No. 4 North Carolina Escapes Charlottesville with 10-7 Win over No. 18 UVa

VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM Bobby Hill
VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM
Bobby Hill
VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM

April 6, 2013

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Kieran Burke made 23 saves for No. 4 North Carolina (8-3, 2-1 ACC), lifting the Tar Heels to a 10-7 win on Saturday over the No. 18 Virginia Cavaliers (5-6, 0-2 ACC), in front of 6,787 fans inside Klöckner Stadium. Despite winning almost every statistical category over UNC by a large margin, UVa has lost five games in a row for the first time since 1966.

“I thought that we left some goals on the field today as we worked hard to create good opportunities,” said Virginia head coach Dom Starsia. “Between the kid in the goal (Burke) and not getting on the cage quite enough, that was the difference for us. It’s not for lack of effort, but at the same time we just have to get this right and it will start next week at Duke.”

Virginia dominated at the faceoff X, wining 15-of-20, while also nearly doubling up North Carolina on ground balls (41-21) and having fewer turnovers (10-12). Virginia also won the shots battle (51-32).

For the third week in a row a UVa opponent jumped out to a solid lead, as UNC opened the game on a 4-0 run.  Joey Sankey started off with an unassisted goal in the midst of a 30-second stall warning.  Marcus Holman scored back-to-back goals and Chad Tutton capped the run at 5:16 with an unassisted goal.

Nick O’Reilly took charge and scored back-to-back unassisted goals to start a UVa run. Mark Cockerton scored his first of three goals on the afternoon to finish the streak with 11 seconds left in the first period. 

Defense for both squads took over in the second stanza as Tutton scored the period’s first goal at the 3:33 mark on a pass from Holman, giving UNC the 5-3 lead.  Virginia answered back on a man-up goal by Ryan Tucker, courtesy of an O’Reilly helper at 1:43.  Virginia’s defense tried to hold strong at the end of the first half, but Holman broke lose and Tutton found the UNC senior for the score with two seconds left, sending UNC into the intermission with the 6-4 lead.

UNC scored two goals to start the third quarter, creating a four-goal deficit for Virginia as the Cavaliers trailed 8-4 with 4:38 remaining in the third quarter.

The Cavaliers refused to give up as UVa plugged away on the ground and the face-off X.  Winning 7-of-8 faceoffs in the second half and getting 26 ground balls to UNC’s 11, the Cavaliers scored the next two goals. Rob Emery registered the extra-man goal with 3:13 left in the third quarter, but each team’s defense dug deep and neither team allowed another goal until Cockerton found the nylon at the 4:56 mark in the fourth quarter, a span of 13:17 without any scoring.

Sankey and Jimmy Bitter were able to ice the game with goals, the second coming with 45 seconds left in the game.  Cockerton scored on a James Pannell helper with 30 seconds left to bring the game to the final 10-7 score and secure the junior’s ninth career hat trick.

“We’re not good enough yet,” said Starsia. “I feel like this is a special team. I haven’t been around a team that plays this hard, this often in a long time. Especially when we’re not seeing the kind of results on game day that we’d like to. For our kids to keep digging in and getting to it I think that there’s a lot to be admired there. I understand that we keep score, and that’s what matters at the end of the day. But for these guys, working hard and getting better is what matters. You see that in young players like Mick Parks and Rhody Heller. We just got to get the ball in the back of the net and keep a couple more out.”

Virginia concludes ACC play on Friday in Durham against the Duke Blue Devils. Faceoff is set for 6 p.m. The game will be televised live in HD on ESPNU.

North Carolina     4-2-2-2-10
Virginia               3-1-1-2-7
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Scoring (G-A) - NC: Marcus Holman 3-3, Jimmy Bitter 2-1, Chat Tutton 2-1, Joey Sankey 2-0, Davey Emala 1-0, Matt Shannon 0-1. V: Mark Cockerton 3-0, Nick O’Reilly 2-1, Matt White 0-2, Rob Emery 1-0, Ryan Tucker 1-0, James Pannell 0-1.

Goalie Summary - NC: Kieran Burke 60:00 mins. 23 saves 7 goals allowed. V: Rhody Heller 58:50 mins. 11 saves, 10 goals allowed, Dan Marino 1:10 mins. 1 save, 0 goals allowed.

Shots: NC-32, V-51
Ground Balls: NC-21, V-41
Clearing: NC-17x20, V-20x20
Faceoffs: NC-5, V-15
Penalties: NC-4-3:00, V-4-3:00
EMO: NC-0x4, V-2x4