Manhattan Rallies Then Holds off Wagner, 12-11

Staten Island, NY Wagner galloped out to leads of 3-0, 6-1 and 8-3, but Manhattan rallied with three straight goals to make it 8-6 at halftime, opened the second half with another 3-0 run in taking a 9-8 lead with 11:41 to go, and held on for a 12-11 win over the Seahawks.

This was the final non-conference game of the season for the ever-improving, yet hard-luck Seahawks who, with the loss to their former MAAC rivals, fall to 1-8 on the season while Manhattan improves to 3-8.

Goals by freshman Griffen Leclaire (White Rock, British Columbia/ Hill Academy), sophomore David DeCirce (Clarence, NY/ Clarence), and senior Brian Faughnan (New Canaan, CT/ New Canaan) gave the Seahawks a quick 3-0 lead four minutes into the game.

After Brian McGrath got Manhattan on the board, Wagner went on another 3-0 spurt on goals by Leclaire, Faughnan and senior #Colin O'Rourke# (Worcester, MA/ St. John's Shrewsbury), with the latter goal putting the Seahawks on top 6-1 with 14:08 left in the second quarter.

The teams then traded 2-0 runs with Manhattan slicing the lead to 6-3 before goals by senior Nick DePhillips (Glen Ride, NJ/ Glen Ridge) and sophomore Cory Santor (Glastonbury, CT/ Glastonbury) again made it a five-goal game at 8-3 with 4:10 left in the half. The Jaspers struggled to win faceoffs in the first quarter but in the second quarter, they started to win their share and this extra time of possession allowed Manhattan to close the half with a 3-0 run, drawing to within 8-6 at intermission.

The Jaspers kept up the pressure in the second half, receiving unassisted tallies from Patrick Hodapp, Brian McGrath and Brett Madarascz in taking their first lead of the game at 9-8 on Madarscz's goal with 11:41 to play. DeCirce tied the game at 9-9 with ha goal at the 10:05 mark of the third quarter off an assist from DePhillips.

Goals by Ryan Payton and Jarvis Tyler put Manhattan on top, 11-9. The Seahawks then countered with two consecutive goals of their own by DePhillips, with 2:47 left in the third quarter, and Leclaire, who fired a blast from 15 yards out on the right side off a Faughnan assist with 10:17 to play which knotted the score at 11-11.

That's the way things stood until the 2:36 mark of the fourth quarter when Payton shook loose for a goal, while navigating his way in heavy traffic from in front of the cage, after receiving a pass from Hodapp that made it a 12-11 game. Wagner put pressure on Jasper goalie Michael Wiatrak in the waning moments but the Seahawks were unable to come up with the equalizing goals as Manhattan escaped with a one-goal win. Wistriak, who replaced starter Rich Akapnitis in the second half, was credited with three saves while Akapnitis had eight during the first half.

Individually, Leclaire led Wagner with three goals and one assist while Faughnan and DePhillips each recorded two goals and one assist. DeCirce also had two goals on the afternoon. For Manhattan, Payton led with three goals while McGrath and Jarvis had two each. Junior goalie Nicholas Gibaldi (Rocky Point, NY/ Rocky Point) was sharp throughout, coming up with 15 saves, as his fine play helped keep Wagner in the game during the second half.

The final team statistics in this nip-and-tuck affair were close as Manhattan held a 40-35 edge in shots and led in ground balls 30-24 while winning 16 of 27 faceoffs.

The Seahawks return to Northeast Conference (NEC) action on Saturday, April 6 when the Seahawks host Sacred Heart in a 1:00 pm tilt.

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