Bucknell Smothers Lafayette, Clinches PL Berth

LEWISBURG, Pa. -- A career-high nine-point performance from David Dickson and an absolutely suffocating defensive effort from goal line to goal line sent Bucknell to a 13-1 victory over Lafayette on Senior Night at Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium. The Bison improved to 7-6 overall and 4-3 in the Patriot League, and the win clinched a berth in the Patriot League Tournament.

Bucknell moved the ball crisply throughout the game, with Dickson the primary catalyst. He set new personal bests for assists (six) and points (nine) in a game and equalled his career high with three goals. Todd Heritage, one of six seniors honored prior to the game, added three goals and an assist, Sean Doyle had two goals and two assists, and senior Peter Burke also scored twice.

The Bison outshot Lafayette 55-19, and the goal count might have been higher if not for nine shots that struck pipes and 11 saves from goalie Jake Hyatt, who played very well for the Leopards (2-10, 1-6).

Aside from Dickson's career night, the story of the game was Bucknell's ride and its defense. The Bison forced 25 turnovers and the Leopards finished the game just 8 for 22 on clears.

Senior defenseman Jackson Place entered the game ranked second nationally in caused turnovers, and he added four more to his total in this one. His interception near midfield late in the first quarter made Lafayette 0 for 4 on clears at that point, and it started a fastbreak that led to a Dickson goal and a 3-0 Bison lead.

Morgan Westby got on the board for Lafayette at 3:44 of the first quarter to cut Bucknell's advantage to 3-1, but that would be the only time all night Bison goalies Sam Grinberg and Frank Morelli were beaten.

Dickson picked out Doyle with 42 seconds left in the opening period to make it 4-1, and the margin grew to 6-1 at the half on second-quarter goals by Dickson and Heritage. The Bison blew it open with five goals in the third quarter, including a couple of pretty shots by Ryan Joseph and Thomas Flibotte, and then they cleared the bench for most of the fourth quarter.

Grinberg finished with eight saves, including a highlight-reel stop on Sonny Round in the fourth quarter. Morelli played the last 6:18, and he put an exclamation point on the evening with a nice stop just before the final horn sounded.

Only a junior, Dickson now has 98 career assists in 45 games. He is close to becoming just the fourth player in program history with 100 career assists. His 98 helpers are also fifth-most among all active Division I players and the most among all juniors.

Heritage hit the 20-goal mark for the fourth year in a row, and he now has 116 career goals, one behind Tom Cusick for second-most in Bucknell history.

This was the ninth time in program history that Bucknell allowed just a single goal in a game, and the first time since a 15-1 win over Holy Cross in 2001. The Bison have recorded two shutouts, one in the program's inaugural season in 1968 against Franklin and Marshall, and the other one coming in 1972 against Gettsyburg.

Seniors Heritage, Burke, Place, midfielder Tom Black and defensive middies Tyler McLamb and Sam McDonough were all recognized prior to the contest. This was win No. 42 for the Class of 2014, one shy of the program record set by last year's seniors.

At 4-3 in the Patriot League, Bucknell moved a half-game in front of Colgate for fourth place in the Patriot League standings. The Raiders play 1-5 Holy Cross at home on Saturday and then finish the regular season at home against 5-1 Army.

Bucknell closes out the regular season next Thursday at Loyola, which is currently the No. 1-ranked team in the nation. Colgate defeated Bucknell earlier in the season and would thus hold a head-to-head tiebreaker over the Bison. The No. 4 seed is important, as the fourth-place team will host the No. 5 seed in a Patriot League Tournament quarterfinal game on Apr. 22.

The Bucknell-Loyola game will air live on CBS Sports Network beginning at 7:00 p.m. on Apr. 17.


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