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No Luck for Navy on Oklahoma Trip


OKLAHOMA CITY, OK (Sunday January 16, 2011) After a weekend of arguably the best hockey that Navy has played this season, the Midshipmen walked away with two heartbreaking losses to the University of Central Oklahoma Bronchos.

Although the Midshipmen (now 14-8-1) came out win-less on the weekend, they certainly took a great deal of intangible experience out of their two road losses. Navy traveled back home to Annapolis disappointed but far from discouraged as they played some of their best hockey to date. Assistant coach Matty Thomas encouraged his players, pointing out that, "we had a game plan coming in and we executed it almost perfectly. We didn't get a couple bounces and that's it." He went on to remind the Mids that there is much work to be done, but if the team continues its current pattern of progress, the future looks bright.

Both games against Central Oklahoma were very close. The first game, a 3-1 loss, was tied 1-1 going into the third period. Navy's goal was scored by freshman Tommy Reed who picked up a rebound from a shot by Jim Tumolo. The Bronchos were able to take the lead early in the third off of a power-play goal, but the rest of the game was evenly played. The Bronchos clinched things with their final goal late in the game. Navy's net minder, Jameson Marshall was spectacular, stopping 27 of the 30 shots he faced. The Mids had some chances to score throughout the game and in the third period, but just couldn't find the back of the net.

The second game was also highlighted by exceptional goaltending with Andrew Mills in net for the Mids. Mills stopped 29 of the 31 shots he faced. Like the first game, the second game was a fast, clean, and well executed contest by both teams. Mitch Pulver picked a shorthanded goal for Navy with the assists being credited to Sam Carlson and Gary Beier. The Mids who out shot the Bronchos stayed on the attack for the majority of the game and nearly tied it up in the closing seconds with the goalie pulled.

The Bronchos, a top rated team in the ACHA, put up a hard fight, but did so with extraordinary class. In a touching moment after the second game, the two teams met together at center ice for a unified "USA" cheer. Without fail, the Mids were welcomed with open arms by the people of Oklahoma City and the players of Central Oklahoma. Despite the losses, it was undeniably a memorable trip that will launch the Midshipmen to further successes this season.

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