Bucknell vs. Lafayette
March 25, 2006
The Game Story:
LEWISBURG, Pa. - Kirk Klett (Mt. Lebanon, Pa./Mt. Lebanon) equaled his career high with five goals, Steve Case (Baldwinsville, N.Y./C.W. Baker) had a personal-best four assists and 20th-ranked Bucknell used an aggressive ride to turn back Lafayette 11-5 on Saturday afternoon at Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium.

The Bison (4-4, 2-1 Patriot League) won their 13th straight game against Lafayette and have now allowed only 20 goals in their last four games. The Leopards, who got two goals from Leo Stinson, fell to 1-6, 0-3.

Bucknell dominated statistically in this one, yet could not build a comfortable lead until late in the second period. Stinson's second goal of the day from a tough angle to the right of the goal gave Lafayette a 2-1 lead less than a minute into the second quarter.

The Bison EMO unit tied it about two minutes later on its only chance of the day. Lafayette freshman goalie Jeff Canfield stopped Joe Mele (Westbury, N.Y./Kellenberg Memorial) from point blank range - one of 20 saves on the day for Canfield - but Tommy Moore (Hauppage, N.Y./Hauppage) gathered the rebound and put back the tying goal. Just 2:24 after the Moore goal, John Togneri (Longmeadow, Mass./Loomis-Chaffee) scored from about 10 yards out after a nice diagonal feed from Case.

It remained a 3-2 contest until Mele and Klett scored just 1:12 apart late in the first half to give the Bison some breathing room going into halftime. Mele's goal, his team-leading 15th of the season, came after a quick change of direction behind the net shook his defender, and he stuffed it in from the left side of the crease with 5:22 on the clock. Moments later, after the Bison forced yet another Lafayette failed clear, Andrew Goodhand (Sandy, Utah/Juan Diego) made an alert pass ahead to Klett on a quick restart, and Klett finished for a 5-2 lead.

The Bison expanded their cushion to 7-2 behind unassisted goals from Klett and Nick Marks (Barrington, Ill./Salisbury School) in the third period. Lafayette rallied within 8-5 on John Galassi's goal with 8:59 to play, but the Bison scored the last three goals of the day. Case fed Klett for back-to-back goals, the latter on a precise shot to the upper left corner of the cage with 2:40 to play.

The reserve unit finished the scoring when Rick Carolan (Wellesley, Mass./St. Sebastians) bounced a shot past Canfield with eight seconds to play.

Freshman short-stick defensive middie Steve Cooke (Phoenix, Md./St. Paul's) was another of the many stars of the day for Bucknell. The Bison have been struggling all season in the faceoff department, but Cooke was inserted at the X in the second quarter and won 9 of 14 draws. He led all players in the game with a career-high eight ground balls. The Bison won 12 of 19 faceoffs on the day.

Bucknell again featured a stout defense. The Bison, who lowered their season goals-against average to 6.72, used an aggressive 10-man ride to force 10 failed clears in the game. Lafayette was 3-for-11 clearing the ball in the first half and 12-for-22 in the game.

Matt Baran (Wilmington, Del./Tatnall) made 10 saves in goal for the Bison, seven coming in the second half. He also pocketed five ground balls and quarterbacked 17 clears in 21 attempts.

Freshman defenseman Billy Haire had six ground balls and also saved a goal in the third quarter when he alertly slipped into the crease to deflect a shot when Baran got caught out of the goal.

Klett had scored five goals in a game once previously, that coming against Lafayette last season. He now has 11 goals in three career games against the Leopards. Normally an attackman, Klett started the game at midfield but was quickly switched back to attack after an early injury to Matt Castele (Medina, Ohio/Medina). He responded with his best outing of the season.

Bucknell outshot Lafayette 45-25 and earned a 44-17 ground ball edge.

The Bison have another key Patriot League game coming up next Saturday at Lehigh. With Army defeating Colgate on Saturday, six of the seven Patriot League teams now have exactly one loss.