Navy's 10th-ranked Club Ice Hockey team (10-3-1) won the 14th annualCrab Pot Tournament yesterday, defeating 9th-ranked West Chester College (Pa.), 5-3.
Navy's win virtually assures the team's first-ever trip to the national Club Hockey Championships, to be played this year in Tempe, Ariz.
Set for Feb. 27-March 2, the nationals will feature the top eightteams as ranked by Club Sports magazine.
Coach Jim Barry's Mids had split a pair of games with West Chester (15-4) this season, each winning at home. In December, the Mids took the first meeting, 3-2, while West Chester captured the return match in January, 6-2.
In winning its first Crab Pot since 1983, Navy got goals from Ben Fitchett, Jeff Fogarty, Bill Murphy, Tim Fetsch and Steve Jennings. Goalie Richie Doyle had 31 saves.
Sunday's consolation game for third place was taken by 5th-ranked University of Rhode Island (13-2) who defeated Fordham University, 15-3.
In Saturday's opening day action, Navygot past upset-minded Fordham (6-10-1), 6-5 in overtime, on the strength of a hat trick -- including the game winner -- by Fogarty. Fogarty also had an assist in the victory.
Navy goalie Doyle turned back 21 enemy shots in the opener.
In the tournament's second game, West Chester upset Rhode Island, 6-4.
The Crab Pot tournament is fashioned after the prestigious Bean Pot tourney, run each year in the hockey hot bed of Boston.