Wittenberg Rallies Late, Upends No. 11 Denison in OT

Wittenberg junior Chris Gipson scored the game-winning goal with 1:41 left in overtime, sending the Tigers to a 9-8 victory over the 11th ranked Denison Big Red from Edwards-Maurer Field in Springfield, Ohio. Denison, who trailed 8-4 in the fourth quarter, scored four straight goals in the final period and looked to have shifted the momentum in their favor as the two teams entered overtime.

As the overtime period began Wittenberg won their 13th face-off of the night and went to work on offense. The Tigers got two shot's off with the latter resulting in a save by Denison's Gregg Shannon (Lindenhurst, N.Y./St. Anthony's). The Big Red converted their clear attempt but as they were entering their offensive set DU turned the ball back over to the home team with just over two minutes left in the extra session.

This time the Tigers would not relinquish the ball again as Brady Christensen drove to the cage and sent a shot at Shannon who turned in a nifty save but had the ball bounce off his stick on the attempted ground ball pick-up. Gipson, who was in the right place at the right time, scooped up the loose ball and quickly flicked the ball past Shannon for the victory.

It was a grind-it-out kind of game as both squads entered halftime with just two goals to their credit. With 1:03 to play in the third quarter, Wittenberg broke a 4-4 tie when Alex Previte scored an unassisted goal. They continued to put on the pressure in the fourth quarter by controlling possession at the face-off X. Over a three minute span early in the fourth quarter Wittenberg would score three straight goals, two by Mitch Cohagan, to take a commanding four-goal lead with 10:57 to play.

Three minutes would pass until Denison's Cory Couture (San Diego, Calif./Coronado) snapped DU out of their drought with his 14th goal of the season. Eight seconds later, Connor Detjen (Winnetka, Ill./Loyola Academy) won the face-off and scored his second goal of the season. After winning the ensuing face-off, Wittenberg turned the ball over and a penalty on Christensen put DU in extra-man for the fifth time on the night. Attackman Brady Burton (Dublin, Ohio/Jerome) would convert the man-up opportunity, cutting the deficit to one with 7:24 to play.

After retaining possession, Denison's offense would score once again when Davis Lukens (Marietta, Ga./Holy Innocents) found Emmett Jones (Colorado Springs, Colo./Air Academy) for his third goal of the game. Over the final six minutes of regulation the two teams would combine for seven shots with five of those coming off Denison crosses.

Jones led DU with three goals and one assist off 12 shot attempts. The Big Red were outshot 41-38 and the Tigers gobbled up 33 ground balls to Denison's 29. Shannon posted 14 saves for Denison while Wittenberg's Mark DeOliveria turned in an outstanding performance for the Tigers, stopping 10 shots.

Cohagan led Wittenberg with four goals and Ted Winders added one goal and two assists.

The win keeps Wittenberg all alone atop the North Coast Athletic Conference standings at 8-2 overall and 3-0 in league play. The loss drops Denison's record to 7-2 and 2-2 in conference play. The victory also snaps a 32-game losing streak for the Tigers against the Big Red which dated back to 1968. DU will look to get back on track this Friday when they host Colorado College at 7:30 p.m. in a match with plenty of pool B implications.


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