Men's Lax Wins OT Thriller, Headed To NESCAC Final
May 6, 2006
Middlebury's Travis Meyer scored driving to the goal from the right side with 58 seconds left in triple overtime to lift the Panthers to an 12-11 win over Tufts in a NESCAC semifinal contest. The win was the 200th of his career (37 losses) for Middlebury head coach Erin Quinn, who was two days ago named the school's new Director of Athletics as of July 1. Middlebury advances to take on Wesleyan in the NESCAC Championship at noon on Sunday. Today's game was the longest in NESCAC Tournament history.
With the game tied at six at the half, Middlebury outscored Tufts 4-1 in the third quarter to take a 10-7 lead. Nick Bastis scored a pair of goals in the period, Travis Meyer began the run, while J.P. Coviello netted a man-up goal.
The teams exchanged the first two goals of the fourth quarter to give Middlebury an 11-8 lead with 11:20 remaining. Tufts began its comeback late in the game, with three goals in the game's final 5:57. Chris Connelly scored to make it an 11-9 game, before Mike O'Brien netted a pair. His first goal went in off the right post after a nice feed from Joe Cavallo. O'Brien tied the game with just two seconds left as Tufts quickly moved up the field after a Middlebury turnover. Clem McNally cleared the ball and then made a nice dish to O'Brien who buried the shot to force the game into overtime.
Both teams had some great chances to score in all three overtime periods. Tufts had 30 second man-up opportunities in both the first and second overtime periods, but could not score. Late in the second overtime, Brett Holm of Tufts saw his hard shot ricochet off the post. On the other end of the field, Henry Sheehan met the same fate as his shot deflected off the crossbar.
Middlebury won the face-off to start the third overtime and quickly called a timeout. The Panthers would turn the ball over, with Tufts missing a shot on the other end, setting up Meyer's game-winner with 58 seconds remaining.
Bastis ended the game with four goals, Jim Cabrera scored three, while Meyer had two goals and four assists on the afternoon. O'Brien paced the Jumbos with four goals, while Mark Warner added two goals and two assists.
Alex Palmisano made 11 saves in goal for Middlebury, while Matt Harrigan made a dozen stops for Tufts.
Tufts SCORING: GOALS: Mike O'Brien 4; Mark Warner 2; Clem McNally 1; Chris Connelly 1; Joe Cavallo 1; Rory Doucette 1; Doug Smith 1.
ASSISTS: Clem McNally 2; Mark Warner 2; Joe Cavallo 1; Chris Connelly 1.
Middlebury SCORING: GOALS: Nick Bastis 4; Jim Cabrera 3; Travis Meyer 2; Aaron Herter 1; Henry Sheehan 1; J.P. Coviello 1.
ASSISTS: Travis Meyer 4; Nick Bastis 1; Chip Campbell 1; Aaron Herter 1; Henry Sheehan 1.
SHOTS - TUF 43; MID 41.
PENALTIES - TUF 4/3:30; MID 4/2:30.
MAN-UP OPPORTUNITIES - TUF 0-4; MID 1-4.
FACEOFFS - TUF 15-28; MID 13-28.
CLEARS - TUF 18-30; MID 26-34.
GOALIES - TUF: Matt Harrigan (71:02 minutes, 20 shots-8 saves, 12 GA);
MID: Alex Palmisano (71:02, 22-11, 11).