The Blue Hens got off to a fast start tonight after Liberty scored their first goal. They made the game 3-1 heading into the third period, and looked like the better team. They were not able to continue the momentum, and ended up losing the lead in the third period.
Liberty got the first goal of the contest. Sophomore forward Grant Garvin got the turnover in center ice came flying into the offensive zone. He was eventually able to give the puck to Robert Ward and Ryley Egan scored his 14th goal of the season to give Liberty the early first period lead.
The Blue Hens then took control of the game. It was senior Matt Gumina who scored his 6th goal of the season to make it a 1-1 game. “It was a quick play” said Gumina about the goal. “Pate was able to get a rebound and I thought he scored. The puck ended up bouncing back to me and I was able to get a stick on it.” The score remained 1-1 heading into the first intermission.
The Blue Hens continued their impressive form in the second period. Their hustle got them a couple more goals.
Their first goal in the second period actually came as after their own penalty. Leo Skehan came out of the box and was able to get the puck at center ice. He had a clear lane right to the Liberty goalie Matt Pinel. He scored on the breakaway to get his 5th goal of the season to make the score 2-1.
Michael Conte was able to score again for the Blue Hens this weekend after getting a goal in Friday night’s game. The Blue Hens had a prolonged attack thanks to a strong forecheck. Michael Conte was standing wide open in front of the net and was able to score his 5th goal of the season off the broken play. Michael Conte was also able to score in Friday night’s game. The score was now 3-1 heading into the second intermission.
When I asked Blue Hen forward Matt Gumina what the key was for the Blue Hens strong first two periods, he replied “definitely our forecheck. I think their defense got really confused. Any team transferring from a smaller rink to a bigger rink has to make adjustments. Our forecheck really had their defense in shambles and we were really able to get pressure on them.”
However, Liberty came out strong in the third period. They managed to turn the tide of the game, and after an empty netter made the final score 6-3 Liberty.
“We weren’t as aggressive on the forecheck as we were in the first two periods,” said Blue Hens coach Rocky Romanella. “It was almost like we were playing a prevent defense rather than being aggressive and trying to score.”
The Blue Hens will get to face rival Rhode Island University on February 6th and February 7th. Last time the teams met, the result was a draw.
By: Tyler Fitzpatrick