By: Kerri Mottola and Analisa Vizzoni Student Interns
We sat down with forwards Matt Santucci and Max Freeman to get some insight on the team’s perspective going into the season.
Looking back, the 2014-2015 season was one of transition for the University of Delaware Division 1 Men’s Ice Hockey team, as significant changes were made in both the lineup and the coaching staff. However, for a young team, the Blue Hens held their own, with notable victories over University of Rhode Island and Liberty University, both of which were top ten opponents. According to Santucci, “URI will be pretty good [competition for this year]…but our biggest task will probably be going to Liberty because they just rebuilt their rink, so there will be five or six thousand people there. It’s gonna be real chaotic, so for the younger guys it’s gonna be hectic. They played a lot of games in high school, but nothing close to that, so the first ten minutes of the game are gonna be a rocky first ten minutes.”
Essential to the Hens’ success last season was the young line of John Redgate, Cole Zucker, and Max Freeman, who led the team in points throughout the season. This year the team has 11 new players and 18 returning. Freeman says that the new players will provide “more depth than last year, more depth at the blue line too.” Because the team lost a lot of size, they will have to change their game in order to compete. “The young guys are just going to have to mature quickly,” Santucci says.
Although they did not make it to Nationals, the team finished out the season at the ESCHL championship, where they lost to Stony Brook in overtime after a comeback late in the third period. The team showed a great deal of improvement, and went out on a promising note for this upcoming year. Santucci said he hopes for “a little bit better season than last year record wise.” When asked what they wanted to do differently this time around, Max said, “Make it to Nationals,” and Matt followed up saying that “it’s a must.”
We have high hopes for the upcoming season, opening on Friday, September 25th, at 7:00 p.m. at the Fred Rust Arena! Tickets are available online and at the door, UD Students are free.