Dave Lombardi, a four-year starter for the Blue Hens was the epitome of grit, heart, and hustle. Dave’s competitive spirit on the ice was unmatched, and he earned the respect of all his teammates as a top two-way forward. Dave often served as a first-unit penalty killer and took pride in leading the team in blocked shots. Despite this defensive mindset, Dave also chipped in offensively, finishing his career with 34 goals and 57 assists for 91 points in 139 games. Dave also logged 202 total penalty minutes as he was never one to shy away from physical play or coming to the defense of his teammates. Dave’s importance to the team was recognized when he was named a co-captain and Team President as a Senior. He was also acknowledged as an ACHA All-Star and named the team’s the Intensity Award winner at the end of that season.
All that said, most believe Dave’s biggest contributions to the program have come off the ice. He served on the off-ice leadership team for all four of his years at UD, including club President as a Senior. In 2010, when the University was threatening to fold the program due to financial challenges, Dave made necessary changes, helped develop a booster club to raise money, and secured the short-term future of the program. Through an array of fundraising events and outreach programs on campus, Dave also helped build a following for the team around campus that had in-game attendance at an all-time high.
After graduating, Dave co-founded the UD Hockey Alumni Association in 2015. His dedicated service as association President, including coordination of annual alumni reunion events, has helped bring together alumni and create bonds between generations of former UD Hockey players. Dave is the driving force behind the current stability of the program and he continues to assure that it thrives in the future. Dave truly separated himself with this determination to leave the program better than he found it.