(4) Bryant v. (1) St. Joesph's
Final Score: 10-6, Bryant
Behind a steady offense and stout defense, Bryant defeated St. Joseph's, 10-6, to win the NEC's automatic invitation to the NCAA Tournament. The Bulldogs used a 4-0 run that covered the first and second quarters to take command of the game early. The Hawks fought back in later in the second period, outscoring the Bulldogs 4-2, to permit the team to go into the half down only 4-5. The Bulldogs, though, snuffed out any hope of a comeback from St. Joseph's, holding the Hawks to only two second half tallies. Bryant's offense was able to tack on another five markers in the second half to close out the game.
While six different Bulldogs scored at least one goal, the Bulldogs received a major boost from Shane Morrell -- the attackman dropped a hat trick on St. Joseph's defense. Equally impressive was Bryant's defense, which held the Hawks scoreless in the first and third quarters and allowed only four non-extra man goals on the afternoon. Gunnar Waldt had a great game today in goal today, stopping 11 shots.
Bryant was the unanimous pick in the preseason to win the 2015 Northeast Conference title. However, the Bulldogs opened their season losing six of their first seven games. But Mike Pressler's troops were resilient, winning seven out of their last 10 games and avenged a heartbreaking one-goal loss to St. Joseph's earlier in the season to win their fourth straight NEC title. With the victory, the Bulldogs are guaranteed a trip to The Show and attempt to replicate their charmed run to the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals from last season.