The Blue Hens opened up their season with a sweep against the Slippery Rock University Pride. The arena was filled with eager fans who have been waiting for the return of Delaware hockey. Friday night at the Rust, puck drop was at 7:00 pm and on Saturday at 3:30 pm.
The starting lineup for the Friday night game was Vinny Zingarelli, Cole Zucker, and Shane Mullin for the forwards, Ian Anderson and Mike Zidansek as the defensemen, and Dylan Troiano in goal. From the start of the game, the Hens came out strong. With a line of freshman, about a minute and a half in, Chris Mazzella scored his first career goal off of an assist from Michael Nisky. With the tone set for how the game would go, Delaware continued to play smart and proceeded to score two more goals in the first period. The second goal was assisted by Cole Zucker and Pierce Lamberton, and scored by Justin Hoch. Goal number three was made by Lamberton and assisted by Zingarelli and Shane Mullin. The period ended with the score of 3-0.
The team came back out on the ice determined to keep their lead. Captain, John Redgate, scored off of an assist from Dustin Rabinowitz and Max Freeman about five minutes into the second period. The opposing team responded quickly and scored their first goal of the night. Intensity was high, and towards the end of the period, things started to get a bit chippy. With three minutes and twenty six seconds on the clock for the second period, Zingarelli scored a shorthanded goal off of an assist from Zucker.
Going into the third period with the score being 5-1, UD, Slippery Rock was determined to make a comeback. They scored a goal within the first ten minutes of the third, but Troiano wasn’t letting anything past him again. John Redgate scored an unassisted goal for the Hens with five minutes left in the period, and Freeman scored once more shortly after off of an assist from Redgate. The final score of the game was 7-2, Blue Hens.
After winning the first game of the season, John Redgate said, “It was great to get the season started on a good foot. The rookies played really well in their first game, and hopefully it will only get better.” Freshman forward, Michael Nisky shared his thoughts on the game, “It was exciting as it was my first one at Delaware. It was good to get an assist early, get the win, and get used to playing with the new guys.” With the rematch against the Pride the next day, assistant captain, Cole Zucker, said, “We are going to have to tighten up in the defensive zone. We are also going to have to dump and chase, and get more zone time in their end.”
Saturday afternoon the teams came out to the rink ready to face off again, and put up a good fight. The starting lineup for the Hens was Pierce Lamberton, Max Freeman, John Redgate for the forwards, Ian Anderson and Justin Hoch on the defensive line, and Stephen East in the net. UD came out in an offensive mindset, and twenty seconds into the game, Redgate scored the first goal of the night off of an assist from Freeman and Hoch. Putting a lot of pressure on Slippery Rock’s defense, the Hens remained strong on offense. With just under thirteen minutes left in the first period, Zingarelli scored the second goal of the night, unassisted.
The home team came back out in the second period, and kept the goals coming. Just over five minutes in, Redgate score off of an assist from Anderson and Freeman. Shortly after that, Chris Mazzella scored off of an assist by Drew Torrey and Greg Jandoli. The Hens had a solid lead. The defense was holding down the blue line, and East was letting nothing past him. With six minutes and fifty eight seconds on the clock, Shane Mullin found the back of the net off of an assist made by Hoch and Zingarelli. The Pride responded by scoring their first goal of the night, but the Blue Hens wouldn’t let that go unnoticed. Drew Torrey put the puck in the net off of an assist from Nisky and Hoch. The game started to get aggressive, and with under a minute left, SRU scored one last goal for the night. In the third period, there were no goals scored, and a lot of penalties called on both teams. The game got very chippy, but at the sound of the buzzer, the home team walked away with another win, 6-2.
After the game, Vinny Zingarelli said, “It was a pretty chippy game, but the boys gave it their all.” When talking in reference to winning the series, Justin Hoch said, “They were a good two wins overall. It was a good way to ease into playing as a team again, and to see how the new guys will fit into our systems. Obviously was not our best game nor the hardest competition, but it was good for the new guys to see what the older guys do and how they can translate it into their play.”
Next weekend the team is heading out to Robert Morris University of Pennsylvania. In order to be successful next weekend and in the future, Max Freeman said, “We need to keep our composure and stay disciplined. If we retaliate against good competition, it’s going to hurt us in the long run.” Be sure to keep up with the team’s social media pages for updates, and the team will be back at the Rust September 30th and October 1st to take on Syracuse. Be sure to come out, and support your favorite Blue Hens!
Facebook: University of Delaware Men’s Division 1 Ice Hockey
Written By: Analisa Vizzoni