No. 4 Duke rallies past No. 5 North Carolina for 9-8 overtime win
DURHAM, N.C. -- Fourth-ranked Duke went on a 4-1 run over the last 13 minutes of the game to earn a 9-8 overtime win against fifth-ranked North Carolina on Saturday afternoon. Jordan Wolf scored his fourth goal of the game 1:26 into overtime to lift the Blue Devils to victory in the rivalry game.
Duke improved to 6-2 on the season and 1-1 in the ACC. North Carolina fell to 5-2 overall and 0-2 in the ACC. The victory was the ninth for the Blue Devils in their last 10 regular season meetings with the Tar Heels.
Wolf was involved in five of Duke's nine goals, spoiling an outstanding defensive effort by UNC which held Duke to single digits in goals for only the second time in the last 15 meetings. Conversely, UNC was held to single digits in goals for the first time in a little over a year, an 11-8 Duke win in Chapel Hill last year.
Wolf's four goals and one assist led Duke and Kyle Keenan added a hat trick for the Blue Devils who scored keys goals in the transition game throughout the day. Seven of Duke's nine tallies were assisted goals.
North Carolina had a pair of players with hat tricks as Jimmy Bitter and Michael Tagliaferri each scored three times. Joey Sankey had UNC's only other two goals. Greg McBride had two assists.
Both goalkeepers were outstanding on the day as Luke Aaron made 15 saves for Duke and Kieran Burke made 15 saves for UNC.
Carolina outshot Duke 46-41 and both teams had 33 ground balls. Carolina's Stephen Kelly had an excellent game, winning 13 of 20 face-offs against Duke All-America Brendan Fowler. Kelly led the Tar Heels with five ground balls and defensemen Austin Pifani and Jake Bailey each had five ground balls as well.
Turnovers hurt the Heels as they had 14, four above their season average and had three failed clears. Duke, on the other hand, was a perfect 19 for 19 in the clearing game.
Duke led only twice in the game -- at 4-3 in the first minute of the second half and then again after the overtime goal. UNC had two goal leads three times but could never get greater separation from the Blue Devils. After falling behind 4-3, Bitter, Tagliaferri and Sankey scored to give UNC a 6-4 lead. Carolina carried a 7-5 lead into the fourth quarter but goals by Deemer Class and Jordan Wolf tied it up with 6:27 to play. Tagliaferri gave UNC the lead back at 5:13 and Carolina had an extra-man opportunity with less than three minutes to play. But Aaron saved a shot by Spencer Parks and UNC never touched the ball again in the game.
Keenan tied the game with 1:47 and Duke won the ensuing face-off but was unable to score. The Blue Devils again won the face-off at the start of overtime and eventually notched Wolf's game-winner.