The dramatic game was filled several pretty goals, hard hitting action throughout, and exceptional goaltending by both teams. The thrilling see-saw contest delighted an enthusiastic McMullen Arena crowd.
West Chester (16-5-2) scored the only goal of the first period when #32 Pat Johnson raced into the Navy zone unchallenged and beat freshman goaltender Jameson Marshall. Navy’s Patrick Heitman’s blast from the point would tie the game at one in the second period after Navy contolled the puck for over a minute on a delayed West Chester penalty. However, West Chester would take the lead again four minutes later on a goalmouth scramble.
In the third period, an inspired Navy team controlled the play and battled back to the tie the score at two before taking a 3-2 lead. The equalizer was scored by Charlie Daniel who beat West Chester netminder Corey Hackney on a power play goal. Navy then took the lead seven and a half minutes later when Alex Wallis also beat Hackney.
With 2:13 remaining in the third period, Daniels was whistled for holding and West Chester converted with a power play goal sending the game into a five minute, sudden death overtime period. In the extra period, both teams had multiple scoring opportunities, but both goaltenders came up with several game saving stops and the score remained tied at three when the final buzzer sounded.
The ACHA has a 3 player shootout in order to determine the winner when there is no victor in overtime. Navy's first shootout of the season proved to be one of the most exciting moments in McMullen Arena’s short history. West Chester’s first shooter, #29 Tom Haeberle, lost control of the puck and never got off a good shot as he was challenged by Navy's goaltender Jameson Marshall. On Navy’s first shot, Matt Swezey roofed a backhand shot under the crossbar over the spralling West Chester goaltender giving Navy a 1 to 0 lead in the shootout. The next two shooters for West Chester were the big guns - #32 Pat Johnson (56 points) and #8 Jim Gehring (65 points) who was the ACHA's Player of the Year last season. Both skaters could not beat Marshall, who's save on the Gehring bid sent the Navy players and the home town crowd into a frenzy with a Navy win.
After Navy's biggest win of the year, the team's record is now (13-14-2). Jameson Marshall was the star of the game for Navy. He finished with 40 saves in total, many of which were spectacular. Navy outshot West Chester 53 to 43 in the contest. Navy, now riding a four game winning streak, is back in action Saturday night against the visiting Villanova Wildcats. Gametime is at 7:30 PM.
NAVY 0 1 2 0 (1) - 4
WCU 1 1 1 0 0 - 3
WCU – Johnson 21 (Gehring, Bixler) 8:32
N – Heitman 10 (Culliton, Carlson) 14:44
WCU – Ruskowski 2 (Bushamn, Shockley) 17:51
N – Daniel 17 (Culliton, Swezey) 6:12 (pp)
N – Wallis 7 (Daniel, Swezey) 13:43
WCU – McGarry 8 (Bushamn, Johnson) 19:01 (pp)
WCU – Keene – No Goal
N – Swezey – Goal
WCU – Johnson – No Goal
N – Dubinsky – No Goal
WCU – Gehring – No Goal
N – Heitman – Did not shoot
Marshall (NAVY) 14 9 9 8 - 40
Hackeny (WCU) 9 21 18 2 - 50