Florida Tech goalie Daniel Flock had a big-time game Saturday, setting a program record with 23 saves in a 12-10 win over Lenoir-Rhyne in Savannah, Georgia. The win helps the Panthers rebound from a tough loss to Catawba last Saturday.
“This was good medicine for the team after last week’s loss,” said Panthers coach Mark Penn via email. “As always, GOD Gets the praise, but today the Panthers got the win.”
The Panthers (3-1) outshot the Bears 54-48, but Lenoir-Rhyne held a 33-28 advantage in shots on goal. Lenoir-Rhyne goalie Noah Johnson made 16 saves in the loss.
This was a close game throughout, as Lenoir-Rhyne (0-4) kept fighting back, but in the end, Flock proved to be too much, coming up with 11 saves in the first half and 12 in the second half. He registered six saves in the first, third and fourth quarters respectively.
“The biggest difference today was the play of our goalie,” Penn said. “He shut the door tonight and really let them know early that it was going to be hard to score.”
Flock got help early from his offense, as Justin Williams and Bryce Johnson scored 11 seconds apart, giving the Panthers a 2-0 lead. It was the first goal of the season for both.
After Lenoir-Rhyne got one back, Reid Chaconas made it 3-1 with 4:01 gone by in the quarter. The Bears came back with a vengeance, going on a four-goal run, and taking a 5-3 lead with 4:09 left. Sam Sidari got his first of the season with 2:39 left, getting the Panthers to within one after the first quarter.
Addison Abramson would score two of the Panthers first three goals in the second quarter, with a goal from Logan Sweeney sandwiched in between. That run put the Panthers up 7-5 with 10:09 left in the half, and the Panthers defense would step up and make that two-goal advantage stand at the half.
“Our defensemen are all playing at an All American level, Penn said. “And Addison Abramson was, once again, a game-changing player all over the field.”
To the Bears credit, they bounced back with three straight goals, including the second of the night for Joe Boduo, tying the game at seven. Bowen Collins scored with 3:25 left in the third, giving Lenoir-Rhyne an 8-7 lead.
Brad Schillinger and Chaconas kept the pressure on and gave the Panthers a 9-8 lead late in the third. The Chaconas goal came with 21 seconds left, and both goals came a man-up.
That set things up for a tightly contested fourth quarter. Williams scored his second of the night 1:09 in, putting the Panthers up 10-8. Goals from Eric Dickinson and Mitchell Linklater came 11 seconds apart, and just like that, the game was tied 10-10 with 6:59 to go.
“This was a hard fought, team win against a very good, well-coached team,” said Penn. “I felt like we executed our game plan and were able to match Lenoir Rhyne’s intensity.”
That intensity was on the side of the Panthers in the end, as Brett Pohlmeyer and Sweeney would score 31 seconds apart, giving the Panthers a 12-10 lead with 4:33 left in the contest. Flock and the defense would take it from there, with Flock making two saves on Dickinson, the final one of those coming with 49 seconds left in the game. Dickinson ended the game with two goals.
For more info: Lenoir-Rhyne @ Florida Tech Box Score (Savannah, GA)
Penn was complimentary of his team after the win, and despite a 17-day break between games, you can bet that this team will be ready to go on Tuesday, March 19th at home against Nichols. A 3:00 p.m. start.
“It was great to get so many offensive players involved,” he said. “We have some young guys stepping up and our ball movement is improving. Now we need to build on that progress.”