No. 5 Dowling stuns No. 1 C.W. Post
Golden Lions hand Pioneers first loss of season in OT thriller
BROOKHAVEN, N.Y. -- Louis Riley scored his first collegiate goal, the game-winner, just 12 seconds into overtime to give No. 5 Dowling an 8-7 victory against No. 1 C.W. Post. The Golden Lions now hold a record of 6-1 (3-1 ECC) while the Pioneers fall to 9-1 with a 2-1 conference mark.
The situation was almost a repeat of last year in which both teams also held No. 5 and No. 1 rankings, with Dowling owning one loss and the Pioneers undefeated on the season. In that contest as well, Dowling defeated C.W. Post 8-7.
Saturday's matchup proved to be a thriller, though it wasn't easy for Dowling as C.W. Post struck first with a shot from Nick Coric at 8:52. The Pioneers then made it a 2-0 game after Mike Messina scored less than a minute later. Not to be discouraged, Dan Abbene fired one in to put the Golden Lions on the board. Jimmy Johnston scored one more time to put the Pioneers ahead, 3-1, at the end of the first 15 minutes play.
The second period was Dowling the whole way, with Brendan Hayes starting a 5-0 streak at 14:34. Dan Abbene added one more with an assist from Kevin Sabo, evening the score at three each with 12:25 left to play in the half. It was then time for Vito DeMola, the nation's leading goal scorer, to come through, adding back-to-back goals to put Dowling up 5-3 at the break.
Kevin McElhone picked up where Dowling left off before the half, scoring a man-up goal off a dish from Brendan Hayes to make it 6-3, Dowling. The Pioneers got two back thanks to a pair from Mike Messina, but the Golden Lions still enjoyed a 6-5 advantage going into the final 15 minutes of action.
DeMola earned the hat trick with 3:35 left to play, putting Dowling up two. With less than a minute to go, C.W. Post kicked it into high gear as Coric scored again, this time a man-up, to pull his team within one. The ensuing faceoff saw the Pioneers gain control of the ball and, with three seconds left in regulation, Eddie Plompen launched the ball into the net to tie the score up at seven apiece, sending the game into overtime.
Louis Riley then took matters into his own hands, winning the opening faceoff and charging down the field with the ball, blasting it past the keeper for his first collegiate career goal and giving Dowling the 8-7 upset victory.
DeMola finished the game with three goals for Dowling while Mike Messina had three on the Pioneers' side. C.W. Post outshot Dowling, 40-27, but Ryan Dougherty came up big in the net, turning away 12 shots for the win. Mike Giordano recorded two saves for the Pioneers.
This marks just the third loss for the Pioneers in three seasons, with the last two coming at the hands of the Golden Lions.
With little time to relax in the always difficult East Coast Conference, Dowling will head up to No. 6 Mercyhurst on April 2 for another ECC matchup. Game time is 1 p.m. ET.