ANNAPOLIS, MD (Friday, September 25, 2009) -- Towson's Steven Alfano scored with just over two minutes remaining in the third period to break a 2-2 deadlock and help lift the Tigers to a 4-2 victory over Navy's ice hockey team Friday night at the McMullen Hockey Arena. The Midshipmen fell to 2-1 with their first loss of the 2009-10 season, while Towson is now 1-0.
The same two teams meet again this Sunday at 1:00 p.m. at McMullen Arena.
Navy came out of the locker room flat in the first period, and the visiting Tigers took advantage of too many Midshipmen defensive lapses and turnovers. Towson got on the scoreboard first when senior Mike Emmet used his quickness to streak down the right wing past several Navy players and beat netminder Jameson Marshall at 4:32. Senior Matt Doyle put the visiting Tigers ahead 2-0 midway through the opening stanza, at 11:04.
The Mids pulled within 2-1 less than three minutes later, at 13:52, with a goal off the stick of junior Sam Carlson. Carlson has now recorded a single tally in each of Navy's three games this season.
Navy started the second stanza with more intensity than it showed in the first 20 minutes, and the extra effort paid off when junior Michael Orzetti emerged from a goalmouth scramble and fired the puck past Towson goaltender Greg Valiquette at 5:06 to knot the score at 2-2.
In the decisive third period, the Mids appeared to take the lead at the 7:02 mark, but referee Gerard Boarman correctly ruled that the puck had been swatted past Valiquette with a high stick.
Towson then came within inches of grabbing the advantage midway through the period when Emmet fired a bullet that snuck through Marshall's goalie pads but trickled just wide of the far goal post.
As the third period was winding down, Navy got caught flat footed on a faceoff in its defensive zone, and Alfano scooped up the puck off a feed from Emmet and lifted a backhander past Marshall at 17:33 to give the black-and-gold a 3-2 edge.
Navy pulled Marshall for an extra attacker with just over a minute remaining, but Towson's Ryan Larkin spoiled the Mids' comeback try with an empty net goal at 19:18.
Towson outshot Navy, 29-25, including a 12-8 margin in the final 20 minutes.
"I was disappointed with our play tonight," head coach Mike Fox said following the loss. "We came out flat in that first period and quickly fell behind by two goals. We picked up the intensity a bit in the second period, but the effort just wasn't there in the third period. Quite simply, we were out-worked and out-hustled in our own building. I give Towson credit, they came in here and beat us. We're going to have to go back to playing unselfish, team-oriented Navy hockey on Sunday if we want to get a split of this two-game series."
Boarman whistled only three minor penalties all night, two against the Mids and one against the Tigers.
Towson 2 0 2 - 4
NAVY 1 1 0 - 2
T - Emmet 1 (Alfano) 4:32
T - Doyle 1 (Hresko, Alfano) 11:04
N - Carlson 3 (Pulver, Brewer) 13:52
N - Orzetti 2 (Csutoros, Tumolo) 5:06
T - Alfano 1 (Emmet) 17:33
T - Larkin 1 (Trantin) 19:18 EN
Valiquette (Towson) 6 9 8 - 23
Marshall (NAVY) 10 5 10 - 25