Monday, May 31, 2010

Duke Wins National Championship

What an ending to an outstanding NCAA tournament. The Duke Blue Devils topped the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, 6-5 in overtime. This is Duke's fourth NCAA Championship appearance in seven years, and the first one they won.
Notre Dame got on the board early, but Duke tied it quick and it was tied at 2 in the second period. Zach Brennamen scored both first quarter goals for the Irish. Zach Howell and Steve Schoeffel scored to take a lead, but Brennamen scored his second to tie the game. Duke showed and uncharacteristic smothering defense over the underwhelmed Notre Dame offense. The Irish were able to control the game to the pace they wanted and hold the Duke offense in check, but Scott Rodgers allowed in two soft goals that were the difference. Rodgers will go into the offseason as a top NLL prospect and he made some game saving saves in the fourth, but in the end, they weren't ranked for a reason.
In the second period, no one scored until Schoeffel's goal with 1:24 left in the half, with the assist going to Mike Quinzani(Next prospect preview). The third period started with the score 3-2 Blue Devils, but the Fighting Irish changed that quickly. David Earl, who was all over the place all game, scored to tie the game. It didn't last long as Howell scored his second of the game four minutes later. Brenneman scored the hat trick to tie the game with only 1:12 left in the period, and it headed into the fourth period tied.
Sean Rogers scored for the Irish with 11:56 left in the fourth. Justin Turri turned around and tied it with 8:44 though. It would remain tied into OT.
The face-off specialist CJ Costabile scored only his fourth goal of the season five seconds into the period on a break away to give the Blue Devils their first ever national title.

* Rodgers has nothing to hang his head about, he will have a bright career in the NLL or MLL. I'll try to get a prospect preview of him up sometime.

* I was impressed by Duke's smothering defense on the younger Notre Dame team.

* Congrats to the seventeen seniors on Duke who dealt with the whole mess back in 2006 to have a national title.

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