University of Delaware’s D1 Men’s hockey team took on its longtime rival, the Liberty University Flames, at their home arena in Lynchburg, VA. The Blue Hens were unable to secure a win after a chippy two-day weekend series.
Liberty 7 – Delaware 5
Game one on Friday was played with high intensity. It wasn’t until the final minute of the first period that Liberty’s Brock Thompson put one into the Delaware net, his first of a hat trick that would help them sweep the Blue Hens.
Twenty seconds into the second period, a 5-on-4 advantage for Liberty gave Thompson the chance to score another, increasing the Liberty lead 2-0 with still no goals for Delaware. #12 Colin Emerich corrected this utilizing opportunistic passes from #26 Brian Ostrander and #24 Michael Zidansek to cut the Liberty lead, 2-1. The Flames responded with two goals of their own, setting Delaware back 4-1. A pass from Michael Nisky allowed Chris Mazzella to push one past Flames goalie Cole Burack, cutting back their lead again 4-2. Another two Flames’ goals put a 6-2 distance on the scoreboard. With a minute left in the second period, Ethan Docking worked to salvage the period with a goal off of Chris Mazzella and Harrison Chuma, entering the second period with a 6-3 lead for the Liberty Flames.
Docking, cashing in on a pass from Nisky and Anderson, scored his second goal of the night 6 minutes into the third period.
“It’s much easier to be successful when you have your team to back you up. I was in the right place at the right time and my teammate did a great job at getting the puck to me.” – Ethan Docking
Halfway through the third, Mazzella scored his second of the evening off of Nisky and Emerich, closing in on the Flames’ lead, 6-5. Both teams fought at the others’ throats — the Flames trying to maintain their lead and the Blue Hens trying to salvage the game. With only 3 minutes left in the third, Flames’ Brock Thompson was able to complete his hat trick and obtain the win for Liberty.
“We need to be present for the full game. We’re right there, and that’s how we try to play in every game – moving forward we just need to find a way to come out on top.”
Liberty 4 – Delaware 1
In game two, Michael Nisky tied the game at 1-1 twelve minutes into the first period, and it looked like Delaware had a chance at redemption. However, the Flames, coming off of a penalty kill a little over halfway in the second, took the lead 2-1. A minute later, Liberty put another on the board, generating a 3-1 score. With 30 seconds left in regulation, the Flames closed the sweep with a final goal at the end of a nearly scoreless period. The final score was 4-1.
Jake Nimeh commented on Saturday’s game, “I thought we played well as a team. It was the second weekend in a row of basically playoff hockey: high intensity, high stakes, with a lot of passion on the ice. As a whole, we brought energy and effort for all sixty minutes of the game. We played a smart game with few mental lapses but unfortunately, we just didn’t get the bounces to go our way. I thought we had four lines generating high-quality scoring chances throughout the game but we just couldn’t get through. Losing that type of game is hard but I think we’ve finally come together as a team which is a positive we should take away.”
Come support your Blue Hens at this weekend’s games at the Fred Rust Arena right here in Newark, Delaware. If you can’t make it out to support, make sure to keep up with the team on social media!
Facebook: University of Delaware Men’s Division 1 Ice Hockey
Written by: DF