After an uplifting sweep of Lebanon Valley, the 14th ranked Blue Hens faced their toughest obstacle all year against 3rd ranked Stony Brook. The Blue Hens had won their last three games in the Fred Rust arena, and were confident they would continue their success hosting Stony Brook. Stony Brook, however, had different plans, as they came up victorious in both games over the weekend.
The Blue Hens, ranked 14th at the time, saw this as an opportunity to jump into the top 10. Stony Brook proved they were one of the best teams in the nation when they beat Arizona State, who were ranked first at the time. This was Delaware’s biggest test of the season, and they knew it.
The weekend started out on the right foot for the Blue Hens. Stony Brook defender Frank Sherding was called for high sticking four minutes into the game. Cole Zucker would score his tenth goal of the season on the power play for the Blue Hens to give them the early lead.
About halfway through the first period, Stony Brook managed to even the score. Vincent Lopes scored his 14th goal of the season against Blue Hen goalie Patrick Rochefort. It was the first goal Rochefort had given up in over 70 minutes considering he had a shutout his last game against Lebanon Valley.
The game was close until the end. Vincent Lopes scored his second goal of the game 10:22 into the third to make the game 2-1. Even though the Blue Hens got plenty of chances to retaliate, they could not find the back of the net. With five minutes left in the game, it was Stony Brook who scored to make the score 3-1.
The Blue Hens continued to get good chances, but just could not break through. Despite the fact that the Blue Hens competed just as hard for the win, they just could not respond. Stony Brook was able to win 5-1.
The score was very misleading, as the Blue Hens looked as good as Stony Brook for almost all of the game. They got almost as many shots off as Stony Brook, 29 shots for the Blue Hens, 32 for Stony Brook, and proved that they could skate with the top 5 team.
The Blue Hens offense was again snake bitten during the Saturday game. Neither team managed to score in the first period, even though both teams managed to put up more than 10 shots.
Dylan Troiano was sensational, stopping 15 shots in the first. The penalty kill were flawless the entire weekend, as Stony Brook went 0-5 on the power play.
The second period was rough for the Blue Hens. The Blue Hens turnover in their own zone ended up in their own net as Matt Miano gave Stony Brook the 1-0 lead only 2:21 into the second.
Even though the Blue Hens were getting off shots against Stony Brook goalie Derek Willms, Willms was dominate. He frustrated the Blue Hens as he stopped all 12 of the Blue Hens shots in the second period.
The Blue Hens were further frustrated at the end of the second period when Andrew Cetola made the game 2-0 thanks to a nice pass from Stony Brook star Ryan Cotcamp. In the couple games he played this weekend against Delaware, Cotcamp added three assists to his stat line, which gave him 32 points for the season.
The third period was the same story for the snake bitten Blue Hens offense. They managed to put up 15 shots against Stony Brook goalie Derek Willms, but he stopped all of them to preserve his fourth shutout of the season.
Even though the Blue Hens were unable to come up with the victories, they looked good against one of the five best teams in the nation, which is important considering they are on the edge of the top 10.
After a disappointing couple of games against Stony Brook, the Blue Hens will look to get back on track against Drexel on December 12th. The game will be at home but in the old Gold Ice Arena instead of the Fred Rust arena. The puck is set to drop at 8:30PM on Friday.
By: Tyler Fitzpatrick