Saturday, March 28, 2015 - 1:16:05 AM

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Nelson, Deluca lead Bearcats over Griffs

Vestal, NY— Binghamton (6-6, 3-0 AE) outscored visiting Canisius (6-6, 3-2 MAAC) 3-0 in the fourth quarter and capped off a dominant defensive performance in their 9-5 win on Tuesday evening from the Bearcats Sports Complex. BU allowed a season-low five goals on Tuesday and freshman Tyler Deluca headlined the offense with a career-high three-goal performance.

Seven different players scored in Binghamton’s final non-conference tune up on a wet and cold evening from Vestal, NY. Tucker Nelson scored a team-high four points, including three assists for the junior attackman. He now has 27 assists on the season, which ties a school record that he set just a season ago.

Senior goalie Max Schefler was terrific in cage for the hosts, making 12 saves; eight of which came in the second half. The defense in front of Schefler was just as impressive, causing eight turnovers and allowing a season-low five goals on 32 shot attempts from Canisius.

Binghamton distanced themselves after a tightly contested third quarter with a 3-0 run in the final stanza. Up 6-5, Deluca notched his third goal of the contest off a restart from behind goal. The Medford, NY native beat his man and unloaded on a spinning shot nearly 5 yards out that bounced into the back of the cage.

After numerous looks on goal, Binghamton was able to pull ahead 8-5 on Matt Springer’s quick stick score. Nelson found Springer with an accurate pass as he deposited his team-leading 32nd goal of the season. With time winding down, Binghamton added on a late goal from Michael Antinozzi who improved his point scoring streak to 44 consecutive games with the score.

The Bearcats outshot Canisius 33-32 and had 23 shots on goal. Canisius goalkeeper Alex Govenettio was equally as impressive as his counterpart Schefler, making 14 saves in total.

Senior defenders Greg Cove and Shawn Needham both tallied a caused turnover and three ground balls to headline the defense. Junior Paul O’Donnell also got it done defending from his attack position, causing a pair of turnovers on Tuesday night.

In the first half, the visitors struck first on Nick Tuttle’s goal just 55 seconds into the game to take an early 1-0 lead. However, Binghamton came back with a goal at the 11:26 mark in the quarter from Kelly Donigan to pull even. Donigan beat his man off the dodge and fired a running lefty shot that beat Canisius goalkeeper Alex Gonvenettio far post.

The Bearcats went ahead 2-1 on Tyler Deluca’s man-up goal with under four minutes remaining in the first. Sophomore Mitchell Rick found a cutting Deluca who squeezed off a quick shot past Govenettio.

Binghamton notched their third unanswered goal later in the second quarter on Emmett O’Hara’s second goal of 2014. O’Hara dodged to his left and sent a bouncing shot into the back of the cage for a 3-1 lead.

Canisius’ leading point scorer Tim Edwards brought the visitors to within one, 3-2, breaking a 24-minute scoreless stretch. The Bearcats closed out the quarter with a late goal from O’Donnell, holding on to a 4-2 advantage at the break, a lead they would not relinquish.

Binghamton has won three straight games and four of their last five contests. In the last three games, BU has allowed an average of just 6.00 goals per game and have outscored their opponents 31-18 over that stretch.

Up next for the Bearcats is a home conference matchup with Stony Brook (5-8, 1-2 AE) on Saturday afternoon from Vestal, NY. Saturday’s game will be the final home contest for 12 Binghamton seniors as the Bearcats look for a 4-0 start in America East conference play.

(Courtesy: BU Athletics)

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