Buffalo ends Mids' Crab Pot string at two

February 03, 1997|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

No one was safe on the rink or off yesterday at Navy's Dahlgren Hall, as SUNY-Buffalo spoiled the Midshipmen's bid to become the second team to win the Crab Pot Tournament three consecutive years.

Goalie Greg Myers, who took MVP honors, was spectacular with 33 saves as the Thundering Herd (11-7) edged the Midshipmen, 2-1, in the 20th Crab Pot final.

Appearing in the final for the 16th time, Navy (7-7) was attempting to match Penn State's run of three straight titles from 1985 to 1987.

Freshman forwards Jason Kochan and James Welch scored the Buffalo goals in the first six minutes of the second period and the final six minutes of the contest. Navy's Charlie Case, who had a hat trick Saturday, tied the game on a power play about a minute into the final 20 minutes.

Capt. Randy Bogle, commandant of midshipmen, watched the furiously fought game from center ice near the Navy bench, having to duck several times. While cheering for the Mids in the final period, the commandant was struck in his belt by a puck that came screaming over the boards.

Bogle escaped unhurt, as did a host of players who were flying all over the ice and into the boards. Sticks were broken, and in the first period a Buffalo player was knocked over the boards and into the Navy bench.

"It was East Coast-style hockey," said Myers, who seemed to cover the entire cage with his 5-foot-10, 190-pound frame. "There was a lot of tight checking, and it was a wide-open, hard-hitting kind of game.

"This was a huge win for me because it's probably my last tournament. To beat Navy in their own tournament is great. The puck looked really big to me."

Myers, who shut out Drexel, 6-0, on Saturday while Navy was hammering Marquette, 9-1, rejected 14 Navy shots in the first period. With six bordering on spectacular, Myers made 12 more saves in the second before the Mids scored in the last period.

Nate Denman fed fellow senior Case with the tying goal, but Buffalo answered on Welch's slap shot past Navy goalie John Bruzza (30 saves).

Pub Date: 2/03/97

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