In a game with six ties and six lead changes, ninth-ranked Navy emerged with an 11-10 overtime victory against 20th-ranked Army at Michie Stadium Saturday.
Casey Rees scored with 2:22 left in OT to give the Midshipmen the victory. Navy ran a fake-flip play at the top of the box and Rees got open and beat goaltender A.J. Barretto for the winner.
Army (8-4 overall, 5-2 in the Patriot League) is alive for a bye in the league tournament heading into Friday night’s game against Loyola. A win would earn the Black Knights the second seed and a spot in the semifinals at Navy.
“I wasn’t upset with our intensity or our fire today,” Army head coach Joe Alberici said. “I would have liked a little bit more execution in a couple of spots, but we played a top-10 team right there. Congratulations to them on the victory. We just came up a couple of plays short.”
The Black Knights got four points from Cole Johnson on a goal and three assists. Both Ted Glesener and Nate Jones had hat tricks. Jones has at least three goals in seven of his team’s 12 games. Dan Grabher finished with two goals; Shea Mullins scored one. Barretto made nine saves for the Black Knights with four in the first quarter and five in the second half.
Navy (9-2 overall, 7-1 in the league) clinched the top seed in the league tournament with the win. Patrick Keena ended up with five points on three goals and two assists, while Rees and Kevin Wendel each had hat tricks. Jack Ray finished with two goals; goalie John Connors had 14 saves.
The teams traded goals early with Army leading 1-0 and 2-1, but Navy answered with three-straight to give it a 4-2 lead. Army responded in the second quarter with two man-up goals from Jones and Glesener and four in a row and took a 6-4 lead into the break. Glesener and Jones led the way with two goals each in the first 30 minutes.
The Midshipmen answered in the third quarter with five goals to Army’s two and Navy had a 9-8 lead after 45 minutes. Wendel and Keena had two goals apiece in the third quarter and Rees added his 23rd of the year with a score during a 30-second warning. Jones scored the first goal of the quarter to give Army a 7-4 lead and Grabher’s goal gave the Black Knights a two-goal lead with 12:33 left in the quarter. Navy finished the third on a three-goal run to take the lead.
In the fourth quarter Glesener scored his third of the day and second during a man-up situation to tie the game at 9-9. Mullins gave Army the lead back at 10-9 with an assist to Johnson. However, Navy returned the favor and tied it with 5:40 remaining in the quarter.
The Black Knights had a chance with less than 30 seconds remaining after causing a turnover in the final minute. Army came out of a timeout and set up a play, but Navy was able to get the stop to set up overtime. Navy won the opening draw and never gave it back before Rees scored the game winner. This was the 96th all-time meeting between Army and Navy and the team’s first overtime game since 1987.