Right from the start, the shots were being fired. North Carolina drew first blood off the opening faceoff. UNC won the draw and brought it right down for your text book fast break with Ryan Blair finishing off the Mike Munnelly’s feed. After Blair’s goal in the first 7 seconds of play, UNC was held scoreless for the remainder of the first quarter. Duke answered with a goal by Kyle Dowd who scored off a split dodge from the top of the box. Duke’s other goal was scored by Dan Flannery off a feed from Matt Zash. Although only three goals were scored, there was a lot of action to be seen. Duke was dodging hard and looking to feed, but UNC’s defensive radars were locked, and were picking off passes like Baltimore Raven’s defensive back McCallister.
To start off the second quarter, Duke’s Peter Lamade ripped a shot past Paul Spellman placing it precisely off his off side hip. Off the next faceoff, UNC brought it down on an unsettled situation, where Jed Prosner was rewarding his long pole by finding Billy Staines right off the left pipe, who finished it at point blank range. On the next Duke possession, Paul Spellman made another great save. While trying to clear the ball, he was blatantly interfered with, but the no-call allowed Zach Greer to finish off a loose ball situation. The first half scoring ended with two Duke goals. One on a falling down, low right handed finish by Matt Zash, and the next coming from a high bounce shot by Matt Danowski. The teams retired to their respective locker rooms with Duke holding a commanding 6-2 lead.
At the start of the second half, it seemed as though UNC would have to strike first, but that would not be the case. The second half scoring opened up with an unassisted left handed jump shot by Matt Zash from about 10 yards out. But UNC answered quickly. They utilized the individual effort of Kyle Henderson’s roll dodge to cut Duke’s lead to 7-3. UNC was looking to posses the ball more this half, which they did, but they didn’t account for Duke’s goalie Aaron Fenton to be playing out of his mind. He had a few tremendous saves in the first 5 minutes of the 3rd quarter to keep UNC’s surge at bay. After a few saves and a long offensive possession, Duke finally regained possession of the ball. It wasn’t even after a minute, due to a defensive breakdown, Peter Lamade found Zach Greer, Duke’s most powerful weapon, naked on the crease…goal.
There were a few slow minutes in the 3rd quarter, mostly due to good defense on both ends of the field, but that was until Duke got their first EMO of the second half. Quickly into their Extra Man offense, Peter Lamade found the top right corner with an underhand left handed rocket from 12 yards out. On the next immediate faceoff, Duke brought the ball down, two passes later when Matt Danowski found that same top right corner off a gentle feed from Dan Flannery to make it 10-3. Although being dominated on the scoreboard, UNC would not fold. They rallied off three quick goals utilizing good ball movement and precise shooting. Ryan Blair scored first with a nice stick fake, enabling him to sneak around the pipe and finish one low. Following that was Prossner and then Mike McCall closing out the 3rd quarter.
UNC’s run was not going to be interrupted by the end of the third qtr. UNC was now looking inside. UNC scored back to back goals, both coming from short feeds to their man on the crease. First it was Mike McCall, and then it was a quick strike from Mike Munnelly to extend UNC’s 5 goal run, and shrinking Duke’s lead to 10-8. Duke finally stopped the bleeding with a much needed goal scored by Dan Flannery. After a slight pause in the game for an Official’s conference and double infractions, UNC took the ball down 11-8 in a 5 vs 5 situation. After the penalties were released, Prosner came storming out of the box, drew a couple of defenders and fed the lonesome Ryan Walterhoefer for a low-to-high lefty crank to make it 11-9. Duke kept their cool, and connected on the next possession when Zach Greer found the back of the net with a long lefty shot from the top left side of the box.
The intensity was growing strong and the body checks even stronger. With 6 minutes to go, with the Tarheels rolling, UNC had another Extra man opportunity. After an almost guaranteed goal that hit the pipe, Fenton came up with another amazing point blank range save and cleared the ball up the field. Off Fenton’s save, Duke scored two quick goals, both coming from Greer, nearly putting the game out of reach.
UNC fought hard and battled right up to the end. On their next possession, UNC’s Ryan Blair finished on a circus like, one handed fade-away shot while falling to the ground. Although a valiant effort, it was a day late and a dollar short. Mike McCall finished the nights scoring with a nice inside lefty finish to cut it to 13-11, but unfortunately for UNC, there was only 8 seconds remaining. Both teams fought well, but Duke was just a little too much for the Tarheels to handle. Duke awaits the winner of the Maryland vs. Virginia match up.
|Zack Greer||(4, 1)|
|Matt Danowski||(2, 2)|
|Matt Zash||(2, 2)|
|Peter Lamade||(2, 2)|
|Dan Flannery||(2, 1)|
|Kyle Dowd||(1, 0)|
|Ryan Marshall||(0, 1)|
|Aaron Fenton||20 (0.645)|