Senior attackman Max Quinzani scored with 5.8 seconds remaining in the game to lift Duke to a 9-8 exhibition victory over the U.S. men’s national on Sunday afternoon at the fifth annual Champion Challenge in Orlando, Fla.
“This was a great experience for our guys,” Blue Devil head coach John Danowski said. “You never really know how the players are going to react in their first competition of the year, but I was certainly pleased with the effort. Obviously, the national team is really, really talented. Where we had a leg up on them was having practiced together, and that paid off.”
After the U.S. team scored the game’s first five goals, the Blue Devils responded in the second quarter with five tallies of their own. Rookie attackman Josh Offit found the back of the net three times in the period while Will McKee and Stephen Coyle added markers to send the teams into halftime with the scored knotted, 5-5.
Team USA scored the only two goals of the third period to claim a 7-5 advantage. Duke’s Zach Howell netted a pair of goals to tie the game at 7-7, but the U.S. squad countered with a marker for a one-goal lead with just under nine minutes left on the clock. Robert Rotanz then scored for Duke with five minutes remaining to tie the game at 8-8, setting the stage for Quinzani’s game-winning tally.
While Offit paced the Blue Devil offense with three goals, the Duke defense limited Team USA to just three goals over the final three quarters.
“I was pleased with our defensive effort,” Danowski noted. “Tom Montelli, Dan Theodoridis and Parker McKee gave us good performances. Sam Payton and Terrence Molinari really battled at the X. We were fortunate to get contributions from a lot of different guys today.”
Duke opens the season on February 13 against Bucknell in Atlanta, Ga.
CHAMPION CHALLENGE – DISNEY’S WIDE WORLD OF SPORTS, ORLANDO, FLA.
U.S. Elite 23, Notre Dame 7
U.S. Men 15, Army 7
U.S. Developmental 17, Florida 8
U.S. Developmental 9, Duke 5
U.S. Developmental 17, Notre Dame 11
U.S. Elite 17, Duke 8
Duke 9, U.S. Men 8