McNichols OT Game-Winner Caps Late UMass Comeback Win, 8-7 Over Hobart
April 12, 2008
AMHERST, Mass. - Peter McNichols scored the game-winning goal 1:19 into overtime to cap a huge comeback by the UMass lacrosse team and giving the Minutemen an 8-7 victory over Hobart. UMass scored two goals in the final 1:19 of regulation including Tim Balise's game-tying goal with 7.3 seconds left to send the game to overtime. UMass has won three games in a row to even its record at 5-5 and is 3-1 in the ECAC. Hobart saw its two-game winning streak end as the Statesmen are also 5-5 overall and 2-3 in the ECAC.
McNichols tallied a hat trick. Balise scored two to give him 23 this season. Bobby Hayes had four points on a goal and three assists.
UMass' defense was stellar all afternoon as the Minutemen held Hobart's top three scorers without a point. Goalie Doc Schneider made 10 saves as he backstopped a defense keyed by seniors Brian Danvers, Sean Krygier and David Von Voigt along with junior Brennan Mack and sophomore Diogo Godoi. Hobart's attack was scoreless as Daryl Veltman saw his consecutive point-scoring streak end at 25 games and Jamie Kirk lost his 24-game scoring streak.
Hobart had taken the second two-goal lead of the game at 7-5 with 2:19 left in regulation as long-stick Alex Caton scored on a full-field rush to beat Schneider. UMass started its rally when freshman midfielder Steve Zorkers scored his first career goal as tallied on a fastbreak with 1:19 left to cut the lead to 7-6.
Balise sent the game to overtime with a stunning goal as he scooped up a loose back from Fred Federico's stick and buried it in the final seconds to send the game to overtime where Hobart saw its losing ways in the extra session continue. The Statesmen have not won an overtime game since 2004.
McNichols scored from the left post as he took a pass from Bobby Hayes who worked his away around the back of the net to get to the right post where he hit McNichols with a crossing pass for the game-winner.
The teams played even for the 40 minutes or so, standing at 4-4 with 4:01 left in the third as Nick Currie scored his second goal of the game. Currie then scored his third of the game for a 5-4 lead with 2:37 left in the third. Doug Shiver's second goal of the game, unassisted, gave Hobart a 6-4 lead at the end of the third quarter.
McNichols brought UMass back to within one at 6-5 with 9:40 left in regulation on a pretty pass from Zach Rodgers.
The first 28 minutes of the game featured just two goals as Currie opened the scoring 1:06 into the action. McNichols tied the game at 1-1 with 2:04 left in the first quarter.
After great defense and ball control offense ruled the game, each team scored twice in the final 1:44 of the first half. Balise's under-handed flip gave UMass a 2-1 lead off a feed from Rodgers, who got the ball of a turnover by Hobart. Shiver and Matt Smalley scored 33 second apart to give Hobart a 3-2 lead with 23 seconds left in the first half. Hayes' unassisted goal tied the game at halftime, as he scored with six seconds left in the half.
The Minutemen outshot Hobart 39-38. Hobart won the groundball war 27-26 and took 11 of 17 face-offs. Schneider made 10 saves and Max Silberlicht had 11 stops for Hobart.
UMass returns to action at No. 4 Georgetown next Saturday in Washington, D.C.
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