DURHAM, N.C. – Senior attackman Justin Guterding totaled 10 points on three goals and seven assists to guide No. 2 Duke to an 18-4 triumph over No. 17 Air Force in the season-opener for both squads on Saturday afternoon at Koskinen Stadium.
The Blue Devils raced to leads of 3-0 and 6-1 as Guterding either scored or assisted on each of Duke’s first four tallies. Brad Smith and Reilly Walsh each netted two goals in the opening half to propel Duke to an 8-3 lead at intermission.
Duke outscored the Falcons by a 6-0 margin in third period behind a pair of markers by junior midfielder Sean Lowrie.
The Blue Devil defense was spearheaded by goalkeepers Danny Fowler (5 saves & 3 goals allowed in 30:00), Turner Uppgren (4 saves & 1 goal allowed in 19:17) and David McCann (1 save & 0 goals allowed in 10:43) as Duke limited Air Force to one man-advantage tally in four opportunities. JT Giles-Harris and Terry Lindsey were credited with two caused turnovers apiece.
Smith finished with four points on three goals and one assist while Joe Robertson added two goals and one helper in his Blue Devil debut.
For Guterding, the seven helpers marked his career-best outing while the 10 total points matched his single-game best effort, equaling performances against Cleveland State, Virginia and Johns Hopkins, all during the 2017 campaign. The Garden City, N.Y., native now has 248 career points on 149 goals and 99 assists in 56 games. With one more assist he will become the sixth Duke player to record 100 goals and 100 assists in his career. Both his points and assists totals today were one shy of matching the Duke single-game marks.
For Air Force, Nick Hruby, Jack Flynn, Kevin Cox and Trent Harper each netted goals on the day. Goalkeeper Noah Schwab allowed 17 goals while making nine saves in 48:38 of action between the pipes.
Duke remains at home to entertain High Point on Thursday, Feb. 8 at 7 p.m., on ACC Network Extra.