Navy looks to rebound tomorrow after dropping their season opener at home by a score of 6-4 to Lehigh University at McMullen Ice Arena on Friday night.
The Mids burst out of the gate with a dominating first five minutes. Keeping the puck in the opposing zone for a majority of the opening play, Navy sophomore Rob Van Winter scored the team’s first goal of the season at 05:56 while on a 5 on 3 power play. Navy’s Jim Tumolo held on to the puck just long enough to bait the Lehigh goaltender out of position before dishing the puck to Van Winter who was waiting in the slot and scored from the top of the circle on what amounted to an empty netter. Lehigh quickly answered with a power-play goal by Tyler Lewis at 08:52 on a miscommunication between Navy goaltender, Jamison Marshall, and the trailing defenseman. Out wide to play the puck behind the net, Marshall’s rim around was intercepted by Lehigh forward, James Facey for a quick give to Lewis for the goal before Marshall could make it back to the crease. The game evened up substantially as Lehigh gained back momentum in the wake of their goal. With less than a minute to go in the 1st, Lehigh added a second goal on a snap shot from the right face-off dot by forward Chris Corby, as he picked up his own rebound before it was settled in the crease.
The game electrified in the second period as hitting picked up and the goals kept on coming. By the end of the 2nd period, Lehigh led the Midshipmen by a score of 4 to 3. The first ten minutes of the period was a fast- paced game of back and forth action. Navy had several opportunities early on in the period with repeated shots , complimented by a heavy presence in front of the net but Navy failed to produce any results. Navy sophomore, Curtis Bolinger got the Mids going on the physical side of things, laying a few big hits on Lehigh, including a nice open ice hit at the red line. But at 11:10, Navy senior Michael Orzetti was called for checking from behind on a hit in the offensive zone along the boards. He was awarded a five minute major and Lehigh was able to capitalize twice while he was in the box. The first was on a scramble in front of the net on the right side in which Marshall got tangled up on a rebound save, and Lehigh forward John Hite was able to tack on Lehigh’s third goal of the game. Lehigh's fourth goal came on a breakaway in which Tyler Lewis beat the Navy defensemen and put in a far side shot in from the hash marks. Navy had several offensive opportunities while killing the penalty, including 2 great plays by senior Sam Carlson, in which he danced around the defenders and got in close on the goalie. Navy eventually tacked on a short-handed goal by Rob Van Winter, his second of the night, at 15:19 on a beautiful 2 on 1 pass from Sam Carlson. Van Winter snuck behind the defenseman and scored on a a well timed redirection. Navy then cut the lead down to one at 17:58 when Navy junior Ryan Hass caught Lehigh goalie Chris Langstaff napping, bouncing a shot off the inside of the goaltender's skate and into the goal.
Early on in the 3rd it looked as though Navy might mount a successful comeback, but penalties and defensive zone breakdowns in the late minutes proved to be too much for the Mids to overcome. Early on in the period Navy had several huge opportunities, including a 3 on 2 pass from senior, Steven Csutoros to junior, Jim Tumolo, but the puck took a few unfavorable bounces and Lehigh was able to walk away unscathed. Marshall came up with several big stops on breakaways and shots from down low but Lehigh was eventually able to put one past him at 15:58 on a defensive zone turnover at the Navy blue line. Lehigh then added a sixth goal on a screen shot from the point credited to J. R. DeVita at 12:22. With the addition of two late period penalties by Navy, Lehigh was able to fend off a Navy comeback. Navy junior, Tom Fick put a late tally on the board with 14 seconds left in the game, but it proved too little too late as Navy fell to Lehigh in a fast paced, hard hitting, home opener.
The Midshipmen look to even the score tomorrow night when they take on Lehigh again at McMullen Ice Arena at 7:30 PM.
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