads up against Cal Poly, another team from the west not to take too lightly.
Michigan State jumped out to a quick lead and held on against the stubborn defense of Rutgers. Senior Captain Jim Goodliffe again leads his squad ahead in this tournament with 3 more goals. The Spartans won 6-2 and face ECRHA champ Rowan.