DURHAM, N.C. – Attackmen Jack Bruckner and Justin Guterding combined for 10 points to lead No. 16 Duke to a 16-3 victory over visiting Saint Joseph’s Saturday afternoon at Koskinen Stadium.
Bruckner posted three goals and two assists while Guterding chipped in one tally and four helpers. The Blue Devils scored the game’s first four goals, in the opening 5:47, and built a 6-1 lead after one period and a 12-2 advantage at halftime.
Duke (3-2) got off to a blistering start, scoring four goals on four shots. Senior defensive middie Thomas Zenker started the scoring effort just 45 seconds in. Bruckner and Brad Smith added to the score as the Blue Devils jumped to a 3-0 lead after just 1:49.
“We tried to run a little bit,” said head coach John Danowski. “We tried to get out, play really good defense obviously, and then push the ball. We got up tempo a bit, had some fun, played athletic.”
Reilly Walsh aided the Duke (3-2) offense with a career-high three goals while Sean Lowrie (2 assists), Mitch Russell (2 goals) and Smith (1 goal & 3 assists) also enjoyed multi-point performances. The two goals from Russell were a career best as were Smith’s three helpers. Overall, 11 of Duke’s 16 goals were assisted. The Blue Devils finished the game with a .432 shooting percentage, scoring 16 goals on 27 shots.
“Mitch is a junior and has really worked hard,” Danowski said. “He’s worked hard in the weight room, worked hard at practice and he’s done a really good job. We’re delighted Mitch scored twice today and he’s gaining confidence and more experience.”
In the Duke net, goalkeepers Danny Fowler (2 goals allowed & 7 saves in 42:25), Turner Uppgren (1 goal allowed & 2 saves in 12:49) and David McCann (0 goals allowed & 2 saves in 4:46) combined for 11 saves. Faceoff specialist Kyle Rowe secured 11-of-18 draws and scooped up six ground balls while Cade Van Raaphorst spearheaded the defense with three caused turnovers and two grounders.
The Blue Devils held the Hawks to only 21 shots in the game and only six in the first half. They forced Saint Joseph’s into 18 turnovers in the four quarters and won the ground ball battle 33-16.
For Saint Joseph’s (0-3), Kevin Reidinger scored a pair of goals while netminder T.J. Jones posted 12 saves while allowing 13 goals in 50:06 of action.
Duke hits the road to open March against No. 15 Richmond on Sunday, March 5. Faceoff is set for 12 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on the local Comcast sports channel.