The University of Delaware D1 Men’s Hockey Team started off the new year with a split weekend against the William Patterson University Pioneers at our home rink in Newark, Delaware. While Friday night was disappointing, the Blue Hens pulled it together to save the weekend on Saturday.
Friday night’s puck drop occurred at 6:30 pm. The game started slowly with no goals in the first period. Two minutes into the second period, the first goal was scored by the Pioneers. The goal turned into a period of the Blue Hens chasing after the puck, unable to tie the score before another goal was scored at with a minute and a half left in the second. The score was 2-0 going into the third period, and it was not looking good for the Hens. A third goal scored by William Patterson generated the final score, 3-0.
Being the first game coming back from break we were looking to keep up our play from the weekends before the break. We had a good week of practice leading up to it but couldn’t play the way that we wanted to. We weren’t happy with the effort we had so we made some changes and had a much better game on Saturday. – Senior #20 Ian Anderson
As Anderson said, Saturday was a complete turn-around for the team. Delaware started off the night at 5:25 pm and set the tone for the evening by scoring the first goal. The goal was scored by #39 Pierce Lamberton, assisted by #26 Brian Ostrander and #19 Jakob DeFares 8:18 minutes into the first. A few minutes later, #13 Chris Mazzella cashed in on assists from #22 Mike Nisky and #5 Harrison Good to score what would be his first of three for the night. The Pioneers made moves to try and keep up with the Blue Hens and were able to get a goal through, but #16 Kevin Felice pushed Delaware further into the lead with 3 minutes left in the first. Felice’s goal was assisted by #21 Michael Redgate and Ian Anderson. Running off of a goal high, #32 Ethan Docking took the opportunity 30 seconds later from passes from Nisky and Mazzella to score the last goal of the first period.
The Blue Hens were burning up entering the second period with a 4-1 lead. 6:33 into the period, #8 Cam Piorkowski furthered the Delaware lead after taking advantage of a pass from #24 Mike Zidansek and #37 Gavin Hulser. The Pioneers, in an attempt to reduce what would be a lengthy defeat, were able to get another into the Delaware goal. The Blue Hens were still in the lead moving into the third period, 5-2.
Mazzella, assisted by Nisky and Redgate, scoring his second of the evening, didn’t even wait a minute into the period before putting a goal past the William Patterson goalie. The Pioneers did not give up, attempting to keep up and cut the Delaware lead with another goal 4 minutes into the last period. Nisky and Zidansek generated an opportunity for Ethan Docking to advance the lead even more, which was then followed by another goal by Brian Ostrander, assisted by Lamberton and #2 Adrian Rodriguez. Chris Mazzella finished off the game with the completion of his hat-trick, assisted by #17 Michael Racioppi and Michael Nisky. The final score was a 9-3.
“It was a good bounce-back win for us following a tough loss on Friday. Everyone in the lineup contributed and we got back to playing how we were right before Christmas break,” said Mazzella. Nisky added, “We were really able to pick it up from Friday night. It’s always great to see different guys from our team step up to work together for a win. It shows us what we’re capable of when we’re making smarter moves on the ice.”
This upcoming weekend, the boys will be up against the Syracuse University Orange at the Fred Rust Arena in Newark, Delaware on Friday night at 6:15 pm for our First Responder’s Night and Saturday at 5:25 pm for our B+ Foundation promotion night! Come out to support your Blue Hens and keep up with us on social media!
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