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#2 Quinnipiac 12, #3 Robert Morris 11 (2OT)
Emmitsburg, MD -- The Quinnipiac Bobcats used four unanswered goals - three over the final two and a half minutes of regulation and one in double overtime - to outpace Robert Morris’ league-leading offense. Except for a brief lull in the third period, the Bobcats applied constant pressure on the Colonials’ end to finish with a 12-11 victory.
Senior Jack Oppenheimer (Conshohocken, PA/Germantown Academy) took matters into his own hands, digging the Bobcats out of an 11-8 deficit with only two and a half minutes on the clock. The Bobcat attacker kept Quinnipiac in the game with a natural hat trick that culminated in the game-tying tally with two-tenths left on the clock. Oppenheimer’s first of the trifecta came off an assist by Christian Haggerty (West Nyack, NY/Clarkstown South). A little more than a minute later, with 1:35 left in the fourth quarter, Jake Glebocki (Wilbraham, MA/Northfield Mount Herman) streaked down field off a clear and found Oppenheimer at the right post allowing the latter to bounce it past Robert Morris goalie Charles Ruppert (Long Island, NY/Massapequa) to make it an 11-10 game.
Robert Morris won the ensuing face-off and managed to drain the clock down to 20 seconds before Bobcats senior goalie Kevin Benzing (Severna Park, MD/Mt. St. Joseph) came out of the net to force a turnover and lead the Quinnipiac break. Matt Minor’s (South Hadley, MA/South Hadley) shot went wide with nine seconds left, before Quinnipiac Head Coach Eric Fekete called timeout. Out of the timeout, Oppenheimer forced his way to the front of the goal before aiming low to beat Ruppert and send the game to overtime. The tally rounded out Oppenheimer’s game-high five-goals, in which he shattered the 100-goal career plateau and raised his season total to 22.
In the first extra session, Quinnipiac goalie Benzing made five saves, including many from close range. As time expired on the first overtime, the Bobcats were called for an offside penalty, giving Robert Morris a 30-second extra-man opportunity. But the Colonials turned the ball over, Giuseppe Palermo (Lino Lakes, MN/Totino-Grace) picked up the ground ball and led Haggerty. Haggerty completed the give-and-go, rocketing a shot from 15 yards out to secure the semifinal triumph. The senior finished the day with two goals and two assists.
It was no surprise that the Colonials, who boast the highest scoring offense in the NEC and the nation, were the first to assert their presence on the scoreboard. Corbyn Tao-Brambleby (Coquitlam, British Columbia/Western Reserve Academy) fired his first of three just15 seconds into the first period. The early charge set the Bobcats into motion, as they would send in two goals to every one of Robert Morris’, until the scales were tipped 6-3 in favor of Quinnipiac. During that stretch Oppenheimer connected for his first of the game and Christian Haggerty clipped in his first one.
Heading into the third frame, Robert Morris was able to hold Quinnipiac to a three-point advantage. Trevor Moore (Coquitlam, British Columbia/Western Reserve Academy), the nation’s leader in goals per game, blasted his 50th of the season with 1:57 left in the second period. After Moore’s tally a rejuvinated Robert Morris squad reeled off five more goals , transforming a three-goal deficit into a three-goal lead. The last goal came from Colonial Kyle Matisz (Stoney Creek, Ontario/Saltfleet) at the 5:17 mark of the fourth quarter.
Tao-Brambleby and Matisz led Robert Morris with three goals each. Matisz also added an assist. Patrick Smith (Westminster, MD/Westminster) added two goals and an assist, while two-time NEC Player of the Year Trevor Moore also had two goals.
Benzing made 13 saves on 24 opportunities for the Bobcats to take the win, while Ruppert made six saves on 18 chances in defeat.
No. 2 Quinnipiac advances to the Northeast Conference Championship game on Sunday, May 8 against top-seeded Mount St, Mary’s
Emmitsburg, MD -- The top-seeded Mount St. Mary’s squad advances to Sunday’s Northeast Conference Championship final, after defeating #4 Bryant, 14-9, just six day after the Bulldogs upset the Mountaineers 9-8 in the last contest of the regular season. The Mount used a seven goal run, spanning the third and fourth quarters to halt Bryant’s early offensive momentum. The victory marked the first for Mount St. Mary’s over Bryant as the Bulldogs took the first two meetings.
With under seven minutes to go in the third quarter junior Mountaineer Cody Lehrer (Baltimore, MD/Dulaney) busted open the Mount’s second lead of the game. The first of his back-to-back goals came off a dish from Daniel Straniz (Ridley Park, PA/Ridley) to tip the scales 7-6. When Lehrer struck again it was with a flashy over-the-shoulder bomb that lit up the squad’s energy as well as the scoreboard. The remaining five goals were spread among five different players including Andrew Scalley (Arnold, MD/Archbishop Spalding) and Brett Schmidt (Great Mills, MD/St. Mary’s Ryken). The Mount’s seven-goal blitz ended with MSM on top 13-6 with 7:16 to go. True to form, the only trio in the country did it again as Lehrer, Scalley and Schmidt all recorded two or more goals to uphold their two-goal average.
Lehrer finished with four goals to pace the Mount offense while Scalley added three goals and an assist. Ososki chipped in two goals and an assist with Brett Schmidt scoring twice for the Mountaineers. Bryant Schmidt and Stranix added a goal and an assist in the win.
Peter McMahon (Wilton, CT/Wilton) led the Bulldogs with two goals and two assists while Max Weisenberg (Long Beach, NY/Long Beach) and Poli each had a pair of goals in the loss.
Mount St. Mary's goalkeeper T.C. DiBartolo (Bowie, MD/Archbishop Spalding) the NEC Defensive Player of the Year, made 11 saves in the win while Jameson Love made seven saves while allowing 13 goals in 58:50 of play.
Bryant held a 36-35 advantage in shots in the game and a 31-21 edge in ground balls.
Bryant started the game strong, taking a 4-2 lead after one quarter of play. Weisenberg and McMahon each scored in the opening 2:31 of the game to stake Bryant to a 2-0 lead. After Lehrer scored to get the Mount on the scoreboard, Poli scored to make the score 3-1. Lehrer scored again for the Mount ahead of McMahon's second goal of the game that gave Bryant a 4-2 advantage.