Hawks win with impressive second half, 9-7. On a beautiful sunny day at Sweeney Field, the St. Joseph’s Hawks (3-3, 3-0 NEC)
had a dominant second half and got the best of the Merrimack Warriors (2-3, 1-2 NEC). A bad omen when Teewaaraton Candidate, Zach Cole lost the opening face-off. The ball went outbounds and Merrimack was awarded possession.
Just 2:26 in, Grant Laman (2g) put one behind St. Joe’s keeper, Tucker Almany. It took just over a minute for Levi Anderson (3g) to convert a Matt Tufano (2g,3a) feed on the man advantage to knot it up, 1-1. Tommy Rooney (1g) went to work on an advantage and hit a breaking Jack Rooney (2g,1) to close what was becoming a defensive struggle and a 2-1 Warriors advantage at the end of the first.
Aidan Glover(1g) on another man up and a second from Rooney closed the half with Merrimack in charge, 4-1. If you have any idea of Hawks Coach, Taylor Wray, you know he is a master of changing the game plan and, again, if you know anything about Wray and his playing style, the Hawks second half defense was akin to watching Taylor in his playing days.
While the defense clamped down, he offense went to work and outscored Merrimack. 8-3 in the half. Trailing 4-1, St. Joe’s came out on a mission and took over the contest. After a Zach Cole face off win… what else? Matt Bohmer (2g) on a bull rush goal, followed :58 later when Tucker Brown (1g) dropped his shoulder, righted himself and got to 4-3.
The 2105 in attendance were in a frenzy… well, except for the Warriors contingent. The frenzy continued when Ryan Doran and Matt Tufano (2g,3a) combined to give Tufano a Top Ten highlight tally. The teams went back and forth with both netminders making great stops but, finally Laman knotted it up.
Anderson nailed two in about three minutes and St.Joe’s went to the final fifteen minutes with a precarious, 6-5 advantage. Jack Rooney assisted on a Sean Black (1g,1a) goal and with 12:45 to play, it seemed it would be, “who wants it more?” On the goal of the day, Adam Ritter (1a) picked up a loose ball and stormed down the field and found Matt Tufano just behind the cage and Tufano curled in front to bury an absolute classic goal.
Merrimack was unfazed and answered and 1:26 later, Max Morrill (1g) etched his name on the score sheet. It took Ryan Doran (1g,1a) forty one seconds to put the home team up with 7:06 left. The Hawks defense became ever more stifling and kept the Warriors on the perimeter until Tufano hit a streaking Bohmer and St. Joe’s was able to shut down Merrimack for a classic 9-7 victory.
The Hawks had a commanding edge in shots, 42-28 with a 22-15 edge with shots on goal. Turnovers were even, 19-19. EMO went Merrimack posting 2 for 5 and the Hawks 1 of 4. Almany posted 8 saves while Henry Vogt had 13 in defeat. After losing the opening draw, Zach Cole won an unworldly 18 in a row for a 95% rate on his 18 of 19. Hawks win with impressive second half.