With one second left in the first period, Lehigh ice hockey scored its first goal of the game during a power play.
After being down 4-0, this goal allowed the Mountain Hawks to enter the second period with momentum, scoring two more goals in 13 minutes.
But it wasn’t enough.
The Midshipmen (1-12) scored their fifth goal at the end of the second period killing Lehigh’s mid-game energy and eventually defeating the Mountain Hawks (2-6) 6-3 at Steel Ice Center Friday night.
Freshman forward Jason Langevin scored two of Lehigh’s three goals. His first broke the Mountain Hawks’ scoreless first period.
“It showed we could put pucks in the net, and we know we can. We had to break the seal to keep going,” Langevin said.
Junior forward Keith Calvaruso also contributed a goal for the Mountain Hawks, in addition to an assist on Langevin’s second goal.
Navy dominated Lehigh on the offensive side, outshooting the Mountain Hawks 50-33. Freshman goalie Sean McGowan allowed six goals.
The Midshipmen put pressure on the Mountain Hawks’ defense throughout the game, resulting in minimal scoring opportunities for Lehigh’s line.
“They spent a lot of time in our defensive zone, and so if we fix the defensive issues, which I think we did toward the second and third periods, we’ll get more offensive opportunities,” coach Tom Laessig said. “We did a few things in the second period that seemed to help the offensive end a little bit.”
Laessig also attributed the night’s loss to the Mountain Hawks’ slow start, especially because Navy is known to be “a very fast team.” Navy’s first three goals came in the first 10 minutes of the game.
This year’s team features 11 freshmen, including all of the game’s six starters.
Freshman defenseman Nick Ramondelli, who assisted Langevin’s first goal, said the fact that the team is mostly freshmen has made it easier for them to find ways to contribute.
Langevin said connecting with the team’s upperclassmen outside of games and practice has allowed for the freshmen to succeed early in their careers.
“The few older guys on the team have done a good job of bringing us into their social circle, which is nice and builds chemistry,” Langevin said. “It helps us gel on the ice, and they let us have leadership roles on the team, too.”
Laessig said the freshmen players are some of the most talented players the team has had, but they still need time to adjust to playing hockey at the college level.
“The future’s bright,” Laessig said. “We’ve got some real talented freshmen on the team, and it’ll help going forward.”