(Photo Courtesy of Duke Athletics)
In what was a promoted as a highly anticipated ESPNU Wednesday night matchup, the Duke Blue Devils stepped on the gas early and never let up, taking down the High Point Panthers 27-8.
Duke held a significant edge in every single category for nearly the entirety of the contest. The Blue Devils outshot the Panthers 51-38 and put 32 of their shots on goal as opposed to High Point putting 20 shots on goal. Additionally, Duke nearly doubled up High Point in the ground ball battle (42-23).
Michael Sowers led Duke with five points (4G/1A) while Brennan O’Neill had five goals and Joe Robertson recorded three goals and one assist. Dan O’Connell went 13-for-23 (56%)at the faceoff dot and Mike Adler made eight saves with a 66% save percentage as their starter.
Asher Nolting netted a hat trick and dished out one assist to lead the Panthers. Collin Hobin went 10-for-18 (55%) at the faceoff dot as the Panthers’ primary option.
Following a Kevin Rogers goal at the 7:08 mark in the first to tie things up at 2 for High Point, Duke got into the groove and put the pedal to the metal. Starting with a Brennan O’Neill goal at the 6:30 mark of the first quarter, Duke rattled off 14 consecutive goals, which included a natural hat trick from O’Neill to start the second, to help them take a commanding 16-3 lead into the half. Kevin Rogers ended the Duke run with a High Point goal in the final minutes of the half.
Michael Sowers got the scoring started in the third for the Blue Devils as they continued to pile on. Duke outscored High Point 5-2 in the third and 6-3 in the fourth to secure the 19-point victory.
Fairfield Tops Lafayette
The Fairfield Stags secured their first win of the season on Wednesday afternoon, taking down the visiting Lafayette Leopards 13-11.
After a back-and-forth start that saw the two sides all knotted up at 3 entering the second quarter, the Stags found their rhythm and was able to pull out to a three-goal lead by halftime. Fairfield outscored Lafayette 5-2 in the second quarter, which included a three-goal Stags run to end the half, to take an 8-5 lead into the half.
While Fairfield was able to remain ahead and stretch their lead to 10-6 early in the third, a three-goal Lafayette run that included two straight from John Mathes flipped the script and cut the Stags lead to just one goal (10-9) heading into the final stanza. Fairfield answered with two straight to get some cushion back. Dylan Beckwith scored the Stags’ final goal of the game with 4:13 on the clock to get them to 13. Kalman Kraham and Carter Cecil each found the back of the net in the quarter for Lafayette.
Dylan Beckwith led Fairfield with six points (4G/2A) while Taylor Strough and Shane Osborne each had two goals. Colin Consoli made 15 saves in cage. Frankie Labetti went 16-for-23 (69%) at the faceoff dot.
Lafayette was led on offense by Charlie Cuniffe with three points (2G/1A). Carter Cecil also had two goals while Ryan Ness made 14 saves.
Bellarmine Edges VMI
In a Tuesday afternoon contest, SoCon foes Bellarmine and VMI went head-to-head in a non-conference matchup. Bellarmine came out on top 12-8.
Highlighted by a school-record 12-ground ball and four caused turnover performance from Eric Rubak and a season-best effort at the faceoff dot with J.T. Simontonand Matt Ury combining to go 15-for-23 (65%) at the dot, the Knights were able to overcome a late three-goal run that saw VMI make it a one-goal 9-8 game with 10:18 left in the fourth and end the game on a three-goal run. That run that saw Landon Trout secure a hat trick and Benny O’Rouk cash in a career-high four goals. LSM/Defenseman Jon Robbins scored the final goal of the game for Bellarmine to secure the 12-8 victory.
Both goalies stood tall for the majority of the contest with Bellarmine’s JC Higginbotham making 13 saves with a 61% save percentage while VMI’s Anthony Merida made 15 saves with a 55% save percentage.
Ryan Perouty and Michael Santos led the way for the VMI offense with each netting a hat trick. Jon Fant had one goal and three assists for four points.
Saint Joseph’s Boatraces Wagner
On Monday afternoon, the Saint Joseph’s Hawks and Wagner Seahawks met on Staten Island in the NEC opener for both squads. While Wagner scored the first goal of the game, Saint Joseph’s soon took over and ran away with things as soon as they could, winning 17-5. A seven-goal run from the first through the middle of the third really flipped the script and sealed the deal for the Hawks.
Ryan Doran led the Hawks with seven points (5G/2A) while Matt Bohmer had four goals. Zach Cole went 16-for-21 (76%) at the faceoff dot. Zach Zullo, Tucker Almany, and Robbie Seeley each saw time in goal.
Phillip Buque led Wagner with two goals and Tyler Lawton dished out two assists. Danny Brady made 18 saves in cage for the Seahawks.