The University of Delaware Blue Hens took on the Liberty University Flames this past weekend at the Fred Rust Arena in Newark, Delaware.

The starting lineup for Friday’s game included Forwards #32 Ethan Docking, #19 Andrew Corapi and #9 Gregory Jandoli. The defensemen were #24 Michael Zidansek, #6 Harrison Chuma and #30 Stephen East in goal. The first period took off at the Fred Rust Ice Arena, and the Blue Hens set the stage with an early goal by #8 Cam Piorkowski. The goal was unassisted with 18:22 remaining in the first period. Liberty, up for the challenge, tied the game only a few moments later at 1. With the remaining time in the first period, Liberty was able to take the lead 3-1. With 2 minutes remaining in the first, another goal was scored by Liberty, the score being 4-1 going into the second period. Going into the second period, Delaware’s #1 Chris Ponticello replaced #30 Stephen East in the net. With the second underway, Delaware struggled to fight off another goal but with 12:51 in the second, Liberty was able to put another in the net. There was a slashing penalty called on Liberty that opened up a window for the Blue Hens. With 6:25 left in the period, #15 Shane Mullin cashed in on the power play, assisted by #28 Cole Zucker and #26 Brian Ostrander, to put one past Liberty’s goalie. The goals for the second didn’t end there. With 3:41 remaining in the second, #39 Pierce Lamberton capitalized off of an assist from #22 Mike Nisky, raising the score 5-3 with Liberty still in the lead. A penalty called on Delaware allowed Liberty to execute a successful power play goal, maintaining their lead 6-3. In the last two remaining minutes, Liberty scored two more goals, which meant an 8-3 lead for the Flames. The third period began with Liberty still in the lead. The Blue Hens fought to nip the lead and with 16:46 remaining in regulation, #13 Chris Mazzella saw the opportunity with an assist from #22 Mike Nisky and #21 Mike Redgate. Still working to close the gap, #22 Mike Nisky put another one past the Liberty goalie, assisted by #11 Tommy Cascone and #39 Pierce Lamberton. Regulation ended with the final score, 8-3 in favor of Liberty. After the game, #39 Pierce Lamberton shared his thoughts on the game and his thoughts going into Saturday’s game, “We came out slow but managed to battle back. We put ourselves in penalty trouble and it cost us but 5-5 we outplayed them. We have just got to play full strength tomorrow.” #9 Greg Jandoli added, “Today’s game got a bit out of hand in the middle of the second period, but we played well overall. We need to stay at even strength tomorrow and carry our momentum into the game.” #20 Ian Anderson, in regards to the game stated, “It was a tough game with a couple of bounces that didn’t go our way. We had a great spark with Pierce Lamberton back in the lineup but were unable to take advantage when we needed to. Moving onto tomorrow night we’re looking to stay out of the penalty box and play a full 60 minutes of hockey.”

The second night against Liberty University, the boys were fighting for redemption. Puck drop was at 5:25pm. Going into the game, the starting lineup included defensemen #37 Jack Zimmer and #20 Ian Anderson, forwards #26 Brian Ostrander, #28 Cole Zucker and #8 Cam Piorkowski. In goal was #30 Stephen East. Delaware was able to take the lead with 15 minutes left in the first from a goal by #21 Michael Regdate with an assist from #12 Colin Emerich. With 9:57 in the first, Liberty tied the score at 1. #22 Michael Nisky put Delaware back in the lead with a feed from #15 Shane Mullin. The score was 2-1, Delaware. Going into the second period, Delaware remained in the lead. 3 minutes into the second period, #13 Chris Mazzella took advantage of a rebound and assists from #22 Mike Nisky and #23 Devin Jenny, furthering the Blue Hen lead 3-1. Delaware kept their goals coming when a goal from #32 Ethan Docking furthered the lead over Liberty, 4-1. Docking was assisted by #19 Andrew Corapi and #21 Michael Redgate. With 13:17 remaining in the second period, Liberty capitalized off of a power play to nip the lead, 4-2. The Blue Hens fight to keep Liberty out of their goal but with 5:21 left in the second, Liberty scores another. They continue to tie the game at 4, ending the second period tied. Into the third period, Liberty was able to take the lead with a power play goal with 15:41 left in regulation. Only a few minutes later, Liberty scored another goal taking a 6-4 lead over Delaware. Liberty was able to put another one past East. At this point in time, East was switched out for #1 Chris Ponticello due to a misconduct. The final score was 7-4, Liberty. #8 Cam Piorkowski told us his thoughts, “We came out strong and got up on the board early. When we had a couple calls against us, we lost our focus and Liberty took advantage. We needed to stay focused and keep our game going but we couldn’t get it together.”

Next weekend, the boys take on Rutgers University. We asked goalie, Chris Ponticello, how the team would prepare for the upcoming weekend’s games, “We have a lot of things to go over as a team at practice this week but there’s no reason why we can’t come together and grab a couple wins in the upcoming weeks.” Come join us this week to watch the Blue Hens take on Rutgers University Friday 6:15pm.

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Written By: Daniella Fioretti