No. 13 St. Francis Returns to Eastern Title Game via 10-9 Victory Over No. 18 Bucknell in Championship Semifinal

Alexander Pantic
Alexander Pantic

LEWISBURG, Pa. -- Marko Gencic (So.,. Belgrade, Serbia/Sports Gymnasium) scored four times to lead No. 13 St. Francis College to a 10-9 victory over the host Bison of No. 17 Bucknell University and a return trip for the Terriers to the CWPA Eastern Championship title game for the first time since 2007. 

SFC will face the Midshipmen of No. 18 ranked the United States Naval Academy, an 8-5 victor over No. 15 Princeton University, at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday at Bucknell's Kinney Natatorium for the Eastern Championship and the CWPA's automatic berth to the NCAA Championship.

The Terriers are 1-0 versus the Midshipmen this year sinking Navy 10-8 during the regular season.

Overall, St. Francis has previously appeared in five Eastern title games, capturing the 2005 title (10-9 W vs. Navy at Harvard University) and falling in the 1999 (vs. the University of Massachusetts), 2000 (13-12 L OT SD vs. Navy at Brown University), 2004 (3-2 L OT SD vs. Princeton at Bucknell) and 2007 (11-7 L vs. Navy at Harvard).

Against Bucknell, the Terriers jumped out to a 1-0 lead behind a goal by Boris Stankovic (Fr., Belgrade, Serbia/Sport Gymnasium) 31 seconds into the game. 

The Bison tied and took the lead as Beau Caillouette (Jr., Newport Beach, Calif./Sage Hill School) buried a five-meter penalty shot at 7:14 and Sean Coghlan (Sr., Chicago, Ill./Brother Rice) zipped in a natural goal at 6:24 to make it 2-1 in favor of Bucknell.

St. Francis tied the game at 4:19 as Gencic found the back of the cage before Richie Hyden (Sr., Melbourne, Australia/Greenwich (Conn.) and Zoltan Danko (Sr., Szolnok, Hungary/Varga Katalin) exchanged goals at 2:52 and 1:45 to equal the scoreboard at 3-3 through a period of play.

SFC went in front to open the second period as Filip Sasic (Jr., Zagreb, Croatia/Titus Brezouazki) put in a shot at 7:29 before Gencic rifled home a marker at 4:58 to make it 5-3 in favor of the Terriers.

The margin expanded to 6-3 before the end of the first half as Gencic completed a hat-trick with 42 seconds on the clock.

Following another goal by Gencic on a 6-on-5 chance at 7:52 to open the third period, Bucknell found the scoreboard again as Howie Kalter (Sr., Durham, N.H./Phillips Academy Andover) put in a shot at 7:32.

The teams traded man-up goals as Alexander Pantic (Jr., Belgrade, Serbia/Sport High School) ripped in a score at 6:52 and Caillouette netted an advantage tally at 6:30 to make it 8-5.

Bucknell and St. Francis continued to exchange shots as Tamas Toth (Jr., Budapest, Hungary/Eotvos Jozsef Gimnazium) and Hyden contributed strikes at 2:37 and 2:16, respectively, before the Bison pulled to within a pair at 9-7 on the heels of a man-up goal by Caillouette at 1:02.

Following dual misconduts to Jack Else (Fr., Lansdale, Pa./North Penn) and Josip Jurcevic (So., Split, Croatia/V. Gimnazija Sports Gymnasium) to conclude the third period, the Terriers cushioned their lead with a marker by Boris Plavsic (Sr., Belgrade, Serbia/ETS Rae Koncar) at 2:40 of the fourth period to take a 10-7 lead.

The Bison attempted to rally back as Paul Reamey (Sr., Palo Alto, Calif./Palo Alto) recorded a five-meter penalty shot at 1:06 and Kalter tacked on a natural strike with 29 seconds left on the clock, but the Terriers were able to run out the clock to hang on for the victory.

In cage, Miles Gilhuly (Sr., Orinda, Calif./Miramonte) and Matt Napleton (So., Oak Park, Ill./Fenwick) combined for seven Bison saves, while Nikola Djuric (Sr., Belgrade, Serbia/IV Belogradska Gimnazija) turned aside eight shots for St. Francis.

Bucknell will meet Princeton at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday in the third place game.  Princeton is 3-1 against the Bison this year as the Tigers picked up 9-6, 7-4 and 8-6 victories, while falling to Bucknell 9-4. 

1 2 3 4 -- Final
No. 13 St. Francis College
3 3 3 1 -- 10
No. 17 Bucknell University
3 0 4 2 -- 9

Bucknell Goals: Beau Caillouette (3), Richie Hyden (2), Howie Kalter (2), Paul Reamey, Sean Coghlan

SFC Goals: Marko Gencic (4), Alexander Pantic, Boris Plavsic, Bosko Stankovic, Tamas Toth, Zoltan Danko, Filip Sasic

Saves: Bucknell - Miles Gilhuly (4, 16 minutes), Matt Napleton (3, 16 minutes) ; SFC - Nikola Duric (8)

Exclusions: Bucknell - 9 ; SFC - 13

Advantage Opportunities:  Bucknell - 4-for-13 ; SFC - 2-for-9

Sprints: Bucknell - 3-for-4 ; SFC - 1-for-4

Cards: YC - Bucknell (John Abdou, HC); RC - Bucknell (John Abdou, HC)

Officials: Michael Goldenberg, Hadi Farid 

Bucknell scores its seventh goal of the game

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