The Blue Hens returned to their old home, Gold Arena, to face Drexel. The game marked the first time this season that the Blue Hens were not at the Fred Rust Arena to play a home game. Judging by the scoring they did there, they might want to think about playing more games in the Gold Arena.
After low scoring affairs against Stony Brook, the Blue Hens were overdue to regain the offensive form they had displayed earlier in the season. They only managed one goal in their last three games before they played Drexel.
The game started off very conservatively, with both teams focusing on not making any mistakes. The game featured more body checks than shots and was very defensive minded.
14:07 into the game that all changed. Michael Conte won the battle behind Drexel’s net and found Joe Bastone crashing the net from the side. He managed to get a sneaky wrist shot under the pad of Drexel goalie Zachary Kanter to give the Blue Hens the 1-0 lead.
Drexel would retaliate before the end of the period. Drexel’s leading point producer, Ryan Williams, set up Tyler Shagen’s first goal of the season to make the game 1-1 going into the first intermission.
The scoring would continue in the second period. Matt Margolis was able to carry the puck into the offensive zone from center ice and score his first goal of the season to make the game 2-1. Ryan Williams would respond less than a minute later with his tenth goal of the season to make the game 2-2.
At the end of the second period, the Blue Hens were relentlessly pressuring Kantner. Eventually, John Brancaccio fired a cannon from the blue line that was deflected into the net by Cole Zucker.
The third period was completely dominated by both offenses. Ten goals were scored in the third period alone, while there were only five in the first two period.
34 seconds into the period, Maxwell Freeman scored his seventh goal of the season to put the Blue Hens ahead 4-2. Zach Paro managed to score three minutes later, but the Blue Hens talented top line would continue their impressive offensive performance.
Less than a minute later, Freeman scored again to make the game 5-3. Then on a two on two rush, Zucker again found Freeman crashing the net and he buried the shot to get his first hat trick as a Blue Hen.
10:38 into the third period John Redgate would manage to find enough space to score his fifth goal of the season to make the game 7-3. He was overdue for a goal as he managed a couple good chances on the penalty kill due to his hustle.
The 7-3 score looked more like a football game than a hockey game. The offense was having one of the best games of the season after being tested by the stark Stony Brook defense.
Drexel did manage to score off a powerplay to make the game 7-4. Vincent Zingarelli would end up taking a major after his hit on Drexel star Ryan Williams. This set the stage for a Drexel counterattack. Ryan Beneduce would score twice as Drexel came roaring back to make the game 7-6.
With around a minute left, Drexel pulled their goalie to try to get the game-tying goal. John Redgate would end up hustling for his sixth goal of the season as he dived for the puck to score the empty netter. Corey Leskanic scored his second goal of the season to make the final score 9-6.
The next day, the Blue Hens would play one of their most complete games of the year. The Blue Hens spent an average of 8 minutes in the offensive zone per period and their defense gave few chances for Drexel to pressure Blue Hen goaltender Dylan Troiano.
The only goal scored in the first period was when Bastone found an open Ryan Pate who was able to find the back of the net. Bastone, typically known for being a strong two way forward, was the spark offensively the Blue Hens needed. He scored the Blue Hens first goal on Friday’s game and got an assist on the first goal of Saturday’s game.
The Blue Hens second period goal came on came on a power play, but it was Drexel’s. Gumina found the back of the net to make the score 2-0 heading into the intermission.
The song remained the same in the third period for the Blue Hens. They dominated procession, got a lot of offensive production, and played well in front of Troiano.
The two goals of the period came from Conte and the star Freshman Zucker. Zucker has been leading the Blue Hens offense this year, amassing an impressive 11 goals.
Troiano continued his strong play by getting his second shutout of the season. The Sophmore leads the team in goals against average and wins a year after a successful Freshman campaign.
By: Tyler Fitzpatrick