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Fourth Quarter Rally pushes No. 13 Denison past Kenyon

Sam Dyson  |  Photo by Jace Delgado
Sam Dyson | Photo by Jace Delgado

GAMBIER, Ohio—No. 13 Denison overcame a 23 save performance by Kenyon goalie David Metzger, outscoring the Lords 5-0 in the fourth quarter to leave McBride Field with a 15-12 victory.  With the win, Denison retains the Thomsen-Heiser Trophy for the eighth-straight year.  The two teams have played for the traveling trophy named in memory of their program's two legendary coaches since 2012.

Kenyon had the Big Red on its heels throughout the first half.  Denison responded in the third quarter, outscoring the Lords, 5-3. Faceoffs were critical during Denison's comeback bid as the Big Red, who was playing without All-American FOGO Henry DeCamp for the second straight game, turned to first-year Steven Villacorta for most of the draws.  Villacorta was 14-of-22 on the day.

One of the turning points of the game occurred with 10 minutes remaining when Denison's Richie Bartozzi was flagged for a one-minute slashing penalty.  DU defenseman Joseph Rochte intercepted a pass from Kenyon's Will Robbins, killing the man-up opportunity.  The Big Red cleared the ball and scored to get within one.

Denison tied the game at 12-12 with 8:10 left in the fourth on a feed from Jake Waxter to Owen Armstrong.  Less than a minute later, Brooks Davy found Waxter for the goal to give DU its first lead of the game.  The lead grew to 14-12 just 29 seconds later when Spencer Butler buried his 40th goal of the season on a pass from Peter Pittroff.

The game's final goal was scored by Chris Haimbaugh on a pass from Waxter at X with 5:38 remaining, setting the final at 15-12.

Waxter finished with four goals and three assists on eight shots.  Butler tallied four goals and Armstrong netted three.  Pittroff assisted on five of Denison's 15 goals and also added two scores and four ground balls.  Haimbaugh rounded out the scoring with two goals on three shots.

Denison held a 34-30 edge in ground balls but won the shot battle, 55-37.  Metzger turned in 20 of his season-high 23 saves in the first three quarters of play.  Denison's Reeves McKenney posted nine saves in 60 minutes between the pipes.

The Big Red's all-time record versus Kenyon improves to 73-16.  Their winning streak against the Lords was also extended to 16 games dating back to the 2006 season.

The victory also marks career win No. 299 for Denison head coach Mike Caravana.  He will shoot for No. 300 on Saturday when Denison hosts Whittier at 12 p.m. at Piper Stadium.