The Stage is Set, Players Are in Place

The stage is set, players are in place. The Bryant Bulldogs (8-3) will advance to the NEC Championship Game by virtue of a 14-12 victory over the Hobart Statesmen (6-3). As much as the Bulldogs tried to pull away in this one Hobart would not allow it.
Marc O’Rourke (4g) gave Bryant the early lead at the 11.46 mark.

In-Game Action

Bennett Abladian (5G) doubled the score at 6:54. Hobart countered courtesy of Tommy Mott (2g,2a) at 1:31, and with just :20 on the clock, Anthony Dattellas (2g,1a) knotted it up. O’Rourke hit a buzzer-beater when he collected his 14th with only :01 to play. That ended the quarter with a 3-2 Bulldogs lead.

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O’Rourke with a pair at 10:08 and 2:22 gave him four goals in the half and turned the scoreboard to a 5-2 Bryant advantage.
Jack Grooms (1g) got the only other goal in the quarter and to halftime, they would go with a 5-3 game.

The second half opened wide with a combined 18 goals. At 13:25 Abladian converted a Trevor Weingarten (1a) on the EMO, Aidan Goltz (3g) and Kevin Groenimger (1g) made it 8-3 Bryant with 4:10 in the third. Hobart fired back when Ryan Archer (1g,1a) at 3:55 followed twenty seconds later by Ethan Black-Fernandez (1g), Mott (13th) at 2:59, and Dattellias with 1:43 to play and we were looking at a one-goal game, 8-7.

Just when everyone caught their breath, Mike Kearney (1g) with :15 on the clock ended the third at 9-7. The final stanza became the Bennett Abladian and Derreck Madonna show. Mott set up Madonna (4g,1a) to kick things off at 14:11 to get it back to a one-goal difference.

At 11:35 it was Abladian’s turn. Madonna fired back and the show was on. The duo exchanged seven goals with a total of with Madonna holding the upper hand with four. Aidan Goltz ended the party with his 12th at 5:19 to make it 13-11. Brian Mitrow (1g) got it to within one but after Bryant ran a minute off the clock, Goltz ended the 14-12 game.

By the Numbers

The Bulldogs will travel to Philadelphia to face the challenge of the St. Joseph’s Hawks for a spot in the NCAA Tournament. Despite the outcome, Hobart had the advantage in every statistical category with shots being 59-36, on goal, 29-22, Turnovers 15-19, ground balls, 38-28, and face-offs 16-13. The stage is set, players are in place.

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