DENVER, COLO. - Denver got two goals each from Zach Miller and Erik Adamson and a goal and three assists from Jack Bobzien and defeated North Carolina, 9-5, in the NCAA Tournament first round on Saturday night at Peter Barton Stadium.
With the win, the Pioneers (15-2) advance to play the winner of Sunday's game between Drexel and Penn next weekend. The Tar Heels see their 2014 season end at 10-5.
The Pioneers opened the scoring in the game as Dallas Bridle scored off a feed from Jack Bobzien with 9:52 left in the quarter. The Tar Heels knotted the score at 1-1 when Steve Pontello rifled home a shot from the left wing off an assist by Foster with 6:36 left in the period. The Pioneers then took the lead with 1:19 left in the quarter on a delayed penalty call with Bobzien earning his second assist of the game on a goal by Erik Adamson.
Denver dominated the second quarter against the Tar Heels, outscoring UNC 3-0 to take a four-goal lead into halftime. Sean Cannizzaro scored off Jack Bobzien third assist of the game with 6:10 left in the period. Denver added to its lead with a goal by Erik Adamson assisted by Zach Miller with 4:30 to play. Denver's Wesley Berg then made it 5-1 as he used multiple screens to power one past Burke with 2:10 left in the period.
The Pioneers dominated the game statistically in the opening 30 minutes as they outshoot the Tar Heels 22-12 and had a 16-8 edge in ground balls. Burke's six saves were a key component in the game in keeping the Denver lead from being even greater.
The Tar Heels opened the second half with a pair of goals in the first five minutes. Tutton scored on an outside bounce shot with 13:05 to play in the quarter and then he assisted a tough angle goal by Sankey at the 10:39 mark. After Denver killed off a Tar Heel extra-man opportunity, the Pioneers went on a nearly four-minute long possession before Zach Miller scored unassisted with 4:41 to play in the period. Miller then added another goal, from virtually the same spot, off an assist by Wesley Berg with 1:59 left in the quarter. That goal restored Denver's four-goal lead the Pioneers had held at halftime.
The Pioneers achieved their first five-goal lead of the game when Jeremy Noble scored an unassisted goal with 14:14 to play. With 13:06 to play Carolina got a goal from Bitter wiith an assist by Tutton. Denver scored again on a goal by Bobzien assisted by Jeremy Noble with 4:04 to play in the 4th quarter. UNC then finished off the scoring on a goal by Sankey assisted by Foster wiith 3:36 left. It was an extra-man goal.
Denver outshot the Tar Heels for the game 38-28 and had a 26-19 edge in ground balls. Carolina had a slight edge in the face-off circle, winning 9 of 16 draws. Frankie Kelly had an excellent game for the Tar Heels, going 7 for 11 at the X and scooping up four ground balls.Burke made several spectacular saves for UNC and finished with 11 for the game. Ryan LaPlante started for Denver and made three saves and Jamie Faus made three saves in the second half for the Pioneers.