This past weekend, the Blue Hens had a successful sweep against the University of Rhode Island Rams at the Fred Rust Ice Arena here in Newark, DE. The team won Friday night, and had a nerve-racking shootout win at Saturday’s Alumni/UDance game.
Gamestart was at 9:15 on Friday night. The starting line was #22 Michael Nisky, #39 Vinny Zingarelli, #15 Shane Mullin, #23 Devin Jenny, #5 Justin Hoch, with #29 Dylan Troiano in the net. 1:31 into the first period, team captain John Redgate put one in the net with an assist from DeFares, putting Delaware in the lead against URI 1-0. Goalie, Troiano, held strong throughout the second and third period, getting a shutout for the team with a final score of 1-0 Blue Hens. Troiano commented on his game, “We came out a little flat in the beginning of the game getting outshot in the first period. Redgate put us on the board early and it seemed like we were going to keep adding to it, but unfortunately we couldn’t get any assurance goals.” He added his thoughts for Saturday’s game saying, “I think tomorrow’s game is going to be a lot better. Playing in front of the alumni always makes us play a little harder, and I think tonight’s small deficit game woke us up a bit.” Saturday, I got to catch up with Nisky to ask him about Friday night’s game. “I think the game went well, it was definitely good to get a win. We were missing Zucker, so having him today will help us out a lot,” he said, “I think that tonight we need to have more energy and win the game more handily.” Due to a shoulder injury, #28 Cole Zucker did not play in Friday night’s game, but the boys pushed through and demonstrated that they could play as a team to snatch the first win of the weekend. When asked about Friday’s game, #11 Tommy Cascone added, “We knew coming into this weekend that we really needed to win in order to secure our spot in Nationals. We came out hard and John [Redgate] eventually scored to net our only goal of the night. We did a good job of staying out of the box because too many times it has cost us games. We’re looking for the sweep this weekend and next to clinch first place in our league and write our ticket to nationals.”
Saturday night turned out to be a nail-biting game as the Delaware Blue Hens played catch up on the ice in order to win in the shootout. Our Alumni night/UDance game started at 5:15pm. The starting lineup included forwards #22 Michael Nisky, #39 Vinny Zingarelli, and #15 Shane Mullin. #20 Ian Anderson and #24 Mike Zidansek were on defense with #29 Dylan Troiano in goal. The first period started out solidly and the boys played hard but URI managed to slip one in with 8.5 seconds left in the first period. Early into the second, the boys were still getting their heads into the game, and Rhode Island scored again less than two minutes into the period. A third goal from URI made it seem like the game was not going to go in our favor, but the Blue Hens did not stop fighting. Nisky raised morale when he cashed in on an assist from Mullin with only 2:20 left in the second, bringing the score to 3-1. Especially with our B+ hero, Christian, sitting in the crowd, the game was high stakes. Going into the third, the Hens came in strong with their feet underneath them and a new sense of opportunity. Shane Mullin capitalized off a power play goal and an assist from DeFares, making the score 3-2. The boys didn’t stop there as Zingarelli tied up the score with a set up by Mullin. Both Rhode Island and UD were fighting hard to break the tie but neither team could get the puck in the other team’s net. After the third period ended, we were forced into overtime. Both teams continued to play a great game as watchers sat at the edge of their seats, unsure of who would score first. OT ended and neither team had scored, so we went to a shootout. URI went first, scoring the first goal. UD’s Nisky shot next, missing the shot. URI’s next shot hit the goal post, knocking the shot awry. UD’s #7 Max Freeman was up next and shot the puck into the net, ultimately winning the game as URI’s next player missed the next shot. The final score was 4-3 Delaware. Shane Mullin, with two assists and a goal for the game, shared his thoughts on the game, “Coming out in the first period we started slow, and luckily Troiano kept us in the game. Second period was more of the same, and we had some defensive mistakes that lead to two more goals. During the second intermission we knew what we had to do and score two quick ones and sent it into overtime and eventually getting the win in a shootout with a beauty from Maxwell “Jimmy” Freeman and Dylan with a few saves to secure the win.” Max Freeman, the scorer of the shootout goal, told me what it felt like to score the winning goal, “The shootout goal felt great. As soon as I faked a backhand, it opened up the top right of the net. It was nice to get back into the goal column [instead of the assist column]. The game had high intensity with the large crowd presence, however we couldn’t really get much going. Good teams find ways to win games, and we’re a good team. I had no doubt we would win that game.”
This weekend, watch your UD Blue Hens take on West Chester University at 5:15pm on Saturday night at the Fred Rust Ice Arena for Senior Night! Also, don’t forget to keep up with us on social media:
Written by: Daniella Fioretti