Villanova, PA - Villanova used a 7 goal 4th quarter to beat out Hofstra and improve to 10-2. The Wildcats' Marc Creegan had a career day as he added 5 goals, Brendan O'Donnell chipped in with 4 assists. For the Pride, Ryan Miller (1g,2a), Chris Unterstein (2g,1a) and Ryan Lucas (hat trick) all added three points. Both Matthew Southard and Joe Canuso added 12 saves for the Pride and Wildcats respectively.
Marc Creegan would get started early and put Villanova up 2-0 with goals at 10:04 and 8:00, despite a couple of early saves by Hofstra goalie Southard. Hofstra wouldn’t take long to respond, as at the 6:52 mark, the Pride took advantage of the game’s lone penalty with Chris Unterstein finding Ryan Lucas for their first goal. Ryan Miller would find himself all alone wrapping around from X three minutes later and tied the game at 2.
The second quarter started out in a similar fashion to the first, only this time it was the Pride adding the first two goals. Unterstein possessed the ball at X and was able to beat his man as the Villanova defenseman tried a one-handed behind-the-back wrap check completely making himself vulnerable. Unterstein went top-side and notched his first of two goals on the day. The careless checks at X would be a theme for Villanova, I’m not really sure where it came from, but on more than one occasion I was left wondering why those checks would be thrown as it gave the Hofstra attackmen a distinct advantage (but with all due respect a couple were landed in the course of the game). At the 6:56 mark, Ryan Lucas drove through a pick at X, his defenseman, Villanova’s Jon Urbana (who I thought highly of earlier in the season in the Penn-Villanova matchup), decided it would be a good idea to run over the guy setting the pick AND his teammate covering the guy setting the pick. Lucas ran right around and above the goal-line for the easy goal. It was a blatant lack of communication on Villanova’s part and what I believe should have been an unsportsman-like conduct on Urbana. Villanova feshman Eric Heidenberger would send the Wildcats down one goal (4-3) as he drove down the alley and put an overhand lefty shot right over Southard’s right shoulder.
The teams that came out in the second half resembled the teams in the first half in that they still had the same uniforms on. The goals started to pile up however. Goals by Marc Creegan and Matt Starker would give Villanova their 2nd lead of the day 5-4. The teams would trade goals, Hofstra’s coming from Athan Iannucci and Villanova’s from Matt Lucas. Hofstra would respond and goals from Rob Bonaguro and Ryan Lucas’ 3rd goal gave Hofstra the lead into the 4th quarter of 7-6.
Villanova wasted no time in evening the score. Southard left the net to gather a looseball that had hit the back of the net. He was stripped at X. and Brendan O’Donnell was able to find Matt Lucas who was all alone. Hofstra went on another two-goal run as Chris Unterstein scored 11 seconds after Lucas’ goal, which helped silence the crowd after they had been wakened on the Lucas goal. A minute later, Ryan Miller found himself open as his defenseman fell down and was able to feed John Keysor for the two goal lead.
The response came 37 seconds later in the form of a Richie Kratz low-to-high fake which Southard bit hard on and fell down as Kratz put it past him. Matt Starker would even the score at 9 as he drove and put a nice righty jump shot past Southard.
Athan Iannuci would put the Pride up for the final time at the 9:09 mark as he ripped a low-to-low shot past Joe Canuso. Within ten seconds, Villanova had tied the score. In a display of good stick skills, Villanova capitalized on the transition from the faceoff with Brendan O’Donnell finding Marc Creegan for his 4th goal of the game. Southard came up with a nice save for the Pride only to have the rebound flicked off the ground by Marc Creegan at the 7:38 mark and find its way right under the crossbar. Creegan’s 5th goal gave Villanova a lead they would not relinquish. As seems to be team philosophy, Villanova was comfortable with a one-goal lead and went into clock killing mode. Rather than look to extend their lead (in a similar way as what happened in their 6-5 loss at Penn), they just tried to hold the ball on offense. After a long possession and Hofstra’s inability to strip the ball, Matt Lucas was able to beat a tired Hofstra shortstick middie and put Villanova up 12-10. Chris Kramer would add an empty next goal with 40 seconds left in the game thanks to the desperation defense of Hofstra.
The game only saw 1 penalty called for the game. Villanova had a decided advantage in clearing the ball as they went 13-16 compared to Hofstra’s 17-24. The Wildcats outshot the Pride 44-34 and also had an advantage at the faceoff X winning 16 out of 27. For Hofstra, they wrap up the regular season on Tuesday against Stony Brook and Villanova will look to improve upon its record against Penn State on 4/30.
|Marc Creegan||(5, 0)|
|Brendan O'donnell||(0, 4)|
|Matt Lucas||(3, 0)|
|Matt Starker||(2, 0)|
|Chris Kramer||(1, 0)|
|Eric Heidenberger||(1, 0)|
|Dan Fanelli||(0, 1)|
|Richie Kratz||(1, 0)|
|Joseph Canuso||12 (0.545)|