Cardinals bow out of conference tourney with 12-9 loss

Cardinals bow out of conference tourney with 12-9 loss

SCRANTON, Pa. – CUA saw its 2011 season come to an end in the Landmark Conference Tournament semifinals on Wednesday after the Cardinals fell to Scranton 12-9.  CUA pulled to within 10-8 midway through the fourth quarter but was unable to get any closer as the Royals move onto the conference championship game on Saturday.

Scranton scored the day’s first goal when John Gregitis found the back of the net 1:15 into the game, but Jimmy Sinnott countered with a score three minutes later to tie things at one.

Taylor Nelson’s goal with 9:36 to go in the opening quarter gave the lead back to the Royals, but back-to-back goals by Tyler Catalani and Bobby Kusbit gave the Cardinals their first and only lead at 3-2.

Dillon McInerney scored with 2:19 remaining in the quarter to tie things at three and that is how the first 15 minutes ended.

Two straight scores by the Royals began the second quarter and gave the home team a 5-3 advantage with 10:59 to play before halftime, but Brendan Englert got CUA to within one with a score with 9:12 on the clock.

Mike Rufo ended the quarter with two straight goals however, and Scranton took a 7-4 lead into halftime.

Englert and Chris Fuccillo opened the third quarter with back-to-back goals to pull the Cardinals to within one, but Scranton answered with two straight scores to again go in front by three, 9-6.

With 2:20 to go in the quarter Camden Feldman took a feed from Catalani and found the back of the net to make it a two-goal game, but Daniel Slade had the final goal of the quarter to send the teams into the fourth with CUA trailing 10-7.

Sinnott’s second goal of the day brought CUA to within 10-8 midway through the fourth, but again Scranton answered, this time with back-to-back goals to go in front 12-8 with 2:23 on the clock.  Tom Scotto scored his first goal of the season with 2:08 remaining but the Cardinals were unable to get any closer.

Scranton held a 41-24 advantage over the Cardinals in shots and a 46-38 advantage in ground balls.  CUA was 1 of 2 on the extra man, while holding the Royals to a 1 of 6 showing.

CUA had a tough time on the face-off, winning only 8 of 25, and the Cardinals also committed 25 turnovers.

Sinnott and goalkeeper Sean McKenna led the Cardinals in ground balls with four each, and Denver Conley caused a team-high two turnovers.  McKenna sent back 14 shots in goal and Englert and Sinnott finished with two goals apiece.

Patrick Cefalu won 17 of 25 face-offs for the Royals and also scooped up 11 ground balls, while John McShea totaled a game-high three caused turnovers.  Nelson and Rufo led Scranton with three goals each and in goal Ben Worthington stopped seven CUA shots.

The Cardinals finish the season with an 11-6 record, marking the second straight year in which CUA won at least ten games.