This weekend, the Delaware Blue Hens played against Rutgers University, and came out with a series split.
Friday night, the boys played their promotional game for Breast Cancer Awareness here at the Fred Rust Arena in Newark, Delaware. The team paired up with the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition to help raise awareness during Breast Cancer Awareness month, and they were able to fundraise over $300 for the organization.
Starting line for Friday Night was #21 Michael Redgate, #22 Michael Nisky, #13 Chris Mazzella, #24 Mike Zidansek, #6 Harrison Chuma, and in the net #30 Stephen East.
The boys came off to a strong start with a goal by #10 Drew Torrey, assisted by #9 Greg Jandoli and #19 Andrew Corapi. Not long after, captain #28 Cole Zucker put one in the net with assists from #26 Brian Ostrander and #32 Ethan Docking, putting Delaware in the lead 2-0. The boys kept up with the attack with a third goal scored with 16.5 seconds left in the first by #13 Chris Mazzella, assisted by #21 Michael Redgate and #22 Mike Nisky. An eventful first period ended with Delaware in the lead, 3-0. Early in the second, #13 Chris Mazzella capitalizes off of an assist from #20 Ian Anderson and #22 Michael Nisky for his second goal of the game, raising the score 4-0 Delaware. A Hen is sent to the penalty box for an interference penalty, allowing Rutgers a window to score a powerplay goal, making the score 4-1. Rutgers finds the net a second time with 8:23 remaining in the second period, shortening Delaware’s lead, 4-2. A third goal by Rutgers with 6:29 seconds remaining in the second clipped Delaware’s lead again, making the score 4-3. With the pressure on, #15 Shane Mullin scored a goal with 4:28 remaining in the second period, helping Delaware maintain the lead. Rutgers fought to keep up, scoring another goal with 2:20 left in the second and trimming Delaware’s lead, 5-4.
The second period ends, and the third begins with a score of 5-4, Delaware. A power play gives Rutgers the opportunity to tie the score against Delaware at 5-5 with 14 minutes left in the third period. Both teams were fighting to take the lead. #23 Devin Jenny cashed off an assist from #22 Michael Nisky, breaking the tie. Hardly a minute later, Rutgers tied the game again 6-6. With 6:19 remaining in the third, Rutgers broke the tie and took the lead. The final score was 7-6, Rutgers. Chris Mazzella shared his thoughts with us on the game, “It was a tough loss for us. We had a great first period, but our lack of discipline cost us the game. We were able to bounce back and get a win on Saturday which was important.”
On Saturday, the boys took on Rutgers for game 2 in New Jersey. The starting lineup included forwards #22 Michael Nisky, #13 Chris Mazzella, #21 Michael Redgate, and on defense #24 Michael Zidansek and #5 Harrison Good. #1 Chris Ponticello played in goal. After the previous night’s narrow loss, the team was fixed on a win.
After the game began, a goal wasn’t scored until 8 minutes left in the first period. #13 Chris Mazzella found the back of the net, putting Delaware in the lead. The first period closed with no more goals, keeping Delaware ahead 1-0. Into the second period, #15 Shane Mullin scored a goal, lengthening Delaware’s lead 2-0 against Rutgers. Rutgers, still trying to keep up, scored a goal on a power play, making the score 2-1. The boys didn’t want to make the same mistake as the previous night and needed to keep up their lead. Shane Mullin stated, “After Friday’s game, we knew what had to be done.” A little more than halfway through the third period, Mullin cashed in on a powerplay and scored his second of the night. The score was 3-1, Delaware. Following shortly after, Mazzella capitalized off of a powerplay goal, scoring his second goal for the night. Rutgers, still trying to trim the Delaware lead scored on a powerplay. The third period ended and the final score was 4-2, a Blue Hen win. Mullin continued to tell me about the game saying, “We played a pretty well rounded game for the most part, but still have to work on some things. Ponti (Ponticello) made some big stops when needed and we capitalized on our opportunities.”
Goalie, Chris Ponticello shared what he thought the team needed to do better for their next game, “Saturday was a great bounce back from Friday. We played a lot better as a team, but we really need to work on playing to our potential for three full periods. We need to be at our very best when we play notoriously better teams like Stony Brook, Ohio, etc.”
Next weekend, the boys will take on Stony Brook University at The Rinx in Stony Brook, NY. Follow the boys on social media to keep up with the season!
Facebook: University of Delaware Men’s Division 1 Ice Hockey
Written By: Daniella N. Fioretti