Blue Hen hockey season kicked off on Friday night in West Chester, Pennsylvania to a split game weekend.
Friday night’s starting line-up included forwards #28 Cole Zucker, #15 Shane Mullin, and #14 Dustin Rabinowitz, and defensive players #24 Mike Zidansek and #20 Ian Anderson with #30 Stephen East in the net.
Only seven minutes into the first period, West Chester utilized a power play to put one past East, bringing the Hens down 1-0. A quick second goal from West Chester with 12:08 left in the first brought them up again at 2-0. Towards the end of the first period, Delaware took a penalty for high-sticking, allowing West Chester to score another goal, ending the first period. Shots on net for the first period: West Chester, 9 and Delaware, 4.
The Hens started the second period down by three points. During a power play, Mullin scored on an assist from #22 Mike Nisky and #28 Cole Zucker, raising the score 3-1. The game ended with West Chester in the lead with 3-1. Defensive player, Mike Zidansek, explained, “We didn’t come out strong in the first period. Our legs weren’t moving, and we weren’t ready to play physical. We woke up in the second period and controlled the play the rest of the game, but we have to give that effort for a full 60 minutes.” Ian Anderson commented on the night saying, “It was our first weekend back and we were looking to start off strong. We had a lot of younger guys in the lineup for both games and they were able to step right in and play at a college level. In Friday’s game, we came out slow and West Chester was able to put in 3 in the first period, which set us back but with our play, we set the tone for the rest of the game and the weekend.”
On Saturday, the boys were determined to come back from the previous night’s game. The starting forwards were #13 Chris Mazzella, #22 Mike Nisky, and #21 Mike Redgate. On defense we had #24 Mike Zidansek and #20 Ian Anderson with #30 Stephen East in goal.
Halfway through the first period, Mazzella capitalized off of an assist from Redgate, making the score 1-0, Delaware. The heat was on as West Chester tied the game with 1:11 left in the first period. Starting in the second period, the game was tied 1-1. Both teams played hard but with 7:50 left to the second period, Nisky scored a goal with an assist from Mazzella, bringing the scoreboard up 2-1 with Delaware in the lead. West Chester, determined to keep up with the Blue Hens, scored, tieing the second period at 2-2. Three minutes into the third, Blue Hens pulled past West Chester from a goal scored by Shane Mullin with assists from #18 Tommy Mason and #20 Ian Anderson. Chris Mazzella, scoring his second time that night, finalized the game score with another goal at 7:33. The Blue Hens won their first game of the season at 4-2. Mazzella shared his thoughts on the weekend, “It was a big win for us. We knew we couldn’t start the season 0-2, so it was a must-win game for us. We really focused on staying within our system and tiring West Chester out, which we did with a great 3rd period. Anderson added, “We were able to come back on Saturday – our only goal was to split the weekend. Many players were able to step up and produce for us when we needed it and East was behind us making all of the important first saves. It was exciting to be back on the ice in a game atmosphere and we are looking forward to the rest of the season.”
Stay tuned on the hockey team’s social media pages for updates on our upcoming games on September 29th and 30th at Syracuse University.
Facebook: University of Delaware Men’s Division 1 Ice Hockey
Written by: Daniella Fioretti