As the Blue Hens got back on the ice after the time out, Coach Rocky Romanella shouted, “this is UD hockey.” Down a goal with roughly a minute and a half left in regulation, the Blue Hens showed exactly what Coach Rocky was talking about. They managed not only one buzzer beater as time expired, but another one as well in overtime en route to a 3-2 victory over West Virginia.
About halfway through the first period, the Blue Hens got their first power play of the game. In a seemingly innocent play, Blue Hen defender Alex Guerere dumped the puck into the offensive zone. Guerere’s dump into the offensive zone took a strange bounce. Blue Hen forward Cole Zucker was able get a hold of the puck in the slot and beat West Virginia goalie Eric Schaetzle high right side to get his 13th goal of the season.
It took awhile for the opposing team to score. Both teams did a great job covering inside the slot and forcing the opposing team to take shots from the blue line.
James Murray eventually managed to put West Virginia on the board. Joseph Baker set up the goal with a nice assist and the score was 1-1 at the end of the second period.
West Virginia was not done there. They managed another goal that gave them the 2-1 lead deep into the third period.
With 1:01 left in the third and an offensive zone faceoff the Blue Hens called their timeout. It was 6v5 for the remainer of the game. Delaware controlled the puck and created a number of chances. Finally after a blocked shot, Captain Steve Braun won a battle and made a pass to partner Alex Guerere, Guerere fired a shot towards the net and Jr Vincent Zingarelli deflected it in for the tying goal. The buzzer sounded as the Blue Hens celebrated.
The Blue Hens pressed on the attack. Schaetzle had to make a couple diving saves just to preserve the 2-2 tie.
Eventually, with about 10 seconds left in overtime, Blue Hen defender Gabriel Colona was able to intercept a pass in his zone. Marcello DeAngelis found a way to sneak past the West Virginia defense at center ice as the Blue Hens forced a turnover in their own zone. DeAngelis described what happened next after the game. “I saw that they turned the puck over at the blue line, and that Gabe Colona took control. I actually lost my edge so I was actually at the dot. So then I screamed for the puck and he happened to give me the puck. I looked up at the clock and saw when I was at the blue line I had about 5.7 seconds. I wasn’t sure if I could get the shot off. Luckily he (Schaetzle) dove first and it fell in.”
The Blue Hens were able to show their resolve and pull off a huge comeback win. Every game is huge for the Blue Hens now, as they sit on the fringe of being in the tournament being ranked 15th in the ACHA.
DeAngelis, however described the Blue Hen mindset perfectly in a short statement. “We’re resilient, we’re never going to give up, and we are going to win.”
The Blue Hens face West Virginia again at the Fred Rust arena Saturday January 10th at 5:15. Next week, they will travel to Stony Brook to play the division leaders.
By: Tyler Fitzpatrick