Adelphi drops No. 2 Limestone
Vitale, Blau each score three for the Panthers
GAFFNEY, S.C. – Adelphi pulled off the upset by defeating No. 2 Limestone 14-11 in the Division II semifinals. The Panthers outscored the Saints 11-6 in the second half.
For the Panthers, Joe Vitale and Danny Blau each scored three goals, while Shane Wynn scored two goals and added an assist. Goalkeeper Eric Janssen had a tremendous day in net for Adelphi, setting aside 15 shots and adding an assist in the victory.
Limestone struck first, with 7:16 left in the first period, on an unassisted goal from Desi Gonzalez. Blau answered back with an unassisted score, 44 seconds after Gonzalez's tally, evening the score. With just under three minutes left in the period and Limestone on a man-advantage, Jackson Decker found a cutting Thomas Langan for the score. Vitale would even the score at 2-2 with an unassisted score, just under 1:30 remaining.
Langan would open the second period with his second score of the game as he beat his defender in isolation for the goal. Adelphi would once again answer as junior Shane Wynn beat his man on the left side to tie the game at 3-3. After Wynn's goal, Saints' defenseman Brian Hogan took the clear at midfield and took it all the way down for the score and a Limestone lead. With just over a minute left in the half, Jeff Santo set up teammate Ken Kerr in front of the cage for a 5-3 advantage in favor of the Saints.
At the half, Limestone held a 17-14 edge in shots and a 17-12 advantage in ground balls.
Less than two minutes into the second half, Langan found the back of the net for the third time pushing the Saints' lead to 6-3. Vitale would then cut the Limestone lead to 6-4 with an unassisted goal, his second of the day. Vitale continued to keep the Panthers in it as he beat his man from the midfield line and netted his third score of the game. The Panthers, on a man-up, evened the score at 6-6 when Wynn found sophomore Michael Rossi alone in front of the net. Sophomore Kevin Kennedy would give Adelphi their first lead of the game as he beat his defender down the left side for the unassisted goal.
Adelphi would add to their lead as Kieran Riegel scored his first of the game with 6:50 left in the third period, making the score 8-6. Adelphi would take a two-goal lead into the final period as they outscored Limestone 5-1 in the third period.
Wynn opened the final period with an unassisted score giving Adelphi a 9-6 lead with 13:26 left in regulation. Shayne Jackson would break the scoreless streak for the Saints as he came from behind the net for an unassisted goal with 11:26 left on the clock. Nine seconds after Jackson's goal, Gonzalez took the ground ball off the face-off and went straight down the field for his second goal of the game. The Panthers responded as Ken Fundus drove down the right side of the field and found Blau for a two-goal Adelphi edge.
With 9:41 left, Riegel would push Adelphi's lead back to three goals, 9-6. Limestone would inch closer on a man-up goal from Langan, with just over seven minutes remaining. Blau would make the score 12-9 as he beat his defender from behind the cage, his third goal of the game. Shortly after Blau's goal, Doug Quednau gave Adelphi their biggest lead of the game 13-9, with just over three minutes left. Limestone cut Adelphi's lead to three, 13-10, as Langan found Decker for the score with just under 2:30 on the clock. After a save from Janssen on a Langan shot, Santo picked up the ground ball and scored, cutting Adelphi's lead in half.
Janssen would then send a clearing pass down the field to Rossi who beat Limestone keeper Steve Gartelman for his second goal of the game with under one minute left, sealing the victory for Adelphi.
For the Saints, Langan scored a game-high five goals, while Gonzalez netted two. Gartelman stopped seven shots in the loss.