Written By: Analisa Vizzoni
Broadcaster, Teddy Gelman, predicted that the game this past Friday was going to be a treat for the UD hockey fans as they took on the Lebanon Valley College Dutchmen because both teams were coming in off of a long winning streak, and boy was he right. The energy was high in the arena going into the game. It was Breast Cancer Awareness night at the Rust, and all the proceeds from the game were donated to the Team Jen Foundation. The team sported pink jerseys as they helped to “Pink the Rink,” and breast cancer survivor, Nykisha Gaines, dropped the opening puck with captain, Leo Skehan, and LVC’s captain, PJ Hefferin.
At the drop of the puck, both teams were ready to put up good a fight. The intensity was high, and there was a lot of movement on the ice. Possession of the puck was constantly changing. With 10 minutes and 24 seconds left on the clock for the first period, LVC scored the first goal of the night. Delaware responded by playing a strong offensive game. They tried to keep the puck on the opponent’s end. There were quite a few shots on goal, but nothing was going in for us, until John Redgate scored off an assist by Leo Skehan, with 2 minutes and 57 seconds left on the clock! The Blue Hens were back in it! With 8.4 seconds left in the period, Matt Margolis scored the second UD goal of night off of an assist by Cole Zucker and Alex Guerere, putting us up 2-1!
Going into the second period with the upper hand, the home team tried to maintain their lead. With one of our players in the box, the Dutchmen scored their second goal of the night with 10 minutes and 59 seconds on the clock. The game was tied up. Both teams started to play more aggressively in hopes of coming out of the period with a lead. The period ended with the score being 2-2.
With the third period underway, Delaware came out in full force. There were a lot of beautiful passes made. The Hens controlled the offensive zone, and they had a lot of shots on goal, but were denied at the net every time. Our defense also played very well. They came out strong and prevented LVC from getting near our net. When the Dutchmen did get near our net, goalie, Dylan Troiano, blocked their shots. A penalty was called on Delaware with less than two minutes left in the period. At the end of the 20 minutes, the score was still 2-2, and the game went into a five minute overtime period.
The Hens started OT playing man down and Seniors Leo Skehan, Alex Guerere, and Nick Ustaski successfully killed off the penalty. Again, there were many opportunities for UD in front of LVC’s net, but the Hens just weren’t able to finish. With no goals scored at the end of the five minutes, the game went into a shootout. LVC was up first, and scored. UD’s Pierce Lamberton was first to shoot for the Hens, and scored a beautiful goal. LVC scored their second goal. Cole Zucker was up next for Delaware, and was denied at the net. The Dutchmen sent out their third player, and he was denied. The third Blue Hen was Vinny Zingarelli. He went to shoot, but just missed the net wide. The University of Delaware hockey team held their own this weekend, and put up an extremely good fight.
After the game, I caught up with a few of the players to talk about the outcome of Friday night. Junior offense-man, Corey Leskanic, said, “LVC is one of the more challenging teams that we played this season so far, but the team really stepped up this weekend. We took advantage of the bigger ice. We tried to use speed, and be very physical this game. We dominated certain parts of the game, and had many chances in the third and OT, but seemed not to be able to finish. This game showed how we can play with any team in our league, and from here on out we should be focusing on burying the puck when we get rebounds out in front of the net. Next weekend we are at Liberty, and looking forward to play another tough team.” Dylan Troiano responded, “LVC was ranked #11. They were our toughest opponent we’ve played so far this year. We knew coming in that it was going to be a hard fought battle all game. Even though we went down early in the first period, we matched their intensity and came back to go into the second period up 2-1. We struggled a little in the second, and they came back scoring a goal on the power play to go into the third tied 2-2. I thought the third period was pretty evenly matched, which sent the game into overtime. We had a couple of chances to end the game late in OT, but came up short. We then lost 2-1 in the shootout. It was definitely a heartbreaker since we really wanted to extend out win streak to six games, especially going into next Friday’s midnight game at Liberty. Taking the #11 ranked team in the nation into a shootout definitely helps us in the rankings and showed us that we can play with anyone in the league. Adding that extra point could have helped us in our division standings, but I think all of us can take a lot of positives from this game and carry it into next weekend versus Liberty.”
The Hens are on the road next weekend as they take on Liberty University Friday and Saturday! Be sure to keep up with our Twitter, @UDHockey, and Facebook page, University of Delaware Men’s Division 1 Ice Hockey, to get updates on the game! Also be sure to get tickets for the University of Delaware vs. Drexel game on November 23rd at 1:00 p.m. at the Wells Fargo Center. The tickets are $55, and can be purchased at our home games and on the Booster Club tab on our website. The team will be back home to play LVC, again, on Friday, November 20th at 7:00 p.m. at the Fred Rust! It will be our Food Bank and Movember promotion night. We encourage all fans to bring nonperishable food items to the game, and you if bring five or more items, you will get free admission! The food bank has expressed a need for canned vegetables and fruit, tuna, soup, and canned tomatoes. The team has also created a Movember page, so be sure to visit https://us.movember.com/?home and search University of Delaware Men’s Ice Hockey Team to donate to our cause! We hope to see you at the game!