Servite Takes Down Santa Margarita

The Santa Margarita Eagles jumped out to a 5-2 lead in the first half at home on Tuesday but could not hold on as the Servite Friars came storming back to win in overtime. Santa Margarita started quickly and lead 4-1 at the end of the first quarter. Hayden Ruiz scored three unassisted goals in the quarter to get the Eagles started, and Andrew Luher added a fourth goal with just 41 seconds left in the quarter. Joe Sarni scored the Friars only goal of the quarter. About midway through the second quarter, senior defenseman Connor Mullarkey picked up a ground ball near his own cage and passed off to senior Josh Kang. Kang cleared the ball and found Gregory Yosenick open on the crease who scored to give the Eagles a 5-1 lead.

The Friars outscored the Santa Margarita 6-2 for the remainder of regulation before closing the deal early in overtime. Connor Hoffman started the Friars run, scoring off the face-off to make it 5-2 at halftime. Servite then took advantage of a two minute non-releasable EMO opportunity on goals from Pat Shaughnessy and Dustin Marinelli to make it 5-4. Wes Shuler scored with four minutes to go in the third to put the Eagles back up by two. The Friars then tied the game on goals by Hoffman and Shaughnessy. Trevor Cook gave the Eagles their final lead of the game with about five minutes to go on an unassisted goal. Long pole Tilghman Tuebner tied the game again at 7-7 with a rip from about 12 yards out.

The OT did not last long. Dustin Marinelli cleanly won the face off and coach Tom O’Leary immediately called timeout to set up a play. The Friars worked the ball to Jack Turney who turned the corner from X and slipped one past goalie Ronnie Pisano to send his teammates pouring onto the field in celebration. Coach O’Leary was very happy with his team’s performance: “This was the first game we’ve played through this whole season, 48+ minutes. It was great to succeed but more imporantly to play at the level we are capable of. After a quick SM jump our defense played a solid and physical game and held the line a number of crucial times. the offense maintained composure throughout and kept the pressure on the cage as we battled between the lines against a talented opponent for possessions and ground balls.”