May 7, 2014

Denison tops Centre in NCAA 1st Rd.

Denison opened the 2014 NCAA Division III Tournament with a decisive 19-4 first round victory over Centre College from Deeds Field-Piper Stadium in Granville, Ohio.

The Big Red dominated possession throughout and set the tone early with six first quarter goals.  Starting attackmen Teddy Powell and Eddie Vita each scored a pair of goals in the opening quarter while Luke Walsh and Blair Farinholt provided one goal apiece.

It would be more of the same in the second quarter as DU outscored the Colonels 4-0 to take a 10-0 lead into the intermission.  In the first half of play, Denison outshot Centre 27-8, and won 11-of-12 face-off attempts.

In the second half the Big Red would outscore Centre, 9-4, punching its ticket to the NCAA Tournament's second round for the fourth time since 2008. 

Powell would lead Denison in scoring with three goals and two assists.  Farinholt and Walsh would also post hat tricks, while Vita led the team in points with two goals and five assists.  Vita has tallied a career-high 32 assists this season.

Eric Baumgardner was locked in once again at the faceoff X.  The sophomore 1as 17-for-19 and led the team with 11 ground balls.  Over his last three games, Baumgarder has won 47-of-60 draws, good for a .783 winning percentage.  As a team, Denison won 21-of-26 draws.

Clark Bullington got the start in goal for Denison and played 41 minutes, recording five saves.  Chris Thomas played the final 19 minutes and made one save.

For Centre, Clayton Brown got the start in goal and played the first 11 minutes, posting one save while allowing five goals.  He was replaced by Bryce Brown who would play the next 44 minutes.  He finished with six saves while allowing 12 goals.  Andrew Ferrucci closed out the final five minutes of play and ended with three saves.

Centre (13-4) edged Denison in the turnover category, 18-17.  Colonel defenseman Jay Reed led all players with three caused turnovers.  Mitchell Kraus, Connor Stubbs, Matt Hughes, and William Elpers accounted for Centre's four goals.

Denison (18-0) will advance to play the winner of the Aurora-Adrian first round game on Saturday at a site and time to be determined.