ANNAPOLIS, MD (Friday, November 13, 2009) -- Friday the 13th proved to be unlucky for Navy's hockey team, as the youthful Midshipmen overcame a one-goal deficit with strong third period play, only to lose in a shootout to visiting Villanova, 2-1, at the McMullen Hockey Arena.
With the non-league loss, Navy fell to 4-11-2 overall this seaon, while Villanova's Wildcats improved to 3-5-1.
Following a scoreless first period, Villanova took a 1-0 lead 57 seconds in the second stanza when Finland native Joona Karlsson fired a hard pass just to the left of the Navy goal that was tipped in by Lee Zoeller.
After successfully killing off a 50-second 5-on-3 Wildcat power play, Navy dominated the last five minutes of the second period and much of the third. The Mids nearly tied the contest when newcomer Doug Dietrich was awarded a penalty shot after being hauled down from behind by a Villanova defender at the 7:06 mark of the third period. But Dietrich's shot was saved by Wildcat goaltender Kevin Healey to preserve the visitors' razor thin one-goal lead.
As the final period was winding down, Navy junior Stevie Csutoros picked up a loose puck at center ice, tipped it past a Villanova player, then skated around the Wildcat defender, regained control of the puck, skated in on Healey, and beat him with a hard wrist shot at 15:39 to tie the game, 1-1.
The Mids continued to dominate the final four minutes of regulation time, just as they had dominated the previous 21 minutes, but the bounces did not go their way. Regulation time ended with the score deadlocked at 1-1, and neither team scored during the five-minute overtime.
In the shootout, the Wildcats' Karlsson was successful with his team's first shot. Navy's Tom Fick was stopped by Healey, Villanova's Nick Guerere then failed to score on Navy netminder Jameson Marshall, and the Mids' Mitch Pulver was also thwarted by Healey. Villanova earned the victory when Ryan Farrell scored on his team's third shot.
Marshall finished with 56 saves, while Healy was credited with 38, as the Wildcats outshot the Mids, 57-39.
"I saw some good things out there tonight," assistant coach Matty Thomas said following the game. "Unfortunately we didn't come out with the intensity we needed in the first period-and-a-half, and we fell behind. Then we took four consecutive penalties in the second period, which hurt us. We played better in the third, but because we hadn't been able to 'get off the schneid,' some of our guys were pressing too hard to get that first goal.
"Our goaltenders continue to play extremely well, and Marshall was no exception tonight," he added. "We were short two defensemen, and I thought (Gary) Beier played one of the best games a Navy defenseman has played all season. I know we're better than a one goal team. We can do better."
Navy's "taxi squad" will face the University of Maryland's Division III team this Sunday (November 15) at 2 p.m. at McMullen Hockey Arena. The Midshipmen travel to Penn State next weekend for a pair of Eastern States Collegiate Hockey League games against the Nittany Lions on Friday (November 20) at 9 p.m. and Saturday (November 21) at 3:30 p.m.
Villanova 0 1 0 0 (1) - 2
NAVY 0 0 1 0 (0) - 1
V - Zoeller (Karlsson) 0:57 PP
N - Csutoros 3 (Beier, Mims) 15:39
V - Karlsson - Made
N - Fick - Missed
V - Guerere - Missed
N - Pulver - Missed
V - Farrell - Made
Friday March 1 (M1) Rutgers University 5 vs. (M1) Naval Academy, United Stat 3 Sunday February 17 (M1) Towson University 9 vs. (M1) Naval Academy, United Stat 3 Saturday February 16 (M1) Drexel University 1 vs. (M1) Naval Academy, United Stat 5