March 29, 2014

Binghamton Battles Back to Top Hartford

from Press Release

West Hartford, Conn.—Visiting Binghamton (3-5, 1-0 AE) edged Hartford (4-6, 0-1 AE) 11-10 in their America East opener from Al-Marzooq Field on Saturday afternoon. The Bearcats fought back from a four-goal deficit in the first half and their defense withstood a late Hartford rally in the final minute as senior goalieMax Schefler came up with a huge save with one second left to seal the victory for Binghamton.

"This win today shows that our guys have a lot of fight and don't have any quit in them," head coach Scott Nelson said. "When we got down early, the guys didn't panic and knew if we kept working and took advantage of our offensive chances we could pull ourselves back into it. We didn't have our best day on faceoffs, but when we were in possession I thought we took care of the ball and produced really well on the offensive end."

Senior attackman Matt Springer registered his fourth hat trick of the season with a four-goal effort on Saturday and Tucker Nelson led all BU players with five points (2g, 3a) against the Hawks. Including his last-second stop, Schefler made a team-high 12 saves to collect his eighth career victory in net for the Bearcats.

Binghamton used a 7-0 run that stretched between the second and third quarters to take hold of the game on Saturday, not allowing the Hawks to score for a 21-minute span. Already riding off the momentum of a 4-0 spurt to close out the half, Binghamton kept the ball rolling in the third with a pair of goals from Nelson. His second tally, which put Binghamton ahead 8-6, was a spinning shot that beat Hartford goalkeeper Frank Piechota just under the crossbar.

Nelson was involved once again on the next score, sending a skip pass to junior Paul O'Donnell who sent a bullet past Piechota near post and propelled the visitors ahead 9-6 with just under 11 minutes to play in the third.

Hartford finally stopped the run with a goal by Conner Yatauro at the 4:49 mark. However, BU once again went up three on the hat trick score from Springer who was fed off a pretty feed from senior midfielder Michael Antinozzi.

Both teams traded goals to begin the fourth quarter before Hartford managed to climb their way back to within one on Jaedon Henderson's goal with 2:37 left. The Hawks kept possession seconds later off their faceoff win and fired off four shots down the stretch but could not tally the equalizer. Their closest chance came with 21 seconds left as leading scorer Kevin O'Shea blasted his shot off the crossbar.

"In the final minute we gave them a couple of different looks on defense and were put in a dangerous spot with their last possession under four seconds," Nelson said. "We sent a good check at the ball handler and didn't allow him to get a quality shot off."

Binghamton tied their season-high in goals with 11 and received strong play once again from Antinozzi who has five goals and two assists over his past two games. Antinozzi, who kept his point scoring streak alive on Saturday, contributed with a two-goal, one-assist effort. He's registered a point for Binghamton in 39 straight games and is now tied with former teammate Tyler Perrelle for second all-time in school history with 110 career points.

O'Donnell added a goal an assist for BU, and senior Alex Doerflein dished off a career-high two assists on Saturday. Binghamton, who is second in the country in clear percentage, went 18-of-19 on clears and turned the ball over just eight times in rainy and wet conditions in West Hartford. The Bearcats went 2-of-5 on man-up opportunities and outscored the Hawks 9-4 in the game's final 40:49.

In the first half of play, Antinozzi put the visitors on the board first with his ninth goal of the season just under four minutes into the contest. However, Hartford managed to score three goals unanswered in the opening stanza, including a pair from O'Shea.

The Bearcats put a stop to Hartford's mini-spurt on the strength of a timely Schefler save. Schefler then made a quick outlet to junior Anthony Lombardo who kept the ball racing all the way down the field and eventually fired a righty shot from over 10 yards out low and away that pulled BU to within one, 3-2. Lombardo's goal was the first of his collegiate career and second career point.

With the score at 3-2 in the second quarter, the hosts once again went on a run to gain some early separation. Three different players tallied goals for the Hawks who climbed ahead to a 6-2 lead with 11 minutes remaining in the quarter.

Trailing 6-2, Binghamton fought their way back midway through the second. Antinozzi got things rolling with his man-up goal that came from 10 yards out. Springer tacked on a goal following an offsides call that lead to a long clear pass. O'Donnell was the recipient of the clear and made a nice extra pass to Springer who took a shot off one leg that went over the right shoulder of Piechota and into the back of the cage.

Once again, Springer pulled his squad closer with his second goal of the game, this one from about 15 yards out and to the near side of the goal. Finally, Hauck buried the equalizer with 10 seconds remaining in the half to even the score at 6-6. Hauck dodged multiple times in front of cage and sent a running shot past Piechota to bookend a 4-0 run.

Binghamton's 7-0 run is the longest all season and helped snap a current three-game losing skid and a two-game losing streak against the Hawks. The Bearcats are now 9-4 all-time versus Hartford and 5-2 away from home in the series.

Up next for Binghamton is a matchup with No. 10 ranked Syracuse on Wednesday at 7 p.m.. The Orange (5-3, 1-3 ACC) defeated No. 7 Notre Dame on Saturday 11-10 from the Carrier Dome. Wednesday's game in Syracuse, NY will be televised on Time Warner Cable Sports and it marks the fourth time the two programs have gone head-to-head.

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