March 14, 2012

Couture Saves No. 11 Denison

from press release

- Cory Couture's unassisted goal with 3:40 left in the fourth quarter was enough to preserve 11th ranked Denison's undefeated record as the Big Red eked out a 7-6 win over St. Mary's (Md.) at the Collegiate School.

St. Mary's checked into the game with a 2-2 record but had logged a signature win over then No. 3 Dickinson on Feb. 25. Denison improves to 5-0 on the season and 6-0 all-time against the Seahawks.

Denison trailed 4-3 after 30 minutes of play, and in the second half, St. Mary's opened up its largest lead at 5-3 after a goal by John Dehm. The two teams would play the next 11 minutes without a goal being scored. Finally, with 2:25 left in the third quarter, Alex Hardt found Eddie Vita for his second goal of the day.

On the ensuing face-off that went to the Seahawks, Denison's Nick Farrell would force a turnover, giving the ball back to his offense with just under one minute to play in the quarter. DU ran the clock down and with 26 seconds left Nick Verklin hit Davis Lukens for his third goal of the season, tying the game at 5-5.

St. Mary's would open the fourth quarter with a face-of win and wasted little time taking back the lead when Gordy Long recorded an unassisted goal with 13:43 to play. Over the next eight minutes, Seahawk goalie Stu Wheeler would turn away the Big Red five times. DU would break through with the game-tying goal with 6:43 to play when Hart passed to Vita for his third goal of the game and his 11th score of the season.

That goal by Vita would set the stage for Couture's eventual game-winner three minutes later. Despite the go-ahead goal from Couture the Big Red would need some stout defense down the stretch to hold off the Seahawks. After a Denison turnover and a successful clear by St. Mary's, Lukens tracked down Albert Mitchell and jarred the ball loose with a check. Lukens was there to log the ground ball, erasing a scoring chance for St. Mary's. The Big Red would get out of the woods with under a minute to play after a failed clear and turnover by the Seahawks allowed DU to run out the clock.

Denison was led by Vita's three goals and one assist off five shot attempts. He also added two ground balls. Couture scored twice and chipped in one assist while Lukens and Zach Walsh contributed Denison's other two goals. Nick Petracca played all 60 minutes in goal and tallied eight saves while facing 14 shots. Chip Phillips took all 17 face-off's for the Big Red, winning 10.

St. Mary's (2-3) was led by Wheeler who recorded 11 saves in goal. He also caused two turnovers to go along with his team-high four ground balls.

Denison (5-0) returns to action on Sunday (March 18) when they take on Centre College at St. Anne's School in Charlottesville, Va. At 12 p.m.

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