VMI Edged in Double Overtime Thriller by Furman

LEXINGTON, Va. -- Four ties, three combined hat tricks and two overtime periods were the highlight from Saturday's Atlantic Sun Conference game between VMI and visiting Furman. The road team took a 13-12 win in double overtime at Drill Field #2.

After neither team found the goal in the first overtime, Furman's Hil Blaze won the faceoff to begin the second extra period. The Paladins worked the ball around the offense before Zach Coker found Graham Dabbs, who scored the win for Furman's first-ever win.

VMI (1-11, 0-4 A-Sun) suffered the loss despite a monstrous scoring day from its attack unit. Senior Mickey Hofmeister had a career outing, putting up four goals and one assist for a career-high five points. Junior Mike DeBlasio, in his second game back after suffering a lower body injury, posted four points on two goals and two assists while the third attackman, Ben Huger, finished with the first hat trick of his career on three goals. VMI's remaining goals were scored by midfielders Andrew Erber, Dan Bull and Brad Biondello. Freshman middie Brad Nardella tacked on an assist as well.

Furman (1-10, 1-2 A-Sun) got seven points from Dabbs, including the game winner, on five goals and two assists. Coker finished his day with four points with one goal and three assists as Clay Adams and Kenny Meinsen notched two goals apiece. Mark Cohen posted one goal and one assist while Ralph D'Agostino and Scott Primeau had one goal each. Chase Hancock and Danny Dorsett registered one assist apiece.

Keydet keeper Evan Windisch made nine saves in the game, including one in the first overtime period. His opposite, Jake Gavin, made seven saves in the league tilt.

The Keydets took 28 shots over the course of the game, while Furman pulled the trigger 40 times, including 14 in the fourth quarter. Furman controlled the offense in the second half, scoring nine of its goals in the final 35 minutes of the game, including overtime. VMI struck five times in the second half, potting four in the fourth quarter. The Keydets took a 7-3 advantage into halftime.

Blaze was a force at the faceoff X, winning 25 of his 31 draws (80.6 percent), including nine groundballs. VMI trotted out two players to take faceoffs, with Mitch Wilson going five for 25 and Brad Nardella winning one of his five chances.

Uncharacteristic of VMI, the Keydets took six penalties for four minutes of man-down action. The Paladins suffered four penalties, two of which VMI capitalized on. The VMI short-handed unit held Furman to two extra-man goals on six opportunities.

Clearing was a strong facet for VMI, which went 23 of 25, including a perfect 14 for 14 in the first half. The Keydets' only clearing miscues came in the third quarter. Furman gained the zone on 13 of its 16 qualifying chances.

The Paladins won the groundball battle, picking up 32 against VMI's 25, with Blaze leading the way with his nine. But the Keydet defense caused 13 Paladin turnovers, including five from junior Tyler Prasnicki, who along with Nardella and Rory Dillon, snagged three groundballs apiece. Junior longstick midfielder Ty Trobridge forced three turnovers as well.

VMI got on the board first as Hofmeister potted his first tally just under three minutes into the game. Dabbs tied the contest at 1-1 six minutes later before Huger and DeBlasio scored back-to-back goals to give VMI a 3-1 edge at the end of the first quarter.

Furman pulled within one on Meinsen's first of the day, making it a 3-2 affair. But four different goal scorers, Erber, Hofmeister, Huger and Biondello, put the Keydets up 7-2. Biondello's tally came on the extra-man with DeBlasio on the helper. Furman's Cohen scored with 40 seconds left in the second quarter on a man-up chance, putting VMI up 7-3 at the break.

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