Jason Simaan continued his season-long domination of the faceoff X, winning 13/15 (87%), to lead No. 1 CdM to a gritty 8-7 win over over No. 3 St. Margaret’s on Tuesday. Will Favreau and goalie Nick Guizan also had MVP-like performances, stepping up with four goals and 11 saves, respectively.
The Tartans started out on fire. Nick Shanks, Kevin Groeninger, and Kevin Cox found the back of the net with the Tartans’ first three shots of the game to give St. Margaret’s a 3-0 lead mid-way through the first quarter. Simaan’s faceoff success, made it difficult for the Tartans to pull away, and the the bonus possessions paid off for the Sea Kings when Favreau and Nate Neumann (assisted by Stephen Von Der Ahe) scored in the final two minutes of the quarter to make it 3-2.
The second quarter was scoreless until the Sea Kings struck late again. This time it was Neumann (assisted by Jordan Greenhall) and Sachin Gokhale striking in the final two minutes to give CdM a 4-3 lead at the intermission.
The defenses continued to dominate in the third quarter with no scoring until Favreau put CdM up 5-3 at 5:58. Koa Todd (assisted by Cox) broke a 25-minute St. Margaret’s scoring drought at 3:06. Two and half minutes later Groeninger teamed up with Shanks to make it a tie game going into the final quarter.
Favreau and Jake Elisius (assisted by Greenhall) put CdM up to 7-5 early in the fourth quarter, but the Tartans would not go away. Groeninger completed his hat trick less than a minute after the Elisius goal to make it 7-6. Favreau and Samuel Harnisch traded goals to make it 8-7 with 1:15 to play. The Tartans had their final shot with Harnisch finding Groeninger on the crease as time ran out, but the CdM defense converged on Groeninger to seal the win.
Next up: CdM (6-0) hosts Serra-San Mateo (5-3) today and Torrey Pines (5-0) on Saturday. St. Margaret’s (6-3) hosts Mt. St. Joseph’s (6-2) on Friday and travels to Colorado next week where they will play Regis Jesuit (2-0).