This weekend, the University of Delaware’s D1 Men’s team matched against the Liberty University Flames at the LaHaye Ice Center in Lynchburg, Virginia. The weekend ended in an unfortunate loss for the team.

Friday night, the starting lineup was #13 Chris Mazzella, #22 Michael Nisky, #28 Cole Zucker, #37 Jack Zimmer, #24 Mike Zidansek, with #30 Stephen East in the net. Early in the first period, #14 Dustin Rabinowitz scored a goal with an assist from #16 Kevin Felice and #12 Colin Emerich, quickly putting Delaware ahead. Liberty tied the score at one, followed by a power play goal, bringing them to lead at 2-1. Coming into the second period, Liberty was still in ahead. A penalty to Delaware put them a man down, allowing Liberty to score a power play goal. Another penalty for Delaware left a window for another power play goal for Liberty with less than two minutes in the second. The second period concluded with Liberty University in the lead, 4-1. In the third period, Liberty scored with 16:38 left in regulation making the score 5-1. The Blue Hens nipped Liberty’s lead when #21 Mike Redgate scored a power play goal unassisted, making the score 5-2. Liberty scored a final time before the end of regulation. The final score was 6-2. We talked to #37 Jack Zimmer about his thoughts on the game, “First time playing at Liberty, and by the goal horn alone it was an overwhelming experience. We have a very young team and for a lot of kids to get out there and play in that setting for the first time, it can cause the ice to tilt before the puck even drops. I thought we played well and held our own. We are ready to see them at our home barn, Fred Rust, in the near future.”

Saturday’s line-up was #28 Cole Zucker, #26 Brian Ostrander, #14 Dustin Rabinowitz, #24 Mike Zidansek, and #6 Harrison Chuma. #30 Stephen East was in goal. In the first period, Liberty scored three goals, putting them in the lead. With less than one minute left in the first, Chris Mazzella put one in the net with an assist from Mike Redgate, making the score 3-1. Three minutes into the second period, Liberty scored another goal, making the score 4-1 and kicking off an eventful period. 5:30 minutes into the second, Brian Ostrander capitalized off of an assist from Cole Zucker and Michael Nisky, putting one in the net. Not even three minutes later, Colin Emerich followed with another goal with the help of an assist from Mazzella. The score was 4-3 Liberty. Liberty maintained their lead with another goal a minute later. Michael Nisky followed with a goal, cashing in on an assist from Cole Zucker. Kevin Felice, unassisted, tied the score at 5-5. While the period held promise, a Liberty player scored two back-to-back goals, putting Liberty in the lead again, 7-5, ending the second period in regulation. Felice commented on what was crucial in this weekend’s games saying, “Penalties were the difference. We let the atmosphere get the best of us. However, we played the best second period I’ve seen us play all year. If we can continue scoring like that, we’ve got big things coming.”

The Blue Hens came back on the ice ready to fight again. 35 seconds into the third, captain and senior Cole Zucker found the net with an assist from Brian Ostrander and Mike Nisky, making the score 7-6. Liberty followed with four more goals before Nisky broke the chain, finding the net with assists from Mike Redgate and Mike Zidansek. The final score was 7-11 Liberty University. When asked about the night’s game, freshman Ethan Docking stated, “We did a great job of battling back and pushing through adversity. Although things didn’t go our way, it was inspiring to see how we did not back down or roll over.”

The Blue Hens have been away for the month of November but stay tuned for the University of Pittsburgh series taking place on December 1st and 2nd at home at the Fred Rust Ice Arena!

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Written By: Daniella Fioretti