March 31, 2010

Caulfield Leads Albany Over Hard-Luck Hartford

from press release

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. - Brian Caufield scored the game-winning goal with four minutes and 45 seconds remaining, as UAlbany rallied in the fourth quarter for an 11-10 victory over Hartford in the America East Conference opener for both teams on Wednesday, March 31 at Al-Marzook Field.

Hartford (2-6, AE 0-1) built an 8-4 lead early in the third quarter when Ryan Compitello found the net in transition off a feed from defenseman Ben Knapton following a turnover. UAlbany (2-6, AE 1-0) got back into the contest by scoring three unanswered in a five-plus minute stretch. Dave Brock ignited that run with two of his career-high four goals, including the first on a cut to the front of the crease. Caufield then found Nate Sullivan in the middle of the zone for an extra-man goal with 5:19 left in the period.

The Hawks responded 22 seconds later when Michael Cudmore moved around a defender and scored from the top of the crease with an underhanded shot. UAlbany answered with three consecutive goals. Brock rifled a shot from the right off a crossing pass from Matt Johnson with 14 seconds remaining in the quarter. Luke Cometti and Brock put their ahead in a 38-second span of the final period. Cometti nailed a bounce shot from the left to draw his team even at nine apiece. Brock picked his way toward the goal from the left and connected on a tough angle in a man-advantage situation.

After Hartford's Tim Fallon won the following face-off, attackman Justin Bearse set up Compitello for a 10-10 tie. UAlbany's man-down defense would later kill off a one-minute penalty which led to Caufield's game-winner. The junior attackman edged his way toward the crease where Luke Cometti found him with a pass from behind the net. The Great Danes were able to run off the final two minutes against Hartford's double-team defense.

"This gives us some confidence because they are a good team," said Brock about an opponent who suffered its fourth one-goal loss of the season. "The defense began to shut them down and our offense started to run the things we have been working on for the last six months. John (Carroll) made some big saves and the offense returned the favor."

In the first quarter, Hartford broke a 2-2 tie on back-to-back goals by Martin Bowes and Jared Franze. Bowes, a sophomore midfielder, spun off a defender and sent a bounce shot from the left into the cage. Franze worked around a short-stick midfielder to nail a jump shot with 1:41 left in the stanza.

UAlbany's Caufield, who accounted for three goals and two assists, twice cut the deficit to one, including 5-4 in the second period when he scored from just outside the crease on an inside roll from the left. The Hawks pulled away with a pair of goals one minute and two seconds apart. Aidan Genik sent a blast from the left side inside the far post. Rory Nunamacher moved around a midfielder from behind the cage in connecting from the right.

"We had to dig down and this showed our guys they have it inside them," offered UAlbany coach Scott Marr, whose team halted a six-game road losing streak that went back to last April. "Our team defense was good in the second half and we didn't give them much room to breathe. The Cometti's midfield line controlled tempo and Dave (Brock) took some initiative and willed in a couple goals."

Goalkeeper John Carroll finished with 10 saves, while Luke Cometti had one goal and assisted on two others. Hartford's Carter Bender and Compitello each had two goals and one assist.

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