OWINGS MILLS, Md.-- No. 17 Denison came out on top in a battle of two of Division III's top-ranked teams. The Big Red utilized a 7-0 run through the second and third quarters to defeat No. 11 Dickinson, 11-3 in the opening game of the 2017 Mustang Classic.
With Denison trailing the Red Devils 2-1 in the waning seconds of the first quarter, Liam Rooney tied the game with his sixth goal of the season with 17 seconds remaining in the first.
The Big Red took the lead early in the second quarter off Jake Waxter's first goal of the game. A caused turnover by first-year close defenseman Richie Bartozzi resulted in a transition goal for Denison's Owen Armstrong and with 13 minutes left in the first half, Denison was on top 4-2.
With 8:40 left in the second, Rooney found Peter Pittroff for his fourth tally of the season and that was where the two teams stood as the first half came to a close.
In the third, the Big Red defense held Dickinson scoreless thanks to a pair of caused turnovers by Teddy Sawyer and Ben Duhoski and some strong possession lacrosse by the offense. Current North Coast Athletic Conference Athlete of the Week, Spencer Butler scored three minutes into the third off a feed from Rooney. With six minutes left, Rooney scored his seventh goal of the season and his second on the day. That goal opened up a 7-2 lead for the Big Red.
In the final period, it was more of the same as Waxter scored a pair of man-up goals off passes from Rooney who entered the game as Division III's leader in assists per game. Armstong and Butler also added to their scoring total in the fourth quarter.
Stephen Paras posted eight saves in his fourth career start. He is 4-0 on the season. His counterpart, Andrew Jones, turned in 10 saves while facing 35 shots. Duhoski and Sawyer led the way with four caused turnovers, each. Henry DeCamp finished with five ground balls. He was 9-of-18 when facing off. The Big Red were also a perfect 14-for-14 when clearing the ball.
Denison will be back in action on Saturday when they take on Nazareth at 12:30 p.m. from Stevenson Stadium in Owings Mills, Md.