After a year away, the 44th Annual Crab Pot Tournament is upon us and what better way to go into it than looking at the participants?? This will be a tour of the team and their stats according to the ACHA website– so if anything is inaccurate– go to them about it. We end the previews with the host and defending champions, the US Naval Academy Midshipmen
While they are riding an eight-game winning streak, it wasn’t all rosy for Navy to start this season. A host of injuries created plenty of short-bench situations for the Mids as they started the season. That also resulted in a five-game slump through most of November. When they got their wounded back, they were full steam ahead, going undefeated in the six games since semester break, as well as a big win over Army at the American Dream Mall.
A big contributor, especially since semester break, has been Nick Aown. With 11 of his 26 points coming in the last six games, Aown has been critical for the Navy offense down the stretch. John Mullen’s 16 goals leads the way for the Mids, with Michael Rockovich dishing out the helpers with 19 assists. From the point, Brendan Reynolds has been the go-to guy on the power play with five PPGs, while Porter Markel and Joe Walton have chipped in on both sides of the puck. Charles Doherty has been the workhorse in net with a 2.35 GAA and .924 save percentage.
Winners of the last two Crab Pots and 17 overall, the Mids will look to add to their accolades of this season with a three-peat on their road to Nationals, which they secured a spot thanks to winning the ECHA regular season. After Crab Pot, they’ll look to the ECHA Playoffs and then to the ACHA Nationals in St. Louis to hopefully bring home four new pieces of hardware to display at McMullen Ice Arena.
Navy can’t look to far ahead, however, as any given night– the underdog could take the leash. Navy has only played Towson this season out of the four competitors, beating the Tigers in both meetings. They’ll face off against Maryland on Friday night, with the winner moving onto Saturday night’s final.