Gophers Up Three in Fourth Period, Bow to Royals in OT

Gophers Up Three in Fourth Period, Bow to Royals in OT

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.