Middlebury fogo Peter Mellen started the action on the day with a rake left after which he collected the ball himself, drove straight into the hole and let it fly a little wide. Salisbury would clear and start in a 2-3-1 until losing the ball in the middle during a scrum. Longstick Jim Guay initiated a break for Middlebury on a nice goose up to a breaking middie but Middlebury shot wide on the break.
Dan Korpon would start his efforts on the day by robbing Middlebury attackman Henry Sheehan as he snuck around from X and grabbed a feed from the top of the box for a one on one. Shortly afterwards Salisbury would make do with that possession; Eric Bishop rotated the ball across the top to Chris Phillips and Phillips stepped in and nailed a nice lefty rip to the top right corner on Alex Palmisano for a 1-0 lead.
Middlebury freshman Jim Cabrera set up off to Korpon’s right on the goal line extended, drove underneath and rolled in front of the cage, but was denied by Korpon. On the Salisbury clear Henry Sheehan got flagged for a :30 second push while chasing down a pole on the sideline. That EMO would push Salisbury to a 2-0 lead. Middlebury got caught with their D pretty high in the hole and Eric Bishop snuck into position on the left pipe while the ball was opposite. Dan Boyer found Bishop across the face of the goal for a layup.
Another extended possession for Salisbury would follow, with a couple good shots until Palmisano gobbled one up and cleared. Henry Sheehan started the Middlebury offensive set off with nice power dodge into the middle from the left pipe, only to see it rebound off the iron. But Middlebury would finally get on the board, to make it 2-1 when Cabrera performed another nice roll from GLE that he converted on – longstick Chris Heier went for the over-the-head and no slides filled in time.
Middlebury controlled the next face and finally saw some time of possession, but the teams would trade goals to close out the first quarter. A near miss from Middlebury to top corner, a successful Salisbury clear, a big save from Palmisano, a bigger save from Korpon, and then Salisbury would cash in a chip. Casey Olejniczak started in the lefty shooter’s spot on a drive into the middle for a bouncer on the run. It caught Palmisano offside low and moved the Gulls to 3-1. But Middlebury answered almost immediately when senior middie Dave Leach caught his own rebound on a driving righty blast, circled around X and found Mark Foster opposite high. Foster ripped it from 7 yards out with time and room to make it 3-2 and the quarter ran out.
The defense for both squads saw some intense highlights to start the new period.
Salisbury’s Tony Incontrera caught Jonathan Sisto with a perfectly timed whirly bird while Sisto was driving to X, and after a pipe rebound for Salisbury Jim Guay delivered a bruising slide on the ensuing scrum. But right afterwards each of those efforts was undermined by couple of unforced errors – Middlebury’s Sisto couldn’t handle a pass at the opposite bottom of a break started by Dave Leach, then Salisbury threw it out on the endline just as they brought it down from a clear.
The Gulls then moved to a high crease and started working the shorti’s behind to good results. They bumped it to 4-2 when Jimmy Creighton rocked and rolled off to Palmisano’s left just a couple of yards out. He rolled back to the outside and sunk it low on the overhand with just a little bit of angle. On Middlebury’s next possession they tried a little of the same magic. They moved to a packed crease and took some runs with their middies until Henry Sheehan collected it at X, and as Incontrera was rotating over to Sheehan, Incontrera tripped over the back of the goal. Sheehan just walked around the corner lefty to sink it.
Some trading of goals followed. Middlebury tied it up for the first time when Nick Bastis, with Jeff Bigas smothering him, angled around the pipe from a drive starting at X. He turned back to the outside, and with absolutely no angle, snuck it by Korpon. Bigas could do nothing but raise his arms in frustration. Soon after Salisbury’s Mike Hurley was moving around from X and found Mike Edwards opposite pipe for a dunk and a 5-4 lead. Middlebury answered on a sneak from Sheehan at X; with Salisbury’s defense hanging out well above the goal line Nick Bastis found Sheehan for the dunk.
With the half winding down, Middlebury couldn’t handle an easy pass to top center, Salisbury forced a dodge into a double team, then Salisbury lost the ball on a bad out of bounds call (one of Middlebury’s longsticks clearly kicked it out). So with 1:41 left in the half Middlebury called timeout to try and settle things down a little bit. After the huddle Jim Cabrera did a deep full circle around the goal, even losing the ball once, then divebombed in from his favorite spot on the left goal line extended to draw a pushing EMO on Chris Heier as he neared the crease.
Salisbury held strong on the EMO, and even managed to draw a slashing flag during Luis Gonzalez’s coast to coast clear to run out the half and kill the penalty.
Salisbury started with possession on the whistle because of the slashing flag, and almost converted when Justin Smith took a dip and dunk drive on the GLE but had the apparent goal waved off after he nicked the crease. But Smith would get his chance just a little bit later when, after driving from top left into the middle, sunk a righty blast on the run to put the Gulls up at 6-5. After a few series on both ends Salisbury would extend the lead to two yet again; Sophomore Matt Dasinger made a straight line to the right pipe from just right of center at the top of the box, and while moving straight towards the goal unleashed an overhand righty that caught Palmisano to the offside.
Salisbury drew a flag for :30 seconds on Chip Campbell’s push from behind, and after
Middlebury managed to outlive the penalty time they struck back to close the lead to one.
Aaron Herter collected the ball about 10 yards out, dropped his stick, and sent it over Korpon’s shoulder in a perfectly placed rip. Then Middlebury’s pitbull of a faceoff specialist, Peter Mellen, got into the action outside of the center circle. He tied it up 7-7 on a blast from center after regaining possession. On the day, Mellen also went an astounding 18 of 24 on faceoff draws.
Jim Cabrera (200 lbs) crushed Salisbury’s Matt Dashinger with a brutal hit on some great riding but drew a flag (it was actually a clean hit). Dashinger actually managed to hold on to the ball, and Cabrera was in the box for an illegal bodycheck. Palmisano gobbled up the first shot on the EMO, Middlebury successfully cleared but then threw into nowhere once the longstick running the sidelines got into trouble. It came back down Palmisano’s way, but he stoned Matt Dashinger’s rip and landed a great outlet pass the other way. That outlet led to delayed break which ended with Nick Bastis burying it on the doorstep after Jim Cabrera found him on standard break rotation. Middlebury would take their first lead of the game, at 8-7, and close out the third quarter with it.
Salisbury quickly tied when, from the wing on the face, close pole Jeff Bigas grabbed the rake and took it into the right side of the box himself. He stalled for a little bit on the goal line to Palmisano’s left then snuck underneath with a little face dodge on the shorti to stick it himself. He followed that up with some solid D on the other end of the field, holding up Nick Bastis’ elbow as he threatened from X and then knocking it out on Middlebury after the loose ball was being fought for behind the goal.
Middlebury would then get another extended run on offense. Chris Phillips couldn’t handle the pass from a standard fast break rotation, Middlebury controlled, Korpon pulled another two saves out of nowhere, Middlebury controlled some more and took the lead on the possession. Nick Bastis set up to the outside and pulled a straight-up juke into the middle with Salisbury’s Tony Incontrera draped on him; Incontrera again went for an ill-advised over-the-head and Bastis skated by him to sink it for a one goal lead. That lead got pushed to two shortly afterwards when Senior middie Dave Leach took the ball from some normal distribution across the top, and with Salisbury’s Casey Olejniczak squared up in front of him let loose with a laser to beat Korpon from way outside. Nothing special about the circumstances, just a lot of velocity and a quick release from Leach.
Undefeated Salisbury was starting to get a taste of mortality at this stage. Korpon had to come through with another huge save, this time as Bastis gathered a feed in the hole from X. Korpon sent it the other way, and the Gulls took a run with a packed crease and iso’s initiated on the shortis from Middlebury. Middlebury was coming strong with the double teams to back up their shorti defenders, and perhaps a little too aggressively; Mike Murray got flagged with a 1:00 slash and Salisbury eventually converted on the following EMO. The Gulls worked out of a 3-3 set to start and Mike Hurley just gathered in the righty shooter’s spot and ripped it top shelf to cut the lead to one. Salisbury took the next faceoff with only 5:00 left, controlled for a while and then tied it at ten with a nasty rip from middie Jimmie Creighton.
Middlebury got robbed again by Korpon, who then legged it out himself on the clear. After Korpon lobbed it far too high on his sideline outlet, Salisbury recovered the loose ball and called timeout with 2:17 left. Middlebury decided to send 2 shorti’s behind on coverage and Salisbury was in no hurry to push it (playing hot potato behind the goal until :30 to go). Once it seemed like the Gulls were about to actually do something, Coach Berkman called timeout with :25 seconds remaining.
While being shadowed by Gabe Wood, Salisbury’s Chris Phillips took a power drive from the left wing into the middle of the hole, stuttered a bit then let loose a lefty underhand to beat goalie Palmisano offside low with 5 seconds left and an 11-10 lead. Middlebury called timeout to plan their last ditch effort, but couldn’t control the face.
Salisbury vs. Middlebury
|Mike Hurley||(1, 2)|
|Chris Phillips||(2, 0)|
|Jimmy Creighton||(2, 0)|
|Eric Bishop||(1, 1)|
|Dan Boyer||(0, 2)|
|Justin Smith||(1, 0)|
|Casey Olejniczak||(1, 0)|
|Mike Edwards||(1, 0)|
|Matt Dasinger||(1, 0)|
|Jeff Bigas||(1, 0)|