The season came to a close on Monday night for the No. 2 Stony Brook Hockey team, as No. 9 Iowa State defeated the Seawolves, 2-1, in the semifinals of the American Collegiate Hockey Association National Tournament hosted by Robert Morris University.
After forward Jonathon Severson gave the Cyclones a 1-0 lead less than five minutes into the contest, senior forward Tyler Underhill tied the game with a 5-on-3 power play goal late in the first period. The goal was the fifth of the tournament by Underhill.
Iowa State went back ahead with an early second period tally, as forward Andrew Carlson fired one past Stony Brook senior goaltender Derek Willms to give the underdogs a 2-1 advantage.
The Cyclones would stifle the Seawolves for the rest of the contest. Goaltender Derek Moser stopped 23 of 24 Stony Brook shot attempts, while Iowa State possessed the puck the majority of the game.
The Cyclones out-shot the Seawolves 43-24 in the game, leading in shot attempts in each of the three periods. Stony Brook took four penalties in the game’s final 23 minutes, continuously putting the team on the penalty kill where it is nearly impossible to earn the equalizing goal it so-ever sought.
The season-ending defeat soured any dreams of becoming the first Stony Brook team to win the ACHA National Championship. For the third consecutive season, the club made the tournament’s final four only to return home with a still-empty stomach each time.
Stony Brook’s loss followed a pair of tournament wins in the quarterfinals and in the round-of-16.
On Sunday, Stony Brook mounted a huge lead early in its game against No. 10 Lebanon Valley, taking a 5-0 lead after the first period and going up 6-2 after the second period.
In the end, however, it took the Seawolves everything they could do just to escape with a win. Junior forward and captain J.T. Hall scored a game-winning backhand goal in overtime to secure a 7-6 victory for Stony Brook in the quarterfinals.
With half a minute left in regulation, Lebanon Valley trailed Stony Brook 6-4, a seemingly insurmountable margin given the time remaining, but the Dutchmen proved otherwise.
Lebanon Valley found twine on a shot with 22 seconds left to cut the margin to 6-5. Then, with nine seconds left in the game, Lebanon Valley was awarded a penalty shot after a Stony Brook defenseman covered the puck with his hand in the goal crease.
Forward Paul Hefferin deked out Willms and beat him on the stick side, tying the game 6-6 as the Lebanon Valley bench broke into hysteria. The goal was the third of the game for Hefferin, as his hat trick completed an inconceivable comeback.
But coming through for the Seawolves, as he has all season, was Hall. Stony Brook’s leading scorer pushed the game winner past Dutchmen goaltender Brenden Manquen as Stony Brook staved off the upset bid.
Underhill scored three goals for Stony Brook in the game, as his hat trick allowed Stony Brook to build the large lead. Junior forward Eddie Osowski and sophomore forward Brendan Calello both scored in the first period for Stony Brook, as the Seawolves took a 5-0 advantage. The five Stony Brook goals in the first period forced Lebanon Valley to pull its starting goaltender, Chase Wilson, less than eight minutes into the game.
Stony Brook lead Lebanon Valley 20-11 in shots on goal in the first period, but the Dutchmen fared well in shot production the rest of the game.
From the second period on, Lebanon Valley recorded 37 shots on goal. Stony Brook attempted only 11.
The team advanced to the semifinals, but it was not the only close matchup for the Seawolves this weekend.
The Seawolves defeated the Syracuse Orange, 3-2, in their round-of-16 matchup on March 4.
The playoff tournament had an ominous start for the Seawolves, who allowed Orange forward Keith Lambert to score just 10 seconds into the opening round game. Syracuse added another tally in the period to enter the first intermission with a 2-0 lead over Stony Brook.
From there, head coach Chris Garofalo’s team dominated. In the second period of play, the Seawolves outshot the Orange 21-7 as they controlled the bulk of possession.
Underhill put Stony Brook on the board with a wraparound goal assisted by freshman defenseman Frank Coscia three minutes into the second period to take a 1-0 lead.
Minutes later, on the power play, Coscia netted a goal himself, as he buried a slap shot on a one-time pass from junior forward Joe Bochichio to tie the game for the Seawolves. Osowski gave Stony Brook a 3-2 lead 13 minutes into the second period, when he beat the Syracuse netminder with a wrist shot.
After allowing two early goals, Willms shut Syracuse out in the game’s final two periods to maintain Stony Brook’s one-goal advantage to the final horn.