No. 12 St. Francis Handles Bucknell 10-8 in Eastern Championship First Round
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Tamas Toth (Fr., Budapest, Hungary) netted a hat-trick to lead No. 12 St. Francis College (N.Y.) to a 10-8 win over Bucknell University in the opening round of the 2008 Eastern Championship at the United States Naval Academy.
The win places the Terriers in a semifinal at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 22 versus either No. 14 Navy or Iona College. Bucknell will continue the tournament on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. versus the loser of a Navy-Iona first round game with a spot in the fifth place game on the line.
St. Francis never trailed in the game leading 3-2 at the end of the first, 6-3 at halftime and 8-6 at the end of the third as the Terriers cruised to victory.
Nemanja Pucarevic (Sr., Belgrade, Serbia) opened the scoring 44 seconds into the contest with a natural goal before Stefan Gencic (So., Belgrade, Serbia) buried a penalty shot at 4:59 and scored on an exclusion chance at 3:14 to push St. Francis out to a 3-0 lead.
Bucknell closed the gap before the end of the first period courtesy even-strength goals by Alex Lampley (Sr., Reading, Pa.) and Howie Kalter (So., Durham, N.C.) at 3:01 and 1:29, respectively, to pull to within 3-2.
However, St. Francis used another three-goal scoring spurt to rebuild the lead plus one as Alexander Pantic (Fr., Belgrade, Serbia), Pucarevic and Pal Pasztrai (So., Budapest, Hungary) stopped the clock at 7:26, 4:38 and 3:06 in the second period to build the margin to 6-2. The Bison sliced the lead back to 6-3 before halftime on an exclusion goal by Kalter with 17 seconds left in the first half.
The teams traded goals in the opening moments of the second half as Toth and Richie Hyden (So., Melbourne, Australia) tallied exclusion goals within 20 seconds at 6:20 and 6:00 to set the score at 7-4 before Bucknell went on a run to terrorize the Terriers.
Andrew Nelson (Jr., Palos Verdes, Calif.) scored on an exclusion chance at 5:07 and Hyden drilled a penalty shot past St. Francis goalie Nikola Djuric (So., Belgrade, Serbia) at 3:31 to trim the margin to 7-6. However, St. Francis' pushed the margin back to two before the end of the period on a natural goal by Boris Plavsic (So., Belgrade, Serbia) at the 1:49 mark to give the Terriers an 8-6 advantage.
St. Francis put the game away in the first 5:17 of play in the fourth with Toth scoring at 5:58 and 2:43 to put his team in front 10-6. Hyden and Kalter attempted to rally the Bison back into the contest with exclusion goals at 2:20 and 1:15, but the Terriers' defense locked down and the clock ticked out to hand St. Francis a two-goal win.
In cage, Djuric made five saves to earn the win, while Nick Donahue (Jr., Brooklyn, N.Y.) blocked away nine.
The game marked the third meeting of the year between the two teams as the Terriers previously defeated the Bison 17-9 and 10-4.
St. Francis Goals: Tamas Toth (3); Nemanja Pucarevic (2); Stefan Gencic (2); Pal Pasztri; Boris Plavsic; Alexander Pantic
Bucknell Goals: Howie Kalter (3); Richie Hyden (3); Alex Lampley (1); Andrew Nelson
Saves: St. Francis - Nikola Djuric (5) ; Bucknell - Nick Donahue (9)
Ejections: St. Francis - 11 ; Bucknell - 11
Sprints: St. Francis - 4 (1st & 2nd - Richard Polgar, 3rd & 4th - Filip Sasic) ; Bucknell -0