Bucknell vs. Army
April 16, 2004
The Game Story:
LEWISBURG, Pa. - John Walker's goal with eight seconds remaining in double overtime lifted ninth-ranked Army to an 11-10 victory over Bucknell in a highly entertaining Patriot League affair Friday night at Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium. Bucknell fell to 5-6 overall and 3-3 in the Patriot League, and the Bison will now have to defeat Colgate in its final Patriot League contest of the season ^ Apr. 24 in Lewisburg ^ in order to grab the final league tournament berth. Army (9-3, 4-2) entered the contest in a three-way tie for third place with Bucknell and Colgate. The Black Knights lost 12-11 to Colgate earlier this week and a loss to the Bison would have been a crushing blow to their playoff chances.

Chris Cara, the nation^s leading point scorer, had another big night for the Bison, collecting seven points on two goals and five assists. Cara now has 66 points on the season, tied for third-most in a season in school history and 13 shy of Justin Zackey^s school record total of 79. Cara also notched his 37th assist of the year, tying Pete von Hoffmann's school record, set in both 1977 and 1979.

Patrick Christensen scored three goals for Bucknell. His last, off a neat feed from Wes Fetchet, snapped a 9-all tie and gave the Bison the lead with 3:18 to play. Bucknell had a great chance to grab its first two-goal lead of the night but Army goalie Matt Darak (18 saves) robbed Patrick O^Hearn from point-blank range.

Bucknell goalie Matt Baran was equally stingy. He made four of his 17 saves in the final four minutes of regulation, including a scintillating stop on Jim Wagner, the nation^s No. 1 goal scorer, with 39 seconds left in regulation. But the Bison threw the ball away on the clearing attempt, and Army long pole Matt Luyster broke into the clear and fed Wagner for the game-tying goal with just 27 seconds left in regulation.

Both teams had two fruitless possessions in the first overtime, with Cara^s shot off the post two minutes into the period the best scoring chance. Army outshot the Bison 5-0 in the second sudden-death stanza. The Black Knights won the faceoff, but Bucknell forced a turnover and cleared the ball with just over two minutes remaining.

But the Bison had some confusion getting the proper personnel on the field after the clear and were whistled for a 10-second violation after stepping the ball out of the box. Baran robbed Brian Green with 1:04 left, and Green just missed again, hitting the pipe with 19 seconds to play. The ball ricocheted near midfield but the Black Knights were able to keep possession. Again Green had the ball in his stick late in the contest, this time feeding Walker, who fired a shot over Baran^s right shoulder to end the two-hour, 20-minute affair.

Walker led Army with four goals, while Jeff Bryan added a goal and three assists for Army.

Marko Kostovic, Wagner and Walker opened the contest with three straight goals for the Black Knights. Bucknell did not dent the twine until Cara scored an extra-man goal off a Kirk Klett feed with 2:12 left in the opening period. O^Hearn made it 3-2 with 25 seconds left in the first stanza.

After Erik Nerdalen opened the second-quarter scoring for Army just 26 seconds into the period, the Bison put together a three-goal run to take the lead for the first time, with Cara assisting on all three. Cara returned the favor to Klett for an EMO goal to make it 4-3, then Brian Gargan and Christensen scored 57 seconds apart to give the Bison a 5-4 halftime lead.

Walker and Bryan scored back-to-back to give Army the lead back midway through the third quarter, but Bucknell stormed back with Gargan scoring with 3:42 left in the period, then feeding Fetchet for a goal 47 seconds later for a 7-6 Bison lead after three quarters.

The two defenses settled in for the first six-plus minutes of the fourth quarter, but suddenly the two teams traded strikes in furious fashion, with the scoreboard changing three times in 23 seconds. First, Mike Obringer finished a crease-side feed from Bryan to tie the game at 7-7 with 8:23 to play. Despite getting hammered by Luyster just after the shot, Christensen managed to finish a Cara feed with 8:07 left to put the Bison back ahead 8-7. Army faceoff man Tony Vozzolo then won the ensuing faceoff and quickly passed to Walker for another tally with 8:00 to play.

T.J. Wallace and Fetchet made two pretty passes to set up Cara^s transition goal with 5:28 left, giving the Bison the lead yet again with 5:28 left. Jake Couch tied it at 9-apiece with 3:43 to play setting up Christensen^s go-ahead score and the all the ensuing dramatics.

Bucknell outshot Army 48-45 and held a 38-36 edge in ground balls. Ryan Goodman won 15 of 26 faceoffs for the Bison. Goodman and Brendan Fitzgibbons led the team with five ground balls each. Bucknell, which entered the game leading the nation in extra-man efficiency at 53.4 percent, went 2-for-7 with a man up while Army went 1-for-4.

Bucknell returns to action on Tuesday, visiting Penn State at 7:30 p.m.