Eastern Falls in MAC Quarterfinals to Elizabethtown

ST. DAVIDS, Pa.- Eastern rallied from an early 5-1 deficit, but the comeback went for naught as sixth-seeded Elizabethtown scored four unanswered goals in the fourth period to claim a 13-10 road win in the first round of the MAC playoffs. Elizabethtown (9-6) will play at Messiah on Wednesday.

The Blue Jays grabbed possession early, and with that possession, they built a 2-0 lead before the Eagles even had a touch on the ball. Cory Boushell opened the scoring in the opening minute with his first of two on the day, and Derek Kline fought off a pair of defenders for his first of three on the game at the 90 second mark.

Though the Eagles were able to force a turnover after losing their third straight face-off, the first possession of game went without a result and the Blue Jays built their lead to 3-0 on Derek Neiheiser's 17th of the year midway through the period.

It looked as though the Eagles were going to gain momentum back when Chris Farrar gathered a bounce pass from Ron Johnson on the crease and tucked the shot home for his first of the day. There would not be, however, a change in momentum yet.

The visitors scored late in the first, and then took advantage of an extra-man opportunity to build the lead to 5-1. The Eagles, who entered the afternoon as the second-least penalized team in the conference, spent a total of eight minutes short-handed on ten different penalties. The Blue Jays capitalized three times on those chances.

Zac Ivy rolled in a shot on the crease to start the Eastern rally with 11 minutes to play in the first half. Will Johnson tagged the lower corner with a strong shot from the right alley to pull the Eagles to within two one minute later.

AJ Ryan won the next face-off on a procedure call, and Matt Soldano powered home a high shot to the upper left corner to closed the gap to 5-4 midway through the period. The Eagles won the next face-off, but a turnover led to a holding penalty to give the Blue Jays a chance to hold the ball. They did not score on the extra man opportunity, but Greg Kenneally scored shortly after the teams went to even to put Elizabethtown up two again.

With time winding down in the period, the visitors again looked to be patient with the ball, but Ryan Cassidy checked a ball free and Bredan Stouber snared the ground ball to regain possession. The Eastern possession did not last long as Joey Wilmot broke through in transition and delivered a final pass as he was obliterated by an Etown defender. Ivy caught the ball and shoveled home his second of the day.

The guests stretched the lead to two with a goal in close on another man-up situation. Boushell tucked home a shot from right on the doorstep. Ryan was held on the ensuing face-off and the Eagles took advantage of their only man-up situation on the day as Chris Farrar found a cutting Matt Wagner at the one minute mark.

Ryan won the next face-off and Matt Mandia earned the box for a time-out call. The Eagles ran a great set out of the break for Wagner to again finish from Farrar with 43 seconds to play. Both teams had chances to score in the final 40 seconds but Aaron Benz made a save on a Shawn Corcoran shot from in close at one end and Brendan Corcoran stopped a missile off Dave Darling's stick at the other. Corcoran made five of his nine saves before intermission, and Benz made six stops in the first half hour.

Soldano gave the Eagles their first lead of the game on a solo effort four minutes into the second half, and Darling put away his 27th of the year on a rebound of a Farrar shot two minutes later. Corcoran stoff the first ball with his chest, but the rebound went high and Darling saw the ball well and got off the ground to tip it home.

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