VILLANOVA, Pa. -- Red-hot Villanova received five goals from Jack Curran and four from Jake Froccaro, and the Wildcats turned back Bucknell 13-8 on Tuesday at Villanova Stadium. Will Sands handed out five assists and jumped into the top 10 on Bucknell's career points list, while Connor O'Brien recorded a hat trick for the Bison.
In a game that was rescheduled from last Tuesday due to the snowstorm that blanketed much of the Northeast, the Bison got out to a quick start, scoring the first two goals of the game off the sticks of Quinn Collison and O'Hara. But the Wildcats answered with six goals in a row to take command of the game.
Bucknell fell to 3-5 on the season heading into a big Patriot League clash with Loyola in Lewisburg on Saturday. After a 1-4 start, Villanova has now beaten Brown, Maryland and Bucknell in succession to level its season mark at 4-4.
The Bison trailed 8-3 at the half and 9-3 after Curran opened the second-half scoring, but back-to-back goals by O'Hara late in the third period brought Bucknell within four. That is the closest it would get, however, as Christian Cuccinello assisted on each of Villanova's final three goals to help thwart the comeback attempt.
The high-powered Wildcats came into the game averaging 47.7 shots per game, and they hit that number right on the mark, outshooting the Bison 47-30. Christian Klipstein had another solid game in goal with 13 saves, but Villanova committed only six turnovers compared to 17 for Bucknell.
Only a junior, Sands now appears on Bucknell's career charts for both assists and points. He moved into the top 10 on the points list on Tuesday, jumping all the way up to the No. 8 spot with 146. Sands also moved past Jim Morris into seventh place on the career assists chart with 72.
Sands now has 28 assists on the season, already matching his career high, and he jumped past Loyola's Pat Spencer into the national lead. The Greyhounds play Georgetown on Wednesday, and then the two All-Patriot League attackmen will square off Saturday.
O'Hara added an assist to his hat trick for a four-point afternoon. Collison had two goals and an assist, and Sean O'Brien tallied two goals to give him a team-high 23 on the season. Jarett Witzal went 11-for-23 at the faceoff spot with a team-high six ground balls.
Nick Testa made seven saves for Villanova, In addition to his four goals, Froccaro also had two assists, eight ground balls, and went 11-for-19 on faceoffs.
Bucknell and Loyola will meet Saturday at 1 p.m. at Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium. The game will be televised by the American Sports Network and stream on the Patriot League Network. The contest is a rematch of last year's Patriot League Tournament semifinal thriller, won by the Greyhounds in double-overtime.