DURHAM, N.C.óDuke University senior Brad Ross tallied a goal with 2:51 left in the fourth quarter to lift the fifth-ranked Blue Devils to a 9-8 victory over No. 15 Colgate. Ross finished the day with two scores, registering the first and last goals of the contest.
The win is the second for the Blue Devils over a top-20 opponent this season. Senior Ned Crotty paced Duke for the second straight week with four points from two goals and two assists. Five other players scored a point in the game.
Colgate senior Brandon Corp led all players with five points off of four goals and one assist. Classmate Kevin Colleluori added three scores and a helper to the cause.
“[The game] was awesome,” head coach John Danowski said. “First of all it’s February 20 and you have to keep all of this in perspective. It is so early. The intensity and [Colgate’s] comeback and our ability to learn to withstand another team’s run and then try and make plays. I was really proud of our team and really obviously delighted with the outcome.”
Duke jumped out to a 7-1 lead midway through the second quarter before Corp scored twice to make it 7-3 at halftime and set up a thrilling second half. The Blue Devils defense held the Raiders to just eight shots in the opening 30 minutes, including just one in the first quarter.
“We had a couple nuggets early, picked off a few passes,” senior defenseman Ryan McFadyen said. “We were playing really confident. The first quarter went really well. I think it was 3-0 at the end of the quarter, we were feeling good, protecting the crease and stuff. All of us were playing together.”
An unassisted man-up score 16 seconds into the third quarter by Ned Crotty made it an 8-3 game and seemed to put Duke in control of the game. However, the Raider defense came up with big plays over the next few possessions and the offense took advantage of a couple opportunities to make a furious comeback.
“I thought Colgate did a great job of defending us,” Danowski said. “The goalie came up with some timely saves. I think the second half we were 2 for 22 shooting, which is not going too bode well down the line, but again for February 20 that is going to happen. You’re not going to be the sharpest that you’re going to be all year.”
The Raiders scored four unanswered in a span of 4:28, including one in the final second of the frame. The two teams came out of the huddle and continued the outstanding defensive efforts. With both teams being held scoreless for 10 minutes, Corp finally tied the score for Colgate with an underhanded shot past Duke keeper Rob Schroeder.
After a failed clear attempt for the Raiders, Duke took advantage. The Blue Devils sent a pair of shots wide before Crotty could get one on net. Harrington came up with the big save, but Duke’s Steve Schoeffel was there to corral the ground ball. He found Ross who was able to work his way around a short-stick defender and get the winning score.
“We were kind of scrambling and I got a short stick and I was trying to go down the side. They showed on the side and I just kind of rolled back and let [a shot] go,” Ross said.
Duke held a 41-26 advantage in shots and won the ground ball battle 44-33. At the faceoff X, senior Sam Payton won 9-of-16 restarts to help the Blue Devils take 11-of-19 overall. Colgate’s Jim Carroll went 8-of-18 for the evening.
In goal, Schroeder made five saves, including two in the fourth quarter, while Harrington made 13 stops for the Raiders.
Duke returns to action on Feb. 22, hosting Harvard at 12 p.m., at Koskinen Stadium.