Going 0-for-7 in extra-man situations, fourth-ranked St. Mary's missed an opportunity to upset the area's No. 1 team, losing a 5-4 heartbreaker to visiting Gilman at Weems Whelan Field in Annapolis yesterday.
Crownsville resident Richard Tuohey's crank shot gave the Greyhounds (4-0) a 5-3 lead with 4: 54 left and proved to be the game-winner. Tuohey was the fifth Greyhound to score, while the Saints also had all single-goal scorers.
A Dave Price-to-Justin Mullen goal 40 seconds later cut the St. Mary's deficit to 5-4, but the Saints would miss two scoring chances in the final minute as Gilman held on.
"We were right there with the No. 1-ranked team, and our kids feel strongly that we should have won the game," St. Mary's coach Jim Moorhead said. "Our kids are ticked we didn't win the game."
Content with running down the clock in the final minute, Gilman went out of bounds with 54 seconds left, but the Saints gave it right back on an offside with 46 seconds left.
St. Mary's defensemen Matt Pessagno and Kevin Stodd forced the Greyhounds out again at 0: 18, but the Saints lost the ball and a shot at overtime in transition about 10 yards from the crease.
"St. Mary's played good defense, and you've got to give them a lot of credit, because they forced our offense into a number of mistakes," said Gilman coach Dave Allan, who was surprised at the low score.
It rained on and off during the contest, but there were only a couple of slippery spots on a field that was in pretty good shape.
"What I was most pleased about was our goalie, Jay Pfeifer, and our defense really rose to the occasion," Allan said.
"I think we played the whole third quarter on defense, and holding them to four goals showed a lot of character. We fouled more today than we did all year."
Pfeifer's 14 saves countered the Saints' Tillman Johnson, who turned back 12 shots.
Seniors David Taller, Lawson Grumbine and Franko Gould, and juniors Michael Rodgers and Josh Hoffman were the key defenders in keeping the Saints from scoring more often and gaining a 50-35 edge in ground balls.
With a 9-4 advantage on faceoffs, the Saints outshot the Greyhounds, 28-22, but had trouble finishing on several fast breaks and other scoring opportunities, including the seven man-up situations.
"It was more my fault, because we probably don't have the kids in the right spots," said Moorhead.
"A lot of it is just throwing and catching. We threw the ball away four times on the EMO [extra-man opportunity], and you can't do that."
One such turnover occurred as time ran out in the third period with Gilman leading 4-3. A jarring check by Pessagno with 36 seconds to go led to Joe Thompson scooping up a ground ball about 10 yards from the crease.
Racing to the other end, the Saints failed to get off a shot.
St. Mary's was down 3-2 at the half but tied it on a Matt White goal with 3: 51 left in the third period. About a minute later, Gilman regained the lead, 4-3, on a Lance Zimmerman goal.
Zimmerman had assisted Andrew Lucas to tie the game, 1-1.
No. 3 Loyola 11, No. 8 McDonogh 8: Goalie Trae Rodgers was the backbone for third-ranked Loyola (6-1, 4-1) in an 11-8 victory over eighth-ranked McDonogh yesterday.
Rodgers made six of his 18 saves during man-down situations and assisted on one critical goal. McDonogh (5-3, 3-3) had a 16-4 advantage in faceoffs, led by midfielder Andrew Bond (one goal), but was 0-for-8 during extra-man situations.
"They were giving us a real fight in the second half, but I give my defense a lot of credit," said Rodgers.
Mike Alfone had two goals and an assist, Brian Miller contributed with one goal and two assists and Devon Weatherly two assists for the Dons, who converted their first four goals on six shots en route to an 5-1 first-period lead.
McDonogh was led by Jed Prossner (two goals, two assists), Pat Shek (one, one) and Mason Goodhand, the latter bringing his team within 10-8 on his team-high third goal with 7: 28 left to play.
No. 2 St. Paul's 10, No. 11 Severn 6: Brendan Gill scored three goals and assisted on another to lead the Crusaders (4-1) over the Admirals (2-3) in an MIAA A Conference Division I game.