TOWSON, Md. — Things looked extremely promising for Goucher heading into the final four minutes of tonight's game against McDaniel.
The Gophers were locked in an 8-8 tie with an opponent that was 7-0 against them all-time, which included a pair of frustrating one-goal losses the past two seasons, plus their extra-man unit was about to take the field after the officials assessed a one-minute non-releaseable penalty on one of the Green Terror defensemen.
Unfortunately, the only shot Goucher managed on the man-up situation went wide and it was soon followed by a costly turnover, which McDaniel cashed in at the other end in the form of a man-down goal by Timothy McNichol.
Even though there was still 2:44 left to play, the Gophers had to first kill off a one-minute penalty they were tagged with before they could gain possession of the ball. Their final attempt at drawing even and forcing overtime was a shot by Owen Demmerly (Medford, N.J./Shawnee), who already had four goals to his credit. Demmerly's shot, however, was easily handled by Eric Ritchie, preserving the 9-8 win for the Green Terror.
Goucher trailed 3-2 at the end of the first quarter and fell further behind when McNichol scored twice in a span of three minutes early in the second period. Starting with an unassisted goal by Demmerly, the Gophers (3-2) went on a four-goal run that allowed them to go ahead for the first time on an unassisted goal by Michael Morgan (Austin, Texas/Westwood) in the final minute of the first half.
The two teams traded goals in the third quarter. Pat Bivons created a 6-6 tie 2:34 into the period with an unassisted goal; Goucher regained the lead on an extra-man goal by Sam Morgan (Wilmot, N.H./Kearsarge Regional) with 4:30 showing on the clock.
Demmerly's fourth goal of the contest 3:29 into the fourth quarter put the Gophers ahead one final time at 8-7, but the Green Terror (1-1) drew even midway through the period on a goal by Troy Becker.
Most statistics suggested a close game. Goucher finished with a 28-27 advantage in shots and a 26-23 edge in ground balls.
Ritchie's final save was his eighth of the contest. Karl Wiszumerski (Pottstown, Pa./The Hill School) stopped seven shots in goal for the Gophers.
Goucher's next game is this Saturday at 1 p.m. against King's.