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#4 Denison holds off #17 Roanoke

Josh Happ  |  Photo by Pete Emerson
Josh Happ | Photo by Pete Emerson

GRANVILLE, Ohio- Fourth-ranked Denison withstood a late charge from No. 17 Roanoke, to leave Piper Stadium with an 11-10 victory in their 2018 home opener.  With the victory, Denison improves to 3-0 with all three wins coming against nationally ranked opponents.  Roanoke falls to 3-1.

Denison forced the issue early, taking a 7-2 lead into halftime behind two first-half goals from Spencer Butler and Sam Asman.  The third quarter was a draw as both teams put three goals on the board, making it a 10-5 contest heading to the fourth.  A 30-second penalty for pushing on Denison's Liam Burman with four seconds left in the third allowed the Maroons to maintain possession into the fourth.

With six seconds remaining in extra-man, Roanoke's Own Curry scored on an assist from Jason Sarro making it 10-6.Denison pushed its lead back to five with 12:56 to play when Asman connected with Peter Pittroff for his third goal of the game.

With 8:55 left Roanoke's IV Stucker scored his fourth goal of the season moving the deficit to four. Over five minute elapsed between goals but with 3:20 left it was Stucker once again and suddenly it was an 11-8 game with 3:20 left.

The Maroons won the faceoff and found Hayden Miller who drove to the cage and took a shot that was saved by Big Red goalie Cole Poyfair.  The ball remained loose and Miller was there to scoop and score on the rebound.  After two goals in the span of 16 seconds the Maroon had stolen the momentum away from Denison.

Things didn't get any better for the Big Red after Roanoke took the faceoff and Ben Duhoski was flagged with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, putting the Maroons in man-up.  Twenty seconds later, Stucker scored the extra-man goal on a pass from Curry moving his team to within one goal of the lead with 2:07 left.

Because the penalty on Duhoski was non-releasable, Denison could not send regular faceoff man Henry DeCamp out for the ensuing draw.  Normally a wing on faceoffs, Richie Bartozzi took the draw for the Big Red but Hayden Miller logged an easy ground ball for Roanoke.

The Maroon offense went to work and all eyes were on Stucker who had scored four of Roanoke's five goals in the comeback.  With 1:33 left, Stucker took a shot but Poyfair was there for the save.  The ball took a hard carom toward the sideline and Bartozzi was able to win the chase, giving possession back to Denison.  After the shot, Stucker was given a one-minute unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

DU took over with 1:12 remaining and was successful in running out the clock with long passes against Roanoke's short-handed defense.

Pittroff tallied six points (3 goals, 3 assists) and Asman finished with two goals and one assist.

Denison outshot Roanoke 32-29 and dominated ground balls, 35-20.  Henry DeCamp was 15-for-23 facing off. He led the way with seven ground balls.  Josh Happ posted five ground balls while Pittroff and Poyfair added four apiece.  Ben Duhoski and Liam Burman led the defense with two caused turnovers apiece and Poyfair ended with six saves while facing 16 shots from the Maroons.

Roanoke was led by Stucker's four goals and one assist.  Miller scored twice and Ian Davies recorded eight saves.  The Maroons were 2-for-3 in extra-man situations.

Denison returns to action on Wednesday, March 7 when they host Albion College at 4 p.m. at Piper Stadium.

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