Written By: Analisa Vizzoni
It truly was a great weekend to be a Blue Hen ice hockey fan! The Division 1 Men’s team faced the Naval Academy, and came out victorious both games! Friday night’s game was “Paws for the Cause” at the Fred Rust arena. The hockey team paired up with CCI, Canine Companions for Independence, who brought some of their therapy dogs to the ice rink to educate the spectators on what their organization does. CCI raises service dogs for people with physical disabilities to enhance their independence. On Saturday, the team took a trip to Annapolis to play at the John McMullen Hockey Arena.
Friday night’s game got off to a rocky start. The Blue Hens started the game with a man down due to an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Matt Margolis. The first half of the period was filled with a lot of roughing around from both teams. Navy scored the first goal of the night with 8 minutes and 50 seconds left on the clock. UD responded, and took a few shots on goal, but they were rejected each time. Towards the end of the period, there wasn’t much movement from either team, and there weren’t many shots on goal. The period ended with Navy having nine shots on goal, and UD seven.
Our home team came out strong in the second period. Less than 30 seconds in, Cole Zucker scored his fourth goal of the season off an assist from defenseman Nick Ustaski. The Blue Hens had a lot of chances in front of the Navy net, and there were a few slap shots taken that went wide. There was a lot of pressure put on both nets, and UD was starting to get frustrated that they couldn’t put the puck away. Finally with two minutes left in the period, Dan Going scored after a breakaway from a cross-ice assist from Matt Santucci and Andrew Corapi, making the score 2-1.
We started the third period off a man down due to a penalty called at the end of the second period on Ian Anderson. There were some shots taken on Navy’s goal, but nothing went in. With 16 minutes and 51 seconds left on the clock, John Redgate picked up a stray puck, and scored off an exciting breakaway making the score 3-1! Penalties were called on both teams making the play 5v5, but shortly after, there was an interference penalty called on Redgate. The Blue Hens played 5v4 for less than a minute. In the second half of the third period, Navy’s offense was strong, but goalie, Dylan Troiano, saved every shot made. With 2 minutes and 11 seconds left on the clock, Navy called for a timeout. Coming back out on the ice, Navy took their goalie out in hopes that this would give them an offensive advantage over UD. However Navy’s plan backfired, and our very own Vinny Zingarelli walked the puck right into the empty net with a minute and a half left in the game! The final score of the game was 4-1 Blue Hens!
After the game I got a few words from seniors, Brayden Penner and Leo Skehan. When asked what the team will do differently for Saturday’s game, Brayden said, “Try to play a full 60 minutes. Try not to go down early because we were down in the first period.” And, when asked how the team was going to prepare for their first away game, Skehan responded, “Warm up the same way we always do. Treat it the same way we would any other game.
Saturday’s game had a very slow start. Nothing too exciting happened in the first period. There was a Blue Hens goals scored by Matt Margolis with the assist from Matt Santucci and Alex Guerere with 12 minutes and 30 seconds left on the clock. Delaware went into the second period with a one goal lead. Throughout the second 20 minutes of the game, there was a lot of movement on the ice, but there were no goals scored for either teams. UD had a lot of shots on goal, but nothing went in. The second period ended with 30 shots on goal from Delaware and 19 shots on goal from Navy.
However, the third period was a very exciting change of pace. Cole Zucker scored off an assist from Redgate 2 minutes into the third period, making the score 2-0! Navy was starting to get frustrated, and a lot of fights broke out throughout the period. Less than 10 minutes after Zucker’s goal, Pierce Lamberton scored the third Blue Hen goal of the night off a rebound from Zingarelli. Just short of two minutes later, Justin Hoch scored off of a backhand shot with the assist from Cole Zucker and Leo Skehan. Navy responded not even a minute later with a goal to make the score 4-1. The fighting Blue Hens came back quick with a goal scored by Dan Going assisted by Brayden Penner, but once again Navy answered rapidly scoring another goal, making the score 5-2. A few minutes later, Navy scored one last time. Trailing by two goals, Navy pulled their goalie again, allowing John Redgate to finish off the night by scoring an empty net goal, making the final score be 6-3. The final shots on goal count for the game was 40 for Delaware and 28 for Navy. Our goalie, Patrick Rochefort, made a lot of great saves throughout the entire night.
After the game, I was able to talk to Vinny Zingarelli about how he thought they played as a team this weekend. He said, “I feel as if we played a great weekend as a team, as there were contributions all throughout the lineup. We played more hard nosed this weekend as Navy has a track record of being a very hardworking team, and we match their intensity physically. We also did a great job this weekend at creating more scoring opportunities with our speed and capitalizing on our chances.”
With that said, Rutgers better look out Friday night because the Blue Hens are coming in hot! Everyone come out to support our team at 7:00 pm at the Fred Rust Arena on October 9th! It will also be Greek Night a CAP event, so all fraternities and sororities please come to cheer on the UD Men’s Ice Hockey team!