Duke defeats Syracuse in NCAA tournament first round

After allowing Syracuse to claw back into the contest, a swift response propelled the Blue Devils into the NCAA tournament's second round.

No. 3 seed Duke (14-4) exploded with a six goals in the third period to knock off the Orange (9-8) 12-9 Saturday at Koskinen Stadium. Robert Rotanz, Justin Turri and Christian Walsh each tallied three goals for the Blue Devils. The trio combined for five of Duke's six goals in the third period.

Although the Blue Devils had not played a game in 15 days, there were no signs of rust. Duke quickly tallied the game's first three scores and jumped out to a 5-1 advantage early in the second quarter. The Syracuse offense was stymied by the Blue Devils defense, as the Orange connected on just one of their first 17 shots--goaltender Dan Wigrizer notched 12 saves.

Syracuse seized back the momentum before the break, beating Wigrizer three times in the last seven minutes of the first half. The Orange then tied the game just 25 seconds into the third quarter before Duke mounted its run.

Rotanz scored two quick goals to give the Blue Devils a 7-5 advantage. Duke dominated possession for the remainder of the quarter thanks to their dominance on faceoffs. The Blue Devils won 17 of 24 faceoffs in the contest.

After Walsh's third goal extended Duke's lead to 11-7, the Blue Devils never looked back. Their stifling defense sealed the victory, as Wigrizer made five saves on eight Syracuse shots in the fourth quarter.

With the victory Duke advances to face Colgate at PPL Park in Philadelphia next Sunday.


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