A goal by Mike Naidrich 15 seconds into overtime lifted the University of Maryland over defending champion Navy, 6-5, to upset the Mids in the 15th annual Crab Pot ice hockey tournament final yesterday in Annapolis.
Maryland took the rubber match between these two club teams. Navy (12-3) lost early in the season to the Terps, 4-2, but tookthe rematch, 7-3, at Piney Orchard on the way to qualifying for the National Club Tournament, which will be in late February.
Nearly 1,500 fans looked on at the Naval Academy's Dahlgren Hall as the Terps overcame deficits of 4-1 and 5-2 before rallying to tie the game with 8 minutes, 45 seconds to go in the third period.
Owen Wallace of Annapolis fired in a rebound from behind the net to knotthe score at five in what was a brutally physical game from start tofinish. With nationally eighth-ranked Navy missing a golden opportunity to retake the lead while the Terps were two men down, neither team scored the rest of the way.
After a two-minute break after regulation, Maryland didn't waste any time ending the game as Naidrich scored the controversial game-winning goal. It duplicated the Terps' fourth goal that came 15 seconds into the third period with Naidrich assisting Wallace.
The sudden-victory shot by Naidrich first was ruled no goal by referee Bob Leig, but the other official, Rich Palmer, overruled his colleague.
"The angle I had, all I saw was the goaltender catch the puck, and I didn't think it went in," said Leig. "I was blocked out. The other referee who was coming in said it hit the back of the net and kicked out."
Palmer echoed Leig's remarks, but Navy goalie Richie Doyle wasn't convinced it was a goal.
"I saw thepuck go in the back of the net and come right out," said Palmer. "There was no doubt about it."
Doyle said, "It was tough for me to tell because it happened so quick, but we have really loosely strung nets. A lot of times when it hits the webbing, it just dies right there, and the puck came out I thought it hit the pipe.
"The refs are right there and they say it went in, and we will have to live with that decision."
Eric Fontaine led Navy with two goals (its last two),and Jeff Fogarty had one goal and an assist before sitting out most of the second period on a misconduct penalty.