Navy dropped a heartbreaker to Bridgewater State tonight, losing in one of their hardest fought games of the year, 5-4.
Special teams play proved to be the thorn in Navy’s side throughout the 1st period of play. The Midshipmen were the early victims of a closely called period, taking several penalties within the first twenty minutes of play. Although battling hard to kill the shorthanded time, Bridgewater made Navy pay for their illegalities twice, the first goal coming around the mid way mark in the period and the second coming within the closing minutes. That being said, the period was far from one-sided. The Mids put on a healthy offensive show, creating several strong scoring opportunities on their own power play opportunities. Seniors Jon Wheeler and Sammy Carlson played a fast paced back-and-forth, causing confusion for Bridgewater’s penalty killing unit. But even with Navy threatening on the man advantage, the scoring frustrations continued as Navy seemed unable to catch any favorable bounces. It wouldn’t be until around the midway point in the period that Michael Orzetti would tie the game at one a piece with a picture perfect two-on-one goal on a brilliant pass from Tom Krysil. But with the second of Bridgewater’s power play goals coming at the end of the period, Navy headed into the locker room facing a one goal deficit.
The struggles for Navy continued with the continuation of the game. The 2nd period brought more of the same for both sides. With the officials maintaining a tight leash on the game’s physicality, the opportunities for special teams play continued to present themselves, but the Mids were still unable to finish any of their man advantages. Bridgewater State, however, was able to build off of their success in the 1st period, demonstrating their offensive fire power repeatedly. Navy goaltender, Andrew Mills, stood tall, stopping chance after chance down low for Bridgewater. Eventually, Bridgewater was able to sneak two passed in the 2nd period, but with less than one second before the end of the period, Navy cut Bridgewater’s lead to two on a ricochet off of a Bridgewater defenseman in the slot. Going into the intermission, the Mids had their work cut out for them, but looked to make the adjustments and battle back.
Navy seemed to have taken the challenge to heart and came out with a vengence to start the 3rd period. With a significant decrease in penalties there came a proportional increase in fluidity to the Midshipmen’s game. Shortly into the start of the period Navy made that flow count, as a shot from the point by Wheeler resulted in a rebound lying in front of the goalie. Jim Tumolo swooped out of the corner and buried it to cut Bridgewater’s lead to one. The majority of the period was a fast paced game with a lot of shots for both sides. Mills continued to shine, making a huge glove save on a key opportunity for Bridgewater with less then five minutes to go in the game, keeping the Navy deficit to one. Then with just under four minutes left, Wheeler connected on a long pass to Csutoros who drove down wide and Jim Tumolo in the slot for a beauty of a goal to tie the game. It looked as though the Mids might salvage the game when Bridgewater made Navy pay for a misplay in front of the net. The Midshipmen would not be able to recover from the late period setback.
The Mids return home after splitting their northeastern road trip to take on Towsen at McMullen Ice Arena at 7:30 PM on Friday October 15, 2010.
Click to watch Navy Hockey live
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