Rutgers Weekend Recap

The Blue Hens earned themselves another sweep this weekend against Rutgers University. Friday night Delaware hosted the Ice Knights at the Fred Rust at 7:00 p.m., and they welcomed all of the school’s Greek chapters for “Hockey Goes Greek!” There were members from so many organizations, and it was so exciting to see everyone there. In the first intermission, a member from the sorority, Alpha Delta Pi, and fraternity, Theta Chi, took part in a shooting competition. Not only did Alpha Delta Pi win that, they also had the most members in attendance at the game, and won a donation to their philanthropy, The Ronald McDonald House. On Saturday, the team traveled to New Jersey to play at the ProSkate Arena at 3:00 in the afternoon.

With a crowd of fans in the stands, the Blue Hens were ready to play an exciting game against Rutgers. After last season when the team lost both games played against the Ice Knights, Delaware was ready to redeem themselves. The starting lineup for the game was John Redgate, Cole Zucker, and Michael Redgate as the forwards, Jakob DeFares and Justin Hoch on defense, and Dylan Troiano in the net. For the beginning of the first, it was pretty even play. There were a few penalties called on us, and with two of our men in the box, Rutgers put one on the board. We got back on our feet, and five minutes later we tied it up with a goal scored by Shane Mullin off of an assist from Vinny Zingarelli and DeFares. However, the away team responded quickly and found our net. The Hens knew they needed to score at least once more before the end of the period so that they can go into the second at an even game. With seventeen seconds left in the first, Zucker tied it up off of an assist from Hoch. The score of the first was 2-2, and shots on goal were 18-8, UD.

According to some of the players, the second period was some of the best hockey they played all season. The team was able to play make successful passing, play smart on defense, and take advantage of opportunities in front of the net. Just under halfway through the period, Zucker capitalized again, and scored off of an assist from both Redgates. The team continued their success in controlling Rutgers’ defensive zone, and played extremely strong on offense. They communicated well, and kept their momentum going when Corey Leskanic scored his first goal of the season off an assist from Andrew Corapi and Dustin Rabinowitz, with just over five minutes left in the second. The period ended with the score being 4-2, and shots on goal being 12-3, Delaware. Being on top going into the third, the team came out ready to take the win. Throughout the first ten minutes, the team was able to keep their lead and play strong. However, Rutgers started to gain momentum and intensity. By the end of the period, the game was tied at 4, and was going into overtime.

With the intensity high and nerves flying, the teams started the extra five minutes of play. Rutgers was given a penalty, but the Hens weren’t able to capitalize on the power play. After the five minutes of play ended with no change in the score, the teams headed to a shootout. Both teams put out their first three players, but neither scored. Our first three shooters were Pierce Lamberton, Max Freeman, and Vinny Zingarelli. Rutgers went up with their fourth shooter, but Troiano blocked it. Captain, John Redgate, was the last Blue Hen to go, and he scored and won the game! The team flooded to the ice in excitement, and the crowd went crazy.

At the end of the game, I caught up with some of the players. Freshman, Kevin Felice, said, “We had a tough start to the game, but we managed to come out tied in the first. In the second period we picked up our game, and in the third we came together as a team. We followed our captain to victory.” Shane Mullin said, “The second period was the best 20 minutes of play we have had all season. We came out slow in the third, and battled through adversity. We got the job done, with a huge thanks to John and Dylan.” The teams were set to match up again the next afternoon, and Mike Zidansek said, “We will need to build off what we did on Friday, especially in the second period. We also need to work on limiting our penalties.”

Saturday afternoon the team travelled to New Jersey to play the final game of the weekend series. The starting lineup for the game was John Redgate, Cole Zucker, and Dustin Rabinowitz as the forwards, Jakob DeFares and Justin Hoch on defense, and Stephen East in goal. Delaware started off the game in the right mindset. They came off of a win from the night before and were ready to keep their momentum going. The Hens were the first team to get one on the board that afternoon with a goal scored by J. Redgate off of an assist from Zucker and Rabinowitz. The team was successful on penalty kills, and Rutgers kept matching our penalties. With over five minutes left in the first, John found the net again, and scored off of an assist from Michael Nisky. The Ice Knights responded quickly, and put one up on the board. The period ended with Delaware up 2-1, and a Rutgers player in the box.

Rutgers killed off the penalty to start the second, but shortly after we sent two players to the box, a two minute tripping and a five minute game misconduct. Rutgers also received a penalty, and there was 37 seconds of 4 on 3 play. Delaware was successful on killing the penalty, and remained in the lead. Pierce Lamberton scored the third Blue Hen goal of the night off of an assist from Shane Mullin. The team finds more of their success when they play five on five hockey. They continued their success on making smart plays and capitalizing on their opportunities in front of Rutgers net. DeFares extended the Hens’ lead off of an assist from Michael Nisky and Chris Mazzella. There were a few penalties called on both teams throughout the rest of the second. Rutgers was able to find the back of our net on a power play. The final score for the period was 4-2, UD.

In the third period, Delaware kept their lead and held strong on the defense. The Ice Knights attempted to catch up to us, but Stephen East wouldn’t allow it. The team was successful on killing of penalties in third. With just over five minutes left in the game, Cole Zucker scored a beautiful goal off of an assist from Corey Leskanic and Mike Zidansek. The final score of the game was 5-2, and the Blue Hens completed the sweep for the weekend.

After the game, Tommy Cascone said, “We knew we had to start the game strong, and that’s just what we did. We scored some quick goals to get us in the lead early, and kept that lead.”

The team will hit the road this weekend to play longtime rivals, the University of Rhode Island. Pierce Lamberton said, “We’re just looking to continue with the momentum that we have and be able to pick up four points against them. We are going to take it one game at a time, but we have to stick to playing five on five hockey and no penalties.” Keep up with the team’s social media pages while they’re away for game updates, and be sure to be back at the Rust on Friday, October 28th, for the team’s homecoming game against West Chester!

 

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Written By: Analisa Vizzoni

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