March 21, 2012

Eisenreich Ties Bucknell Record with 11 Points

from press release

LEWISBURG, Pa. – Billy Eisenreich and the Bucknell offense kept on rolling Tuesday night, as the 20th-ranked Bison led comfortably from start to finish and picked up their fifth straight win, 17-10 over Robert Morris on a warm night at Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium. Eisenreich scored five goals and assisted on six more, giving him a share of the program single-game record with 11 points, while Chase Bailey (4) and Peter Burke (3) combined for another seven goals.

The Bison improved to 5-3 on the season and avenged last season's 7-5 loss to Colonials, one of only three losses for Bucknell in all of 2011. The Bison had five goals by the end of the first quarter in this one, they led 9-4 at the half, and after Robert Morris pulled within 12-8 with 13:00 to go, Bucknell put it away with a 5-0 run.

Robert Morris (5-3) had won its previous two games, including a road win over No. 18 Ohio State last week. Dave Morton had a big night for the Colonials with four goals and an assist, while Kiel Matisz added three goals. The Bison kept 19-goal scorer Jake Hayes off the scoresheet. The nation's most accurate shooter at 65.5 percent went 0-for-2.

Eisenreich had a hand in four of Bucknell's six fourth-quarter goals. His final tally was a man-up goal with 5:30 to play that gave Bucknell a 17-8 lead. That made him the fourth player in program history to record 11 points in a game. Peter von Hoffmann was the first to do it against Penn State in 1979. Matt Fraser tallied 11 points against Lafayette in 1980, and Chris Cara did it against the Leopards in 2004.

Eisenreich, who now has 20 goals and 22 assists on the season, fell two shy of the Patriot League mark of 13 points in a game, set by Colgate's Derek Laub in 1993. He staked Bucknell to an early 2-0 lead with a pair of unassisted goals, the first of which came while prone on the turf, and then he fed Bailey on the doorstep for a 3-0 lead. Burke's lefthanded shot on the run with 2:50 left in the opening quarter gave the Bison a 4-0 lead.

Robert Morris, which came in averaging nearly 12 goals per game, finally got on the board on a Casey Abbott goal with 1:43 left in the opening period, but in the final minute of the quarter Burke made a nifty swim dodge over a defender and fired past Dillon Pope for a 5-1 advantage.

Bucknell did almost all of its damage from behind the goal, either with Eisenreich feeding to the wings or on one-on-one dodges from X. David Dickson and Eisenreich started the second quarter with unassisted goals coming from behind, chasing Pope from the game in favor of Charles Ruppert.

Bucknell's lead was 8-3 later in the second period when Eisenreich and Bailey teamed up for the goal of the night. From the left of the goal, Eisenreich threaded a pass across the crease to Bailey, who made the catch in traffic before firing a behind-the-back shot past Ruppert.

Robert Morris outscored Bucknell 3-2 in the third quarter to pull within 11-7. Eisenreich started the fourth-quarter with a dizzying series of jukes behind the goal, and by the time he was finished he had faked out both a defender and the goalie, and he simply shoveled the ball into an empty net for a 12-7 lead. After Abbott answered for the Colonials, Burke ignited the decisive 5-0 run with his third goal of the day.

Bucknell goal-scoring leader Todd Heritage, who was clearly the focus of the Robert Morris defense, broke loose for his 23rd of the season off a nice feed from Nick Gantsoudes with 8:06 left. Billy Mattimore entered his name on the scoresheet a few minutes later off a feed from Eisenreich, and then Bailey and Eisenreich finished the Bucknell scoring with a pair of man-up goals.

Robert Morris was flagged for 10 penalties in the game, eight of them coming in the fourth quarter. The Bison had a chance to pile on some more goals with the Colonials filling up the penalty box and their defense out chasing the ball, but Bucknell passed up a number of empty-net scoring opportunities in favor of draining the clock.

Bucknell came into the game ranked sixth nationally in scoring offense at 12.6 goals per game, and the Bison upped that average to 13.1 on Tuesday. They now have 74 goals during this five-game winning streak.

Bucknell was also the nation's most accurate shooting team entering the night, and that figure also improved. The Bison came in shooting 39.3 percent, and after a 17-for-39 effort (.436) on Tuesday, that season mark went up to 39.9 percent.

The Bison handled the ball very well, committing only 10 turnovers while going 15-for-17 on clears. Bucknell finished with a 39-32 edge in shots, while Robert Morris won the ground ball battle 30-29 behind a game-high 11 from faceoff man Mike Grosz, who won 15 of 28.

Ryan Gutowski had a good night at the X for Bucknell, winning 7 of 11 with five ground balls. Goalie Kyle Feeney finished with 10 saves, while three different Colonials netminders combined for 10.

Bucknell is back home on Saturday against Albany at noon.


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