BELMONT, N.C. - Callum Tanner scored the game-winning goal in double overtime to send Belmont Abbey to an 8-7 season-opening victory in double overtime this afternoon over Rollins College. It was the fourth year in a row The Abbey won its season opener. It was also Rollins' season opener.
The game went back and forth early, with both defenses refusing to give up any goals. With 18 seconds to go in the opening quarter the Tars scored the first goal of the game, and led 1-0 heading into the second. It only took Kyle McGinley a minute and a half into the second to tie the game. A Rollins penalty after the goal gave the Crusaders an offensive opportunity. Just over a minute later, Sean Hanrahan put The Abbey up 2-1 on a pass from Adam Wiedemann. Wiedemann handed out the assists on the next Crusader goal as well, this time to Tanner at the 7:51 mark. Two minutes later, Tanner scored his second goal of the day for a 4-1 Abbey lead. Then at the 4:07 mark Tanner again found the back of the net, this one on a man-up opportunity. The Crusaders held a 5-2 advantage at halftime.
After a couple goals by the Tars early in the third, Wiedemann again set up Tanner for a goal, giving Belmont Abbey a 6-4 lead at the 6:56 mark. Then Sean Hanrahan scored a goal with 1:02 left in the period to give The Abbey a 7-5 lead heading into the final quarter. Two Rollins goals in the early minutes of the fourth tied the game at seven. The Abbey defense, however, stepped up and did not surrender another goal for the rest of the game.
A violation on the opening faceoff of the first overtime gave The Abbey possession early. And the defense did an outstanding job of not allowing either of Rollins two shots in the period into the net. In the second overtime. Just one minute into the second overtime, goalie Harley Whitham made a save that Rollins shot at very close range. Then with 1:05 left, Brendan McGovern set up Tanner for the final goal of the game, and an 8-7 victory.
On the day, Tanner was the Crusaders' offensive leader with five goals on six shots. Wiedemann handed out four assists, two of which were to Tanner. Hanrahan scored twice for the Abbey. On the defensive end, Anthony Cesario led the way with two caused turnovers, while Whitham made nine saves in goal. Billy Huss won 13 of his 19 faceoffs. Wiedemann picked up a game-high seven ground balls. Huss recorded four.
Belmont Abbey will next face Catawba College on Friday, February 9. That game will start at 3:30 p.m. at Alumni Field.