March 26, 2013

Berg's Sixth Gives No. 4 Denver OT Win Over Air Force

from press release

DENVER – Sophomore Wesley Berg (Coquitlam, British Columbia) scored six goals, including the game-winner in overtime, as the No. 4/4 University of Denver men’s lacrosse team defeated Air Force 11-10 on Tuesday evening at Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium.

Falcon Erik Smith tied the game at 10 with 17 seconds left to force overtime, before Berg found the net 1:04 into the overtime period. With the win, Denver moves to 6-2 overall, 2-0 in Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference play. Air Force drops to 4-5, 0-3 in ECAC action.

“First off, credit the Air Force Falcons as they came ready to play,” said head coach Bill Tierney. “It wasn't like we didn't know what they were going to do, but they were much better at doing than we could practice. I was happy with the way our guys responded at the end of the half and obviously at the end of the game. Our guys found a way to dig down and found a way to get an ugly win. I thought that Berg and Garret put us on their back today and showed a lot of fortitude in today's victory.”

The six-goal performance marked Berg’s fifth hat trick of the season, eight of his career, and the second sock trick of his career. Senior Eric Law (Centennial, Colo.) tallied four points on one goal and three assist, while senior Colin Scott (Ridgefield, Conn.) recorded a pair of goals.  Senior Cameron Flint (Georgetown, Ontario) and sophomore Garret Holst (Fishers, Ind.) both found the net once, while Flint tallied one assist.

“It was a pretty relieving win,” Berg said. “Being down three goals with five minutes to play we were able to pull it together and get the win. I didn't find the net easy at the beginning of the game as their goalie made some good saves. We were able to stick to our game plan and the goals started to fall for us.”

Senior Chase Carraro (Louisville, Ky.) went 6-of-8 on face-offs, while classmate Chace Calkin (Englewood, Colo.) went 9-of-16.

Mike Crampton topped the Falcons with three goals, while Christopher Allen and Erik Smith finished with two goals apiece. Tommy McKee and Keith Dreyer each recorded a goal and an assist.

Air Force scored first 8:14 into the contest, as Allen found the net. Allen tallied his second goal of the game with six seconds left in the opening period, and the Falcons took a 2-0 lead into the second quarter. The scoreless opening period marked the first time the Pioneers were held scoreless in a quarter since DU failed to find the net in the fourth quarter on March 24, 2012, also against Air Force.

Denver cut the lead to one with 12:46 remaining in the second quarter, when Flint scored on an assist from freshman Eric Adamson (Anaheim Hills, Calif.). Air Force responded with goal from Crampton with 9:07 to go in the second quarter, but the Pioneers bounced back less than a minute later, as Holst fired the ball past the goalie off a pass from Law. Crampton returned the favor just 30 seconds later, however, and the Falcons took a 4-2 edge. Berg scored back-to-back goals to close out the half, and the teams entered the intermission tied at four.

Scott tallied a goal less than 1:30 into the second half to give DU its first lead of the game. Air Force responded to tie the contest on Crampton’s third goal of the game with 7:50 remaining in the third quarter, but Denver retook the lead less than a minute later, when Scott found the net from close range off a pass from senior Taylor Young (Littleton, Colo.). The Falcons retied the game within 40 seconds, as Dreyer scored to bring the quarter to a close with the score tied at six.

Air Force tallied three-straight goals to open the closing period, as McKee, Smith and Ryland De Pol gave the Falcons a 9-6 lead with just under nine minutes remaining in the contest. Denver bounced back with two goals from Berg and one from Law to tie the game with 4:53 left to play. Berg found the net again with 4:18 remaining to give DU a 10-9 lead, but Smith tied the game with 17 seconds left to play to force overtime, before Berg’s game-winner 1:04 into the extra frame.

Sophomore Sean Cannizzaro (Cazenovia, N.Y.) finished the game with one assist, while junior goalie Jamie Faus (Lakeville, Conn.) secured his second win of the season, making five saves in 31:04 minutes of action. Sophomore goalie Ryan LaPlante (Fort Collins, Colo.) started the game, making seven saves.


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