Cardinals Hold off Flyers for One-Goal Win in E8 Semifinals

Second-seeded St. John Fisher erupted for six third-quarter goals and held on for an 11-10 victory over No. 3 Nazareth in the Empire 8 semifinals on Wednesday at Growney Stadium.

After posting just one win in the first 11 years of the East-Avenue rivalry Fisher secured its second win over Nazareth in four days to advance to Empire 8 Championship game against top-seed Ithaca at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday. The Cardinals advance to the Empire 8 Championship game for the second time in school history, the first being in 2009.

With the win Fisher improves to 12-4 overall and 7-1 in the Empire 8 while Nazareth closes out the season 8-10 and 5-3.

Fisher jumped out to a 1-0 lead as Greg Ramsden dodged a defender and scored 2:38 into the game, but it would be Fisher's last lead of the half. Nazareth, capitalizing on three Fisher penalties, led 2-1 after the first quarter and scored a man-up in the opening moments of the second quarter to take a 3-1 lead.

Fisher answered right back, however, as freshman Tim Wagner scored two straight goals, tying the game at 3-3. Nick Rossi set up Wagner for the first goal, while Ramsden assisted on the second goal.

With just over five minutes left in the first half, Nazareth's Luke Wooters capitalized on a two-man advantage to give the Golden Flyers a 4-3 lead and Nick Arnold scored with 2:43 left in the half to make it 5-3 Nazareth at the break.

Fisher came out with a vengeance to start the second half, scoring the first five goals of the third quarter. Ramsden scored three minutes into the second half and senior Jeff Wester tied the game at 5s with 10:34 left in the quarter. Wester's goal was the first of three in a span of 62 seconds.

Wagner put Fisher up 6-5 with a man-up goal off a pass from Brett Farrell. Following a Nazareth violation on the ensuing faceoff, Farrell scored unassisted at the 9:32 mark.

Ramsden pushed Fisher's lead to 9-6 with 6:32 left in the third, marking his third goal of the game. After a Nazareth goal, Farrell scored off a pass from Wester in the final seconds of the third quarter to give the Cardinals a 9-6 lead going into the final period.

Just like Fisher in the third, Nazareth came out firing in the fourth, scoring three goals in the opening 3:34 of the final period to tie the score at 9s.

Fisher would however regain the lead when Wester found Gary Bova at the 6:37 mark. Four minutes later, Rossi netted what would prove to be the game-winning goal off an assist from Farrell.

The Golden Flyers would not go away quietly narrowing the margin to one, 11-10, with 1:14 to play. After winning the subsequent faceoff Nazareth managed two more shots in the final minute but Fisher was able to hold on for the victory.

Wagner finished with a career-high three goals, while Ramsden also tied his career-high with three tallies of his own. Farrell added two goals and two assists, while Wester added a goal with two helpers.

Jamie Campagna made 13 saves in net to improve to 10-3 on the year.

Nazareth finished the game with a 49-19 advantage in shots and enjoyed 11 extra-man opportunities.

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PITTSFORD, N.Y. -- Visiting third-seeded Nazareth allowed second-seeded St. John Fisher six goals in the third quarter, which the Cardinals used to change a 5-3 deficit into a 9-6 lead going into the fourth quarter. The Golden Flyers answered with a trio of goals in the opening 3:34 of the fourth to tie the game.

Fisher answered with the next two goals and held off Nazareth's final rally attempt in the closing minutes of regulation to advance to the Empire 8 Championship game with the 11-10 win. Senior Collin Clark finished with three goals to lead the Golden Flyers' attack, which also gives him 100 goals in his career at Nazareth.

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