Averett Tallies Three Goals, Now One Away from Tying All-Time Leader
SCRANTON, Pa. — Goucher had its eight-game winning streak snapped this afternoon and the Gophers fumbled a chance to clinch being the No. 1 seed in the upcoming Landmark Conference postseason tournament when Scranton's Mike Rufo tallied an unassisted goal 1:40 into overtime to provide the Royals with a 9-8 victory.
Rufo also scored the goal with 2:23 remaining in the fourth quarter that created the 8-8 tie.
The Royals (6-7, 2-2 Landmark) got on the scoreboard first, taking a 1-0 lead on an extra-man goal by J.P. Barton 2:46 into the contest. Once Matt Lynch (Ivyland, Pa./LaSalle College) answered for Goucher 2:39 later to tie the score at 1-1, the Gophers (9-5, 3-1 Landmark) didn't trail until Rufo stuck the game-winning goal in overtime.
Goucher went up 4-1 with :23 remaining in the first quarter thanks to a goal by Rory Averett (Ivyland, Pa./Council Rock North), but Robert Pantages responded with a goal of his own with :01 showing on the clock to make the score 4-2 in favor of the Gophers after one period.
Averett's goal with :13 left to play in the second quarter allowed the Gophers to depart the field at halftime leading 6-4.
Averett and Scranton's Taylor Nelson traded goals in the third period, which ended with Goucher in front 7-5.
The Gophers, who will still be the top-seeded entry in the Landmark's four-team championship tournament if they defeat Drew on April 30, regained a three-goal advantage 4:16 into the fourth quarter on an even-strength goal by Lynch. The Royals countered just :37 later with an extra-man goal by Gus Strum and closed to within 8-8 on Nelson's unassisted goal with 6:36 remaining in regulation.
In evening the all-time series between the two schools at 3-3, the Royals finished with a 53-25 edge in shots, picked up 18 more ground balls than the Gophers and won 16 of the 20 faceoffs, including the one to start the four-minute overtime period.
Averett supplied the Gophers with three goals, raising his team-leading total for the season to 46, but leaving him one away from catching Phil Anthony (1999-2002), Goucher's all-time leading scorer with 132 career goals.
Connor Mishaw (Wilmington, Del./Brandywine), who has started all 14 games in goal for the Gophers this season, was credited with 17 saves.