Bucknell vs. Hobart
March 29, 2003
The Game Story:
LEWISBURG, Pa. Senior middie Andrew Copelan snapped a 7-7 tie with just 1:11 remaining in regulation, leading 19th-ranked Bucknell to a hard-fought 8-7 victory over Hobart in a critical Patriot League encounter Saturday at soggy Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium.

Goalies Justin Sussman and Mike Borsz were both outstanding, combining for 30 saves in a tight defensive struggle in which neither team led by more than a single goal all day. Bucknell, now 5-2 (2-0 PL) after its third straight win and fifth in its last six outings, avenged a 12-11 loss to Hobart (4-3, 3-1) last season that cost the Bison the Patriot League title and instead allowed the Statesmen to grab the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Mark Williamson's game-high third goal of the day, a fastbreak finish off a feed from Mike Conklin, gave Hobart a 6-5 lead after three quarters. At the 8:33 mark of the fourth quarter, Patrick O'Hearn, a reserve middie who had not scored a goal all season, skipped a shot past Borsz for a 6-all tie. The play was set up by Worthy Sanders, who changed direction three times behind the goal before spotting O'Hearn for the open shot.

Just over five minutes later, Rob Lane put the Bison ahead with an unassisted goal, his second tally of the day. The lead did not last long, however, as just eight seconds after a Bucknell penalty, Hobart's Tim Booth scored from the left side.

Bucknell's Ryan Goodman, who was an unsung hero in the faceoff circle against Booth, the Statesmen's vaunted faceoff specialist, won a crucial draw after Hobart potted the equalizer. Borsz made a fine stop on Patrick Christensen at point-blank range, but Bucknell retained possession. Then with 1:11 remaining, Copelan scored from the left flank to give the Bison the 8-7 lead.

Hobart won the ensuing faceoff, but Sussman swallowed up Conklin's shot with 1:03 remaining and the Bison were able to run out the clock.

Williamson had a big day for Hobart, scoring three times after entering the game with only four goals in five games. Booth also scored twice for Hobart, but a big key for the Bison was their ability to shut down all-league attackman John Bogosian. The Patriot League's leading scorer with 21 goals, including five on Tuesday against Syracuse, Bogosian was held without a goal on just one shot attempt.

Blaise Fletcher checked Bogosian for much of the contest, with fellow defensemen Reece Pacheco and Ned Hare continuing their fine play as well. Bucknell entered the game ranked fourth nationally in scoring defense, allowing only 6.5 goals per game.

Back-to-back goals by Chris Cara and Christensen gave Bucknell a 3-2 lead after one quarter, and after Conklin tied things up early in the second, Kelly Hogue finished a Cara feed to give the Bison a 4-3 edge at the half. Hobart came out strong in the third quarter, regaining the lead on back-to-back goals from Booth and Williamson.

Bucknell held a 43-35 shot advantage and Goodman won 10 of the 19 faceoffs. He won 8 of 15 from Booth, who had earned 59.3 percent of his draws entering the game. Goodman had been Bucknell's No. 2 faceoff specialist but drew the starting assignment when Michael Petrash could not go because of an injury.

Sussman finished with 16 saves for Bucknell, giving him 502 for his career. He is just the fifth Bison goalie to record 500 career saves, and he passed Colin Barker (501) for fourth place on the school's all-time list. Sussman made nine stops in the third period, when the Bison were outshot 15-8.