VMI Loses Thriller to Siena on Goal with 1.7 Sec. Left

Much like the first half, Siena came out strong on offense, tallying two more goals to open the third. Long broke up the run with 7:34 left in the quarter, pulling VMI back within two, 9-7.

Clive tallied the Saints' 10th goal with 4:41 remaining in the third quarter, which would be Siena's final goal until less than a minute remained in regulation.

VMI took advantage of the Saints' scoring drought, running off four straight goals to grab its first lead since going up 2-1 in the fourth. Leonard cashed in his man-up goal while DeBlasio, Mowbray and Bosse all had one goal in the run to put the Keydets up 11-10.

Robarge won the ensuing face-off and quickly got down to the offensive end where the Keydets would be forced to stay in the restraining box with the lead under two minutes. Seizing an open-goal opportunity, Robarge went to ice the game with an acrobatic dive across the crease, but the shot was deemed no goal and gave the Saints the ball back.

Roth capitalized on the chances and gave Siena its first MAAC victory of the season.

VMI will look to grab its first MAAC win in two seasons on Saturday when it travels to Jacksonville, Fla. There the Keydets will take on the Jacksonville University Dolphins at 1:00 p.m.

* * * *

Playing in their all-green uniforms on St. Patrick's Day proved to be a smart decision for the Saints. Chris Roth scored twice in the final 43 seconds including the game-winner with just 1.7 seconds remaining as the Saints received a little "Luck of the Irish" in a thrilling 12-11 win at VMI in the conference opener.

In danger of dropping their first MAAC road game in four years, Roth led the Saints (3-3, 1-0) back late to win their 13th straight conference road test. His tally with 43 seconds remaining tied it and after Siena won the ensuing faceoff, Roth struck once more. The senior captain slid past his defender and put home the game-winner from five yards out, completing the improbable comeback.

Siena led 10-7 late in the third quarter before VMI (1-7, 0-1) mounted the comeback. The Keydets rattled off four straight goals capped with Colin Bosse scoring the go-ahead tally with just 92 seconds remaining.

VMI won the ensuing faceoff and appeared to deliver the knockout punch seconds later, but a potential 12th goal was waived off due to a crease violation. Siena got possession back, cleared the ball and called a timeout leading to Roth's late magic.

Siena was in control early, scoring five straight goals to open a 6-2 lead early in the second quarter. But pesky VMI would not go away and closed the gap to 7-6 at the half.

Coming off a career-high nine-point game in Wednesday's win at Hartford, Danny Martinsen paced the Saints with a hat trick and four points. In the process, Martinsen ran his scoring streak to 23 straight games and increased his goal scoring streak to 13 straight.

Roth too finished with four points adding a pair of assists, while Colin Clive contributed a hat trick as the Saints won their conference lid lifter for the fourth straight year and won their fourth in a row over VMI.

Siena held a decided 57-32 advantage in shots, although VMI goalie Matt Lindemann, who played the final three quarters, registered 20 saves to keep the Keydets in it. VMI meanwhile harbored a 36-20 edge in groundballs.

Mike DeBlasio led VMI with a hat trick, while Keith Long and Russell East also contributed three-point afternoons.

After playing their last nine games dating back to last season away from home, the Saints finally return to Loudonville Tuesday. The Saints host Stony Brook in the home opener at 3:00 p.m. at Siena Turf Field in a game that will be televised throughout the state on Time Warner Cable Sports.

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2012-03-17



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