Navy Nips Georgetown, 4-32009-10-24
ANNAPOLIS, MD (Friday, October 23, 2009) -- Navy's ice hockey team skated out to a 4-1 second period lead, then held on to defeat Georgetown University, 4-3, Friday night at the McMullen Hockey Arena in Annapolis.
The Midshipmen improved to 4-7 overall this season with the victory, while the Hoyas fell to 3-2.
Navy broke on top 2-0 in the first period, thanks to even strength goals from junior Sam Carlson at 1:27 and senior co-captain Patrick Heitman at 8:47. It was Carlson's team-leading seventh goal of the season and Heitman's first.
Georgetown cut the deficit in half just before the period ended when Alex Yale-Loehr banged home a rebound at 19:38 while the Hoyas were on a power play.
In the second stanza, sophomore Tom Fick tallied twice to account for the 4-1 advantage. Fick's first goal came after Georgetown defenseman Peter Bouenef fell at Navy's blue line. Fick scooped up the loose puck and streaked down the left wing, then fired a shot into the upper right corner of the net, over the left shoulder of Hoya netminder Greg Graham, at 2:45. A short time later, at 6:17, Fick redirected a perfect pass from sophomore Mitch Pulver past Graham for his fifth goal of the season.
With everything seeming to be going Navy's way, Georgetown staged a third period comeback. After Navy senior goaltender Jeremey Estevez had made an initial save of a Hoya shot, Joe Horgan pounced on the rebound and put it past a sprawling Estevez at the 4:55 mark. Then midway through the final period, at 9:59, Georgetown's Yale-Loehr fired a hard wrist into the upper corner of the net to pulll the Hoyas within 4-3.
Georgetown pulled goaltender Graham for an extra attacker during the game's final minute and nearly tied the game with a shot that hit the goalpost. But the Mids held on for the hard-earned victory, which broke a six-game losing streak.
Estevez saved 22 of the 25 Hoya shots he faced, while Graham stopped 31 of 35.
"Certainly I was glad we got the win, but we still have a long way to go before we can say we're a good hockey team," head coach Mike Fox said following the win. "There were stretches of time where we did the kinds of things we need to be doing, but we were nowhere close to playing 60 minutes of solid hockey. Sunday's game will be a good barometer of where we are as a team and how much work we have to do before we get back into league play."
Navy is back in action this Sunday (October 25) when the Mids host the University of Maryland at McMullen Arena at 1 p.m.
EXTRA POINTS: Several special guests were spotted in attendance Friday night...the VIP guest list included Bill Knips, a 2006 USNA grad who enjoyed a great four-year hockey career with the Mids...the likeable Navy SEAL was joined by his dad Emil, mom Jayne, and new fiancee Jennifer Kunst, sister of Knips' classmate and fellow hockey standout Sam Kunst...Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley arrived at McMullen Arena in time to watch the final eight minutes of the third period...Governor O'Malley's daughter Grace is a freshman at Georgetown this semester...there will be a ceremonial puck drop immediately prior to Sunday's game with Maryland...doing the honors will be Rear Admiral Kenneth P. Moritsugu, who retired in 2007 as Acting United States Surgeon General.
Georgetown 0 1 2 - 3
NAVY 2 2 0 - 4
N - Carlson 7 (Pulver, Fick) 1:27
N - Heitman 1 (Frederick, Van Winter) 8:47
G - Yale-Loehr (Walsh, Thompson) 19:38 PP
N - Fick 4 (Heitman) 2:45
N - Fick 5 (Pulver) 6:17
G - Horgan (Owen, McGinniss) 4:55
G - Yale-Loehr (Bouenef) 9:59
Graham (Georgetown) 10 12 9 - 31
Estevez (NAVY) 10 5 7 - 22