The University of Delaware D1 Men’s Hockey team were up in Syracuse, New York for a weekend series against the #17 Syracuse Orange.
In Friday night’s game, Syracuse scored four back-to-back goals in the third period, securing their win. The game, which had been volleying back and forth between a tie and a Delaware lead during the first two periods, completely changed course with two goals from Syracuse’s Connor McNamara and another two from Stephen Bressi.
The first goal of the game came late in the first period from Delaware’s #22 Mike Nisky, assisted by #13 Chris Mazzella and #19 Jake Defares. The Blue Hens entered the second period in the lead but were quickly caught up to when a goal from McNamara, the first of his hat trick that night, put a Syracuse goal on the board. 12:00 minutes into the second, Mazzella capitalized on assists from Nisky and Mike Zidansek, breaking the tie, 2-1. The Orange wasted little time catching up with another goal with two minutes left in the second period.
Stakes were high entering the third with the game tied 2-2. 8:00 minutes in, #32 Ethan Docking scored unassisted to try to push the Blue Hens into the lead. The Hens had barely finished celebrating when at 8:15, McNamara put one in the Delaware net, tying the score again at 3-3. It was game over after that when Syracuse score three more consecutive goals, leaving the Blue Hens unable to catch up.
“We put ourselves in a good position to win the game late in the third, but our mistakes ended up costing us in the end. We need to learn from it and close games out when we’re in that position in the future,” Mazzella said on Friday.
The final score was 6-3, Syracuse.
Saturday’s game was chippy and aggressive; Delaware chomped at the bit to rematch the Orange. The game turned into a 7-1 blowout for Syracuse, leaving the Blue Hens chasing the puck most of the game. Halfway through the first period, #10 Ryan Burns cashed in on passes from #8 Cam Piorkowski and #32 Ethan Docking, shooting what would be the only Delaware goal of the afternoon. The next two period followed with three goals in the second period, and four goals in the third from Syracuse.
“We started off playing strong and how we wanted, but down the stretch we got into some penalty troubles that gave too many opportunities to score. Syracuse did what a good team should and ran with the chances they got.” – Cam Piorkowski
“As a team, our weakness was definitely the penalties. It ended up costing us the game. But even with the penalties and the game not going our way, no one gave up. No matter what the score was, everyone was trying their hardest and I think that’s an important quality to have as a team,” Ryan Burns stated.
Michael Patterson added, “It was definitely a tough weekend, but we have to put it behind us and learn from our mistakes so we can get ready for our games next weekend.”
Come to see your Blue Hens at home this weekend in Newark, Delaware as they match up against the University of Rhode Island Rams for Hockey Goes Greek on Friday night at 6:15pm and Saturday at 5:25pm. Also, don’t forget to keep up with us on social media!
Written by: Daniella Fioretti