Black Knights Topple No. 15 Bucknell in Double Overtime

LEWISBURG, Pa. 15th-ranked Bucknell saw its eight-game winning streak come to an end when Army's Devin Lynch bounced in a shot 30 seconds into the second overtime period, handing the Black Knights a 6-5 victory in a tightly contested defensive struggle. The Bison fell to 8-4 overall and 3-1 in the Patriot League, but they are still very much alive in the race for the regular-season title.

Kyle Feeney (Greenwich, Conn./Greenwich) led a terrific defensive effort with 13 saves, but Bucknell's highly ranked offense was slowed down for the first time all season. The Bison had not scored fewer than nine goals all year, and they came into the game ranked first in the nation in shooting percentage (.402) and eighth in goals per game (12.6). Todd Heritage (Cheshire, Conn./Cheshire) scored twice, giving him 32 goals and 40 points on the season, while 50-plus point-scorer Billy Eisenreich (Chatham, N.J./Chatham) finished with a goal and an assist.

Despite combining for only 11 goals, the Bison and Black Knights (5-6, 2-2 PL) engaged in a wild finish that featured plenty of end-to-end action and some huge saves in key spots by Feeney and Zach Palmieri. Neither team led by more than one goal all day, as these two teams played a one-goal game for the 12th time in the last 18 meetings.

The contest was deadlocked a 1-1 after one quarter and 2-2 at the half. Eisenreich and John Glesener traded goals to start the third period before Bucknell took a 4-3 lead with 9:16 left in the quarter. Billy Mattimore (Tiburon, Calif./St. Ignatius Prep) intercepted a pass near midfield on an Army clearing attempt and then passed ahead to Heritage for the go-ahead goal.

Just 1:43 into the fourth, a Palmieri save triggered a fastbreak for Army, and Garrett Thul finished it off to knot the game at 4-all. Just over four minutes later, the Black Knights took their first lead since 1-0 when Conor Hayes fed James MacGibbon for his second goal of the day and fourth of the season.

Army had a couple of great looks to make it a two-goal game, but Feeney robbed MacGibbon twice, the latter coming with 4:20 to play. Bucknell cleared, but Eisenreich had his pass intercepted by Brian LoRusso. At the other end, defenseman Jackson Place (Wayne, Pa./Episcopal Academy) made a great play to strip Hayes near the end line and give the Bison another possession with 2:03 to play.

David Dickson (Greenwich, Conn./Greenwich) bounced a tough-angle shot wide, and Heritage ran down the loose ball at the far sideline, he was pushed from behind by Drew Kearns. That gave Bucknell a 30-second man-up opportunity with 1:26 to play. Just after the re-start, the Bison flipped a hidden ball trick behind the goal, and Eisenreich found a cutting Chase Bailey (Fairfield, Conn./Fairfield Prep) for the tying goal with 1:16 left in regulation.

The final minute of regulation was very frenetic, as Army won the faceoff but turned it over right away. Bucknell then lost possession but Jason Neithamer (Alexandria, Va./St. Stephen's & St. Agnes) took the ball back as Army could not connect on a clearing pass.

With 23 seconds left Palmieri made a good save on Nick Gantsoudes (Redding, Conn./Avon Old Farms) and then an even better one on Heritage's rebound attempt. At the other end, Feeney gobbled up Tim Henderson's 45-yard shot at the buzzer, sending the game into overtime.

More craziness ensued in extra time. Right off the faceoff, Henderson, Army's all-star long-stick defensive midfielder, walked in and fired a shot off the post. He nabbed his own rebound and fired again from point-blank range, but Feeney made the save. Bucknell cleared and then Gantsoudes rang a shot off the underside of the crossbar. The ball caromed all the way out the sideline, where Army was closest when the ball crossed the line.

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2012-04-07



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