The Limestone Saints were unable to repeat as Division II Champions as the Adelphi Panthers emerged victorious, 14-10. Leave it to the media to pick the guy with the most points as the outstanding player despite goal tender Brian Soper clearly winning this game for Adelphi. Take nothing away from a great game by middie Mike McInerney, the most outstanding player, but Soper made a ton of saves and at key times to deflate Limestone's attack.
The players came ready to provide championship caliber play today, but it was the officials who turned this often maligned division into a mockery. The ref's made a ridiculous amount of calls all day against both teams ruining the flow of the game and slowly bringing down the play. The game deteriorated to a terrible low in the fourth quarter after three calls were made on the same play. The only thing worse than the slew of penalties was longstick Jonathan Goldstein giving the finger to the crowd. It was a disgusting display of unsportmanlike conduct that went unnoticed by the officials. Goldstein is a talented defender who overshadows his game by constantly seeking attention for everything he does, even if it's negative. His team won the National Championship for D II and this is what stands out most in the game. Oops, I just fell into the trap.
Anyway, back to the game. Limestone scored on their first shot on goal at the 14:38 mark of the first quarter. Chris Campbell got the ball in transition and ripped a nice shot from fifteen yards out to Soper's right. It would be the only soft goal on the day for Soper who stood on his head the rest of the day. In the first seven minutes Adelphi had the ball on offense three times for a total of less than one minute. During this time Soper was making save after save. Limestone scored again at the 8:57 mark. Devan Spilker face dodged his man from behind and came out to his right before getting off a low shot from the doorstep that beat Soper, 2-0. Adelphi got their first shot on goal at the 7:30 mark, but goalie Matt Malloy was equal to the task.
Brendan Spilker took the first penalty for the Saints to set up an Adelphi man-up goal. After some great ball movement the ball was worked from Kim Delfs to Brian Tower who was all alone to Malloy's left. Tower threw a fake and then the ball in the net, 2-1. Adelphi won the next face and seemed to regain their composure with a lengthy possession. They worked the ball mostly from "X" and converted at the 3:18 mark. The ball came through "X" out to righthanded wing to be banged across the top to David Toy. Toy used a pick to lose his defender and drive down the right side popping a shot over Malloy's left shoulder just before running out of angle, 2-2. Limestone was called for slashing on the play, but Limestone won the face and killed most of it. Adelphi did finally get it back on offense and called timeout to set up a twenty second extra-man. The got a poor shot selection by McInerney followed by a repeated hack job on clearing defensman that got him in the box for a minute. Adelphi killed it after Limestone threw it out of bounds and Toy beat three guys to clear. With 38 seconds left in the first McInerney swept across the top right to left and hit lefty Rich Dommer all alone on the crease, 3-2. Dommer would be all alone all day on the crease for a handful of goals. With eight seconds to go John Stickl was called for an Adelphi penalty so the Saints held for possession in the second.
The first quarter was dominated early by Limestone, but Soper kept the score low and allowed his team to find their groove.
Limestone converted the man-up scoring early in the second quarter. They simply moved the ball around the horn through "X" out to the low righty crank spot filled by Jon Riley. Riley faked the next pass and then stepped into a perfect canon shot that beat Soper stick side high, 3-3. McInerney drove down the left side and found Dommer again to put Adelphi back up 4-3. Soper continued to play outstanding goalie allowing his team to take the lead. The Saints pressed hard and at 9:18 Nick Carlson drove from behind to his left. The adjacent slide came from the wing so he dumped to it in Campbell who stepped into a rifle that beat Soper high, 4-4. At 9:03 Adelphi answered with an EMO tally. They ran a 1-4-1 with the crease men and the wings rotating until guess who, McInerney found Dommer all alone from the top to the crease for a 5-4 score. Adelphi had the extra man again within the minute and converted again. This time they put a guy on each post, three across the middle, and one high. The wing man out to Malloy's right found the other lefty wing through the middle for a crank to the upper left corner, 6-4. With no penalties for the next five minutes the defenses for both teams took over. Travis Gillespie played some great take away ball as the best Limestone defender today while Adelphi played great team defense allowing nothing inside. At the 3:31 mark the penalty parade started back up.
This time the Saints got the EMO goal when John Navarro fed from behind to Chris Mangum, 6-5. Limestone went man-up again to tie it at 6. Adelphi initially gained possession, but after a failure to advance was called the Saints caught them sleeping. Nick Carlson fed Navarro from behind for a lefty laser that scored high. With 17 seconds left McInerney put the Panthers back on top. It was the prettiest play of the day. After a lengthy Adelphi possession McInerney grabbed the ball along goal line extende to goalies left. He rolled on his defender and got off a lefty shot all in one motion beating Malloy to the far left pipe, 7-6. The second quarter was all special teams.
In the second half Adelphi came out playing some stifling defense. Limestone had a prolonged possession, but the Panthers refused to give up anything inside. McInerney cleared for the Panthers and ran all the way to "X". When he got there he quickly turned back to hit Dan Kraemer cutting down the left side. It was a slam dunk from point blank range. Limestone won the ensuing face, but again the Panthers staunch defense was unyielding. Finally they cleared when long pole Goldstein sprung Tom Bruckbauer for a fast break with a behind the back pass. Bruckbauer went the length and never got picked up so he took it himself and scored, 9-6. With 5:37 left in the third McInerney added another for a commanding 10-6 lead. Seconds later Adelphi went on the extra man attack, but it was Limestone who scored to give them new life, 10-7. With 2:15 to go in the third the panthers got the ball on a possession penalty when Limestone tried to clear. They got a quick whistle to start play and caught Limestone sleeping. The quickly hit Tower for an 11-7 lead. Adelphi's defense totally took over in the third quarter.
The fourth quarter scoring took a while to get going. At 12:42 David Toy found Dommer on the crease again all alone from the top and Towers turned and scored again. Adelphi wound up two men short with penalties occurring within seconds of each other. Saints attacker converted on a sloppy play that worked out. Somehow Nick Carlson wound up dodging a defenseman with two extra men to get inside and rip it high, 12-8. The game completely deteriorated after that. The Saints had trouble throwing and catching and the officials continued to call penalty after penalty. Late in the game the teams traded goals for a 14-10 final, but the game was all but over.
|Mike Mcinerny||(2, 4)|
|Rich Dommer||(5, 0)|
|Brian Tower||(3, 1)|
|David Toy||(1, 1)|
|Kim Delfs||(1, 1)|
|Tyler Heavenor||(0, 1)|
|Terry Campbell||(0, 1)|
|Dan Kraemer||(1, 0)|
|Tom Bruckbauer||(1, 0)|
|Brian Soper||15 (0.600)|