February 16, 2014

Bryant Uses Quick Start to Drop No. 15 Bucknell

from Press Release

SMITHFIELD, R.I. -- A four-goal run in the first quarter proved to be the difference as defending Northeast Conference champion Bryant knocked off No. 15 Bucknell 12-9 on Sunday afternoon at the Bryant Turf Complex. David Dickson and Thomas Flibotte both recorded hat tricks for the Bison, who fell to 1-1.

Tucker James tallied three goals and an assist, Collins Gantz had a goal and three assists and Gunnar Waldt logged 16 saves for the Bulldogs (1-1), who made their first NCAA Tournament appearance last season.

After Dickson scored on Bucknell's first offensive possession of the day, Bryant tacked on the next four in a row to take the lead for good. An offsides penalty on the Bison led to an EMO goal for James, and then Gantz put Bryant up 2-1 with a goal at the 7:40 mark of the first period. Brett Baker and Cody O'Donnell scored just 23 seconds apart to make it 4-1.

Brock Ghelfi scored in the final minute of the opening period, but then James and Dan Sipperly tallied in the opening four minutues of the second to give the Bulldogs their first four-goal cushion.

Kyle Shanahan's tally off a Sean Doyle feed pulled Bucknell within 7-5 at the half, but Bryant outscored the Bison 4-2 in the third quarter to restore that four-goal lead. Bucknell crept within 11-9 on a pair of Dickson goals in the fourth, but Shane Morrell clinched it with a timer-on goal with 1:00 to play.

Bucknell outshot Bryant 43-31, but Waldt made six of his 16 saves in the fourth quarter. Led by standout faceoff man Kevin Massa, who broke NCAA records for faceoff wins and ground balls last year, Bryant captured 15 of the 24 draws. Massa took them all for the Bulldogs and finished with 12 ground balls. Peter Burke saw his first action at the X and held his own, going 6-for-13 with five ground balls.

Bryant finished with a 35-23 edge in ground balls. Both teams fared well in man-up situations, as the Bison were 3-for-4 and Bryant 2-for-3. Bucknell was 20-for-21 on clears and is now 41-for-42 on the season.

Bucknell now faces a stretch of three straight games against Patriot League opponents, beginning with Navy at home at 3 p.m. next Saturday. The contest will air live on Bison Vision on the Patriot League Network.

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