This game followed an intense game between our FGCU D3 squad and USF, which came down to a rather good shootout and this forced our D2 team and Northeastern to wait a bit prior to their puck drop. I watched both teams line up and build up the anticipation to hit the ice as they watched the D3 shootout.
The opening period on Saturday evening between Northeastern and FGCU D2 was a different story then Friday. After having already danced the night prior, both squads were better matched for Saturday's action as the period remained scoreless all the way through. Minor penalties were tallied and in favor of FGCU as they gained two power play opportunities that were not cashed in on but they stood tall to stop their opponent from gaining any lead as well.
The second period served as the scoring bulk of this match as Northeastern would tally five of their six goals in this portion of the game. This period was again mainly all about skating as penalties were not out of hand for either squad.
The run for Northeastern began with the first goal against Ryan Lynch being scored at (18:56) and this rally continued until (#12) Brett Sutton sank one for FGCU at (7:26) of the second. This would not be enough got FGCU to maintain their level of play to ward off Northeastern. Four more goals would be added to Northeastern's lead as heading into the final period of play, FGCU was down by three.
With the FGCU bench taxed some for man power the defense was obviously a bit winded from skating extra turns on the ice and it was rather apparent, as Ryan Lynch was left alone in the crease on a number of rushes to his net by Northeastern.
Goal tending is a one man job; however, it is a confidence builder and an added sense of security to have your defensive squad out there stopping the puck or opponents in a combined effort. A number of these goals tallied for Northeastern were indeed turnovers and straight breakaways, which can cost any team pucks in their own net.
This evening Northeastern was even more on top of Dan Echeverri, than the game prior and this was indeed felt with the lack of points on the board for FGCU. Other members of our squad did step into that gap left by the silencing of Echeverri's guns but it simply was not enough to hold off Northeastern and secure a win for FGCU.
Northeastern University packed more of a united front on the ice within this series and were present in the game and within plays executed. Their passing was mainly direct, tight and highly successful. Their play was not choppy nor in the lack of well executed plays to gain that added drive in the game to the net of their opponent.
FGCU would fall Saturday evening (6-2) to Northeasten U to stand in 7th place within the D2 Southeastern region with one last series awaiting them this coming weekend when they host Kennesaw State for two games slated for Feb. 8th and 9th on Germain Arena ice - puck drops at 8:30 PM both evenings.
Congratulations to our FGCU D3 squad, as they have qualified for the ACHA Nationals in 2013 and they prepare to head to South Carolina for their National Tournament. They completed their season in third place within their ACHA South region. All the best to Coach Lendino and the D3 team. Also to D2 preparing for their closing series this week!
GO EAGLES!!!!! BRING THAT CUP HOME!!!