The Hens headed to Pittsburgh, PA this past weekend to take on the RMU Colonials. Last year the teams split the weekend, but this year UD came home with a sweep. On Saturday night, the team matched up for a nail biter game, that resulted in a 3-2 win for the Blue Hens. Sunday afternoon, the final score of the game was 6-3, Delaware.
The starting line for the first game of the weekend was Vinny Zingarelli, Cole Zucker, and Shane Mullin as the forwards, Ian Anderson and Mike Zidansek on defense, and Dylan Troiano in the net. Puck drop was at 8:20 pm in Pitt, and the Hens came out strong. Two minutes in, freshman, Chris Mazzella, scored the first goal of the night. It wasn’t a very intense first period, and not much happened throughout the twenty minutes. Freshman, Tommy Cascone, said, “We were working the puck pretty well in the beginning, and we capitalized on an opportunity in the first two minutes, which got us pumped up. In the locker room, going into the second, coach just told us to keep moving the puck well, and looking for the opportunities to score.” Shots on goal for the end of the period were 11-7, Delaware, and we were leading the game by one.
In the second period, there were a few penalties, but both teams were successful on the penalty kills. RMU put one on the board with just under three minutes of play left in the period, but the Hens responded quickly. Greg Jandoli put the team back in the lead off of a beautiful pass from Michael Nisky. The period ended with UD in the lead. Going into the third, the Blue Hens needed to continue to play strong and smart. With just over seventeen minutes on the clock, the Colonials tied up the game. The intensity was high, and both teams were fighting to come out on top. An RMU player went in the box, and put the Hens on a power play. With three minutes and forty seconds on the clock, Zucker found the back of the net, putting the team in the lead. Back at even strength, RMU came out strong, but Troiano made a flurry of great saves, making the final score of the game 3-2, UD.
When reflecting on the game, Max Shusterman said, “It was a very physical game. We had to keep our heads and way we played above all of the cheap play, and stay disciplined.” Dustin Rabinowitz noted that “it was a hard fought game.” Going into Sunday’s game, freshman, Jakob DeFares, said, “We weren’t very comfortable with how the game went on Saturday. We knew we were a stronger team, and that if we didn’t take penalties, there was no way they could beat us. The focus for Sunday’s game has to be to keep our composure and stay out of the box.”
Sunday afternoon’s puck drop was at 2:20 with a starting lineup of John Redgate, Cole Zucker, and Max Freeman as the forwards, Ian Anderson and Mike Zidansek on defense, and Stephen East as the goalie. The game started off with a few penalties for both teams. RMU scored the first goal of the game on a power play. Delaware needed to stay composed, and play well. John Redgate tied up the game, but the Colonials responded shortly after, taking back the lead. They Hens went into the second period down by one. The team needed to come back into the game with intensity. With thirteen minutes on the clock, Andrew Corapi found the back of the net, tying up the game. And shortly after, with a Colonial in the box, Mazzella scored again, putting the Blue Hens in the lead. One last time for the second, Freeman scored for the Hens. RMU was on the power play, and scored. The final score for the period was 4-3, UD.
With the third period underway, Delaware needed to keep their lead, which is just what they did. John Redgate scored for the Hens with just under ten minutes left in the game. UD was on the power play a few times throughout the period. Mazzella found the net one more time, to make the final score of the game 6-3, Blue Hens.
After taking the win, Landon Gabriele said, “We played the whole game shorthanded, but in the end, we came together as a team and worked hard to take care of business.” Freshman, Chris Mazzella, said, “Getting sweeps the first two weekends of the season was a great start. That’s our goal every weekend, so we’ll look to build on that going forward.”
The team is back home this weekend, 9/30 and 10/1, as they take on Syracuse. Going into this weekend, Mike Zidansek said, “The biggest thing we need to do is continue to improve in the defensive zone and work on limiting our penalties.” Friday night puck drop is at 7:00 pm, and it will be our Police/Firefighter Appreciation Night. Saturday’s puck drop will be at 3:00 pm, and it will be the team’s Breast Cancer Awareness night. The team will be sporting pink on their jerseys to show support, and they will be auctioned off during the game. All of the proceeds will go to the Team Jen Foundation. This is an organization that provides financial assistance to young women and men who are battling breast cancer in the Mid-Atlantic region. In addition, they also raise awareness about how important it is to be your own advocate. For more information about this organization, visit http://www.teamjeninc.org/. Be sure to come out to the Rust to show support for both causes, and to the team. As always, follow the team’s social media accounts. We hope to see you at the rink this weekend!
Facebook: University of Delaware Men’s Division 1 Ice Hockey
Written By: Analisa Vizzoni