The setback stopped Duke's seven-game win streak and drops the Blue Devils' record to 8-3 overall. Syracuse improves to 8-0 on the year. Stephen Keogh paced the Orange with three goals and an assist, while both JoJo Marasco and Jovan Miller both had two goals apiece.
The Orange got off to a quick start, jumping out to a 4-0 lead before Duke freshman Christian Walsh put the Blue Devils on the scoreboard at the 7:04 mark. Walsh beat his defender on the right side of the crease and dropped a shot past goaltender John Galloway on the doorstep. He finished with two goals for the evening.
Syracuse responded with four unanswered to stretch the lead to 8-1 less than five minutes into the second frame. The Orange scored seven goals on its first 10 shots of the contest.
Howell stopped the Syracuse run at the 9:40 mark of the second frame, bouncing a shot past to pull the Blue Devils within six. After giving up eight goals in the first 23 minutes, the Blue Devil defense started to clamp down, holding the Orange scoreless for over nine minutes. However, the Duke couldn't get anything going offensively and the Orange added one more score with 1:06 left to send the Blue Devils into halftime trailing 9-2.
Faced with its largest deficit of the season, Duke started the second half on the right note with Wolf netting a man-up score 37 seconds into the frame. The Orange answered three minutes later and the two squads continued to trade goals over the next four minutes. Wolf finished the contest with two goals and an assist.
Sophomore David Lawson rifled a shot past Galloway from the right side at 11:16 and Howell notched his second of the game four minutes later with an assist from Wolf to keep the game at a five-goal spread. That marked the first time in the game Duke was able to score consecutive goals.
After Stephen Keogh found the cage for Syracuse, Duke answered with consecutive goals for the first time of the evening to pull within four for the first time since the 7:04 mark of the first quarter. Howell netted the first of the two tallies off an assist from Wolf and Tripucka scored his first marker of the evening six minutes later.
The Blue Devils outscored Syracuse 4-2 through over 14 minutes of the third quarter to cut the Orange's lead to five, but Syracuse put away two scores in the final 28 seconds to go back ahead by seven.
The fourth quarter was all Blue Devils as Duke held the Orange without a goal and notched four of their own in search of late comeback. Senior Tom Rynn started the scoring with man-up goal 3:19 into the final session and Walsh cut the lead to five three minutes later. Duke continued to make things interesting in the final few minutes. Howell took an assist from Wolf at the 5:49 mark to make it a 13-9 score. Howell connected on a man-up opportunity with 3:13 left to play and Wolf rounded out the scoring with 36 ticks left.
The Blue Devils held a 42-29 advantage in shots and won the ground ball battle 34-20. Duke won 20-of-27 faceoffs, with junior CJ Costabile winning 11-of-15 restarts. Costabile picked up 10 ground balls to lead Duke and senior Tom Montelli paced the defense with three caused turnovers.
In goal, Duke sophomore Dan Wigrizer had nine saves. Galloway finished with 16 for the evening.
Duke returns to action on April 9, traveling to Bethpage, N.Y. to take on Denver. The game is set for 2 p.m.