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The University of Denver men’s lacrosse program took a 14-6 win over Air Force in the Pioneers’ 2017 opener on Saturday afternoon in front of the 33rd sellout (14th straight) at Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium.

2016 Tewaaraton Finalist Connor Cannizzaro led DU (1-0) with six points behind four goals and a pair of helpers, while freshman Ethan Walker totaled five on three goals and two assists, with junior Jeremy Bosher rounding out the scoring with a trio of goals.

Sophomore Alex Ready finished with 10 saves in backstopping the win, while junior faceoff man Trevor Baptistewas successful on 15-for-18 faceoff attempts for the Crimson and Gold, picking up 12 ground balls and a goal in the process.

Chris Walsch led the Falcons (1-1) with four points on a pair of goals and assists, while Andrew Tien ended with two goals and a helper in the loss. Paxton Boyer took the decision for Air Force with nine saves and two ground balls while trying to slow the Denver attack.

Walker got Denver on the board first early in the opening quarter, firing home a shot past Paxton Boyer to put the Pioneers up 1-0 with 13:31 on the clock. Walsch tried to sneak Air Force’s first shot past Ready just beyond the nine-minute mark but the sophomore keeper made an immediate stop and followed up with another save less than a minute later on a shot from Daniel Pangano.

The Falcons got on the board at the 3:37 mark as Walsch took a feed from Tien and found a gap past Ready, knotting the score at 1-1, but Cannizzaro put DU back on top in a man-up opportunity after taking a pass from Walker with 26 seconds on the clock and notched his first goal of the season for a 2-1 Denver lead heading into the second quarter.

Denver padded its lead early in the second stanza, getting another goal from Cannizzaro and one from sophomore Colton Jackson for a 4-1 lead, garnering a response from the Falcons at the 5:47 mark as Grant Gould cut into the lead at 4-2 on a man-up opportunity with 5:47 on the timer.

The Pioneers had a quick response as Bosher padded the lead back up to three only 23 seconds later with a rocket past Boyer at 5:24, holding off Air Force through the remainder of the half for a 5-2 advantage heading into the locker room.

Air Force capitalized on a DU penalty at the end of the second quarter, getting a goal from Tien at the 14:33 mark to cut into the lead, but Denver had the response ready as Walker connected for his second goal of the day, followed by Cannizzaro posting his hat trick, to keep the Pioneers comfortably ahead at 7-3.

Tien notched his second goal of the day with 25 seconds on the clock, yet the Pioneers provided the one-up card with a trio of goals in the final 17 seconds of the third from Baptiste, Cannizzaro and Walker for a commanding 10-4 lead, connecting for the fastest three-goal stretch in DU history.

Denver built the lead up to 13-4 by the 6:59 mark of the fourth quarter, cruising to a 14-6 final to open up the 2017 campaign with a win.

Featured Video Credit: YouTube, Denver Pioneers