Eagles Earn Victory In NAC Thriller
Castine, Maine –Chris Pelletier (Rome, Maine) picked the top left corner of the net with 58 seconds left in the game to deliver Husson an 8-7 win over Maine Maritime in North Atlantic Conference (NAC) lacrosse at Ritchie Field Wednesday evening. It was the only time the Eagles (9-6, 5-1 NAC) struck in the fourth quarter, and the fifth time in the game that Husson lit the scoreboard in the final minute of a quarter. Pelletier's goal answered a Mariners' (4-7, 4-3 NAC) three-goal spurt early in the final quarter that evened the game at 7-7.
Pelletier's goal was his only point on the night. He rolled out from behind the cage to the left goalline extended, about 10-yards from Erik Milles' (Bangor) cage. His game-winning shot from an impossible angle caught just about everyone at Ritchie Field by surprise. It also spoiled a furious comeback by Maine Maritime, which reeled off three-straight in the opening minutes of the fourth, closing the 7-4 gap after three quarters.
Husson led by one, 5-4, heading into the final minute of the third quarter, when Wayne Stubbs (Keene, N.H.) and Ben Potter (Chula Vista, Calif.) conspired to make it a 6-4 game. Precisely 40 seconds later, Nick Brown (Waterford, Conn.) dumped in an unassisted goal to give Husson the widest margin in the game. Potter had scored a goal with 52 seconds left in the first quarter, while Brown assisted Mitch Heaps (York, Pa.) with 14 ticks left in the first half. Brown had a goal and two assists on the night. Heaps scored a pair, while Potter posted a goal and an assist.
Maine Maritime seemed to be down for the count when a golden opportunity on the goalmouth ended with the ball shanking off of the orange iron, but on the ensuing scramble, an Eagle was flagged for a cross check to the head of Andrew DiSalvo (Glastonbury, Conn.). The Mariners took advantage of the two-minute, non-releasable penalty with Brian Corain (Berwick, Maine) feeding Tom Houle (Manchester, N.H.) on the left-hand side. DiSalvo delivered a beautiful feed to Nick Betti (Upper Saddle River, N.J.) 1:20 later. Betti buried the shot to complete his second collegiate hat trick and get his team back within a goal. Betti has scored at least a pair in each of his last six games.
Maine Maritime tied it up 24 seconds later when Corain fed DiSalvo his 21st of the season with 12:13 remaining. The next 11:15 were scoreless until Pelletier struck. Husson's Eric Lund (Mansfield, Mass.) made four of his 10 saves in the final period. Milles, making his first start since an injury in early March, turned away eight and came up with four ground balls.
Maine Maritime's special teams were critical. Besides the 2-for-4 effort with the extra-man, the man-down unit killed off nine of the 11 Mariners' penalties on the night.
Maine Maritime owned a 41-32 advantage in shots, while Husson dominated the faceoffs taking 12-of-18. The Eagles turned the ball over 28 times, while MMA gave it up on 19 occasions.
Husson hosts New England College in NAC play on Saturday at 6:00 pm in a game with potential playoff implications. The Mariners return to action on Saturday at Gordon. Opening faceoff is set for 3:00 pm.