Forget the blowouts Duke had been racking up lately—the Blue Devils barely outlasted Brown in an 11-10 thriller at Koskinen Stadium Tuesday.
No. 16 Brown (3-3) actually led 10-9 with eight minutes left in the final period, but the seventh-ranked Blue Devils (7-3) scored to tie the game with less than seven minutes remaining in the contest. Just ten seconds later, senior Sam Payton took the faceoff and sprinted down the middle of the field, ripping a game-winning shot into the back of the net.
In the first period, Duke posted a 3-0 lead over Brown behind two goals from junior Zach Howell. After two more goals early in the second period, however, the Brown offense stormed back, scoring four consecutive goals to trim the Blue Devil lead to one. Senior Max Quinzani stopped the bleeding with his first goal of the game in the last ten seconds of the half to give Duke a 6-4 advantage.
Brown continued its strong play after halftime, scoring three goals in the first six minutes of the third period. With the Bears leading 7-6, Quinzani once again provided an answer with a goal late in the third period, tying the contest again. “I was just lucky to be in timely situations where I got good looks,” Quinzani said. “I put that pressure on myself to make everyone else relax in those situations.”
Quinzani’s goals were crucial in keeping Duke competitive with the Bears’ strong attack. Alhough the Blue Devils outshot Brown 46-27, the Bears continued to execute at times where Duke couldn’t.
Duke’s Jonathan Livadas scored a goal in the first minute of the fourth period, putting the Blue Devils up 8-7. An immediate answer from Brown came in the form of Duke transfer Reade Seligmann, and the game was once again tied.
After another Brown tally, Quinzani scored his third goal of the game to tie it up yet again. But later in the period, Brown attackman Thomas Muldoon scored his fourth goal of the game as the Bears tried to cement their fourth win of the season. Duke’s Steve Schoeffel, though, had other plans. With 6:51 remaining in the game, Schoeffel put away his third goal of the game to give the Blue Devils a chance to win while posting his first hat trick of the season.
“Sometimes he is too unselfish, and I said to him after the second goal, ‘Steve, today is the day for you to be selfish, for you to make plays,’ and then he scores that third goal,” head coach John Danowski said.
The thrilling victory came as Duke executed well in all the major statistical categories. Besides its advantage in outshooting Brown, the Blue Devils won the ground ball and faceoff battles. They also held the Bears scoreless four times on the penalty kill.
But as always, there was plenty Duke did not do right, and it will attempt to improve on the areas it needs to correct for the next contest.
“I thought Brown’s defense did a great job on our attack in general,” Danowski said. “But on those days, you have to keep fighting and I thought the guys did.”