End of 4th Quarter, Duke 11 Virginia 9. The Cavaliers got their chance, forcing a turnover as they pushed Max Quinzani right to the endline. But a careless pass by Virginia gave the ball right back to Duke. The Blue Devils held on for the waning seconds, as many players seemed to take their first relaxed breath of the last 15 minutes.
0:58, 4th Quarter, Duke 11 Virginia 9. Virginia commits a violation on the faceoff, giving Duke possession as time runs off the clock. The Blue Devils were playing stall ball, until longstick defenseman Parker McKee attempted a shot from about five yards outside the crease. The ball sailed wide, but Duke maintained possession after having the closest man to the ball.
1:32 4th Quarter, Duke 11 Virginia 9. Whenever Duke has gained control on the offensive end, it has done a terrible job maintaining possession. After giving up the ball quickly once more, Virginia raced down into Duke’s end. Garrett Billings turned the corner from the behind the net and fired a shot off the far post that managed to stay out of the goal.
After a Duke penalty, the Cavaliers showed excellent ball movement as they flipped it around the crease then down low to Ryan Carroll, who dumped it over Loftus’ shoulder for Virgina’s fifth straight goal. Off the faceoff, the Cavaliers moved the ball up to Rubeor, who dodged and buried it from the right side for Virginia’s second goal in ten seconds.
The orange and blue clad fans in Klocker Stadium are standing and cheering with comeback on their minds.
3:20, 4th Quarter, Duke 11 Virginia 7. The Blue Devils are playing sloppily, dropping passes and losing control in traffic. Nevertheless, Duke is hanging on. The Cavaliers have gotten plenty of looks, but haven’t been able to score for for minutes. With just more than three minutes left, the four goal deficit is seemingly more and more difficult to overcome all the time.
8:00, 4th Quarter, Duke 11 Virginia 7. The momentum is shiftly, and quickly. The Cavaliers Rhamel Bratton stuffed home a shot into the bottom right corner. What seemed at point a Duke blowout has suddenly become a close contest. Virginia trails by just four scores with more than eight to play.
10:00, 4th Quarter, Duke 11 Virginia 6. Virginia’s standout attackman Ben Rubeor scores right out of the gate on a man-up opportunity. Dan Loftus turned away another few Virginia shots, including one that deflected off the crossbar, but Virginia got the Klockner Stadium stands shaking when it scored another goal to draw within five.
The referees stopped play briefly when a Duke and Virginia player got tangled up and exchanged words after a big hit. The home fans shout boos when only Virginia’s Max Pomper was relegated to the penalty box. But a Duke turnover results in a Cavalier man-down fast-break. Now Virginia waits patiently for its teammate to return to the field.
End of 3rd Quarter, Duke 11 Virginia 4.
The Cavaliers scored, but the bleeding continues. After securing a rebound off a Duke shot, Virginia gave it right back on an errant pass out of bounds.
The home crowd has not given up, getting to its feet after an impressive series of saves from Bud Petit. Max Quinzani bounced it, but Petit dropped to his knees to stop it. The rebound went to Greer, who tried to dump it over the kneeling Petit, but the goalie somehow reached his stick back and deflected the ball away.
Virginia closes out the 3rd quarter on a man-up advantage, but the Cavaliers just run out the clock rather than risk turning over the ball. Virginia will start the first 40 seconds of the 4th quarter with an extra man, but needs a comeback for the ages in order to walk out of here the ACC Tournament champions.
5:35, 3rd Quarter, Duke 11 Virginia 3. Duke scores one of its most impressive goals of the game. During a man-up opportunity, Max Quinzani chases down a loose ball. As he’s picking it up, he’s knocked down to the ground illegally, but keeps fighting. He gets up and weaves through two Cavaliers while maintaining possession, then passes it out to an open Zack Greer, who buries it past Petit.
Virginia is showing its frustration, as it commits another costly penalty. Duke converts the man-up chance deftly, as Ned Crotty finds Matt Danowski up top. Danowski cranks it into the back of the net, adding another few fist pumps as his Blue Devils continue to piles it on.
8:40, 3rd Quarter, Duke 9 Virginia 3. On the few chances Duke has had to get out on the break today, poor passing and a lack of concentration have brought the opportunities to an end.
But the Blue Devils finally get their first fast-break goal of the game, when longstick defenseman Nick O’Hara sprinted down toward the cage, then threw it back out for Matt Danowski. The co-captain wound up and ripped it past Petit. After the goal, Danowski showed some emotion as he pumped his fist emphatically several times.
After Virginia racked up two penalties, the Blue Devils continued to pull away after converting on a two-man-up chance. Danowski sidearmed a shot from the top of the box that bounced off the ground, then off Petit’s foot and up into the net.