ANNAPOLIS, MD (Saturday, January 30, 2010) -- For the second consecutive night, Navy's men's hockey team gave 10th ranked University of Rhode Island all it could handle and more,
but unfortunately the outcome was the same, as the Midshipmen fell, 4-2, in an Eastern States Collegiate Hockey League (ESCHL) game Saturday night at the McMullen Hockey Arena.
The Mids are now 9-19-3 overall and 1-15-2 in the ESCHL. The Rhode Island Rams are 19-6-3 and 14-2-2.
URI grabbed the early first period lead with a pair of even strength goals from Mike Tait at 4:19 and Richie Falasca at 12:25. Navy cut the lead in half before the period ended with a goal from sophomore Mitch Pulver at 18:40. For Pulver, who has steadily blossomed into one of the Mids' top offensive performers, it was his 13th goal this season.
The Rams regained their two-goal advantage early in the second stanza when Devin Sheehan picked up a rebound while URI was on a power play and fired it into a half open net at 3:21. Just as they had done Friday night, Navy battled back to pull within a goal when junior Sam Carlson fired a shot that deflected and fluttered over URI goaltender Joe Spagnoli's shoulder at 4:22, assists going to Pulver and senior co-captain Patrick Heitman. The power play tally was Carlson's team-leading 15th goal of the current campaign.
The Midshipmen had a critical penalty kill later in the middle period when they killed off a 5-on-3 URI power play.
But the Rams put the game out of reach late in the third period with a goal off the stick of Jaryd Coleman at the end of a 2-on-1 break at 15:18.
Navy senior netminder Eric Anderson was outstanding between the pipes, finishing with 43 saves and constantly thwarting the Rams throughout the night. His counterpart, Spagnoli, was credited with 32 saves.
"Andy played a great game for us tonight," head coach Mike Fox said. "I thought overall we played pretty well, but not as well as we played Friday night. We didn't give 100% for 60 minutes and you can't do that against a good team like Rhode Island and expect to win. Hopefully we have seven games left, and I challenged our underclassmen to give it their all during those seven games and give the seniors the kind of send-off they deserve."
That seven-game stretch begins next Friday night (February 5), when the Midshipmen host ESCHL rival Drexel at McMullen Hockey Arena at 7:30 p.m.
URI 2 1 1 - 4
NAVY 1 1 0 - 2
URI - Tait (Falasca, Astarita) 4:19
URI - Falasca (Tait, Krannich) 12:25
N - Pulver 13 (Mils, Carlson) 18:20
URI - Sheehan (Dietz, Lassik) 3:21
N - Carlson 15 (Pulver, Heitman) 4:22
URI - Coleman (Dupras, MacDonald) 15:18
Friday March 7 (M1) Naval Academy, United Stat 4 vs. (M1) Liberty University 3 Thursday March 6 (M1) West Virginia University 1 vs. (M1) Naval Academy, United Stat 2 Sunday February 23 (M1) Drexel University 1 vs. (M1) Naval Academy, United Stat 5
Home Game vs. @ Fred Rust Arena Sunday March 9, 10:00 am