A solid defensive effort by Navy held Boston University to its lowest goal output of the season, while Max Hewitt, Tommy Hovivian, and Henry Tolker all pitched hat tricks to lead the Midshipmen to a 10-8 victory over the 17th-ranked Terriers on Friday evening at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. The win snapped BU’s seven-game winning streak that dated back to a 16-15 overtime victory at Bryant on Feb. 18.
Navy, who has struggled to piece together a complete 60-minute performance, made a statement in its win over BU. A year ago, the Terriers dominated Navy in nearly every statistical category en route to a 17-9 victory over the Mids in Boston. On Friday evening, Navy flipped the script, as the Mids were solid in all facets of the game.
One might argue the contest revolved around the faceoff game where Navy’s Anthony Ghobriel won 66.7 percent of the draws against one of the nation’s elite faceoff specialists, Conor Calderone. Ghobriel set the tone by winning 6 of the 9 first-half faceoffs and dominated the fourth quarter by winning 7 of the 8 draws, putting the ball in the offensive players’ sticks.
After Hewitt and Hovivian held court in the first three quarters, Tolker took over for the Mids where he scored 3 of the final 4 goals to help Navy secure the win. His goal to open the fourth quarter will go down in Naval Academy lore as one of the most incredible goals in program history. Tolker, who was handcuffed by a swarming BU defense, tracked down the loose ball and twirled through the traffic before launching the no-look shot over his shoulder and into the back of the net.
Hewitt led the way for the Mids with 4 points on 3 goals and an assist, while Hovivian and Tolker finished with 3 goals and Sam Dracobly dealt out 3 assists. Defensively, John Ryan made 11 saves, while co-captain Kyle Fairbanks recorded 3 of Navy’s 7 caused turnovers.
BU, who entered the game eighth in the nation in goals per game, was held to its fewest goals since dropping a 12-5 decision to Princeton last year in the NCAA Tournament. Vince D’Alto, who Navy All-American defenseman Jackson Bonitz defended, was held without a goal for just the third time in his career and first this season. BU’s leading scorer in each of his four seasons, D’Alto came into the game ranked #6 in points per game, #12 in goals per game, and #17 in assists per game and finished with just an assist on 12 shots.
The Midshipmen will be back on CBS Sports Network next Friday night when they make the short trip to Baltimore to battle #14 Loyola.