How Sweet It Is!
Division 1 Bracket Play Continues Friday AfternoonApril 7th, 2017 at 5:28PM April 7th, 2017 10:32PM
By Ian Prescott (of NCRHA Coast 2 Coast)
Before you tune into the live stream, take a look at each of the Sweet 16 games in Division 1.
Farmingdale State College Rams v. University of Missouri Tigers
The Rams began their elimination round play squaring off against the Mizzou Tigers. The Tigers fresh off of a gutsy win against the Rowan University Profs were looking to play the role of spoiler. Tyler Hoffman of the Tigers was one of the leading point scorers in pool play and hoped to spearhead the offense against the top seed. No such luck, the return of Matthew O'Shaughnessy, alone (2 goals) would’ve solidified the win. Pair that with multiple point games out of six different players, and the Rams walked their way to a 9 to 0 finish.
Arizona State University Sun Devils v. Bethel Wildcats
The Wildcats have found a productive formula in the elimination rounds: stick to a sound defence scheme, rely on your goalie, score early, and win the game. Bethel almost executed the plan to perfection; but the Sun Devils would not be denied. They sent 31 shots the way of Blake Lochhead who stopped 29 of them, but a 3rd period tripping penalty allowed ASU’s Jake Romo to tie the game. The third period opened up almost immediately, Wes Fry took off on a 2 on 1 and scored the eventual game winner. Braxton Schultz denied Cody Bryant in close, late in the 3rd, to deny a tying goal. ASU’s Ryan Cotton added an empty netter to send them onward to a 3 - 1 victory and to meet Farmingdale in the Elite 8.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos v. Florida Gulf Coast Eagles
The Eagles supported by a large contingent of fans stepped on the Mission rink with a purpose. They played a tight checking game and were rewarded with the all-important first goal by Peter Schaefer This did not deter the Gauchos though. A dagger to tie the game at one was delivered by Kevin Mooney. This pushed us onward to overtime, when a FGCU odd-man rush was cut short by a too many men on the ice call. UCSB’s top ranked power play went to work, and Kyle Mooney set up little brother Kevin for a high slot wrist shot that went top shelf over goaltender Kiefer Gourdie’s shoulder and the Gauchos eliminated the Eagles 2 to 1.
Neumann University Knights v. Miami University Redhawks
The Knights feeling revitalized after receiving reinforcements from the likes of Derek Schultz, and Shane Fox, ended being too much to handle for the Redhawks from Oxford. The Three-Headed Monster of Kraft, Carr and Fox combined for 9 goals, 5 of which came from Tyler Kraft. Dakota Cook and Luke Buchy were the lone goal scorers for the Redhawks, scoring in the first and second periods respectively. The Knights moved on to a 10 to 2 win and will face UCSB in the next round.
Michigan State University Spartans v. University Rhode Island Rams
The Rhode Island Rams have been making themselves an identity over the last five years, “Never give up”. The Rams for two periods gave the Spartans all they could handle, tying the game at 4-4 on a Will Lalor power play goal. However the Spartans stuck to the game plan and utilized a late-second period shorthanded 2 on 1 goal by Mac Burkhard to get the momentum back. Two Powerplay goals later and the lead became insurmountable. The Spartans scored 6 unanswered goals for the 10-4 win.
Grand Valley State University Lakers v. West Chester University Golden Rams
The Lakers play a tight checking high-intensity type of style; unironically so do the the Golden Rams. The game opened up a bit after GVSU put home two goals in the last 4 minutes of the first period and traded chances with the Golden Rams until a 3rd period power play goal by Jason Kitchline pulled them within one. However, the Rams couldn’t put the potential game tying goal past the Chance “Boutin Wall” and allowed GVSU to add a late goal to win the game 3 to 1. They’ll play regional rival Michigan State next.
Lindenwood University Lions v. UMass-Amherst Minutemen
The UMass squad is a tight knit group who this time last year were raising their first ever National Championship in Division 2. They were hoping the magic would continue well into the 2017 National Collegiate Roller Hockey National Championships; sadly it did not. The Lions were too much, scoring ten unanswered goals from the second period onward in response to Shawn Lapp’s tally. Trenton Matteson and Jalen Krogman continued to lead the Lions by scoring 4 points each. Lindenwood cruises to a 12 - 1 win over UMass.
University of Missouri St. Louis Tritons v. Cal Poly SLO Mustangs
UMSL and Cal Poly began the game at a relatively even pace. The first period was as equal as it gets, goals and shots were balanced as well as the amount of penalties. However, as the game progress UMSL settled and took over. The Tritons flung 35 shots on net while Hayden Crocker and Michael Schubert, led the Tritons to the next round where they’ll meet their GPCIHL rival Lindenwood.