It was a great weekend for Blue Hen hockey! The team swept league rivals, the Stony Brook Seawolves! The Hens haven’t beat the Seawolves in three years, so this was a huge accomplishment. Friday night the teams matched up at 9:15, and Saturday’s puck drop was 3:45.
Friday night, the team was in the right mindset to take on the Seawolves. The starting lineup was Greg Jandoli, Vinny Zingarelli, and John Redgate as the forwards, Jakob DeFares and Max Freeman on defense, and Dylan Troiano in net. As soon as the puck dropped, it was evident that this would be a good weekend for some Blue Hen hockey. Intensity was high, and both teams came out strong. Stony Brook is a big team with a lot of strong players, so we had to use our speed, along with skill, to our advantage. There was a lot of movement on the ice. The Hens went on the power play with eleven minutes and twenty seconds left in the first. This was a huge opportunity for them to get ahead in this game. Stony Brook found a way to get a breakaway, but Troiano said no. With less than thirty second left with the one many advantage, Chris Mazzella slid one past the Seawolves goalie off an assist from Michael Nisky! A few minutes went by, and the Hens had back to back penalty kills. Delaware found success on both, much like they have throughout the season so far. At the end of the period, the home team came out on top, leading by one.
Excited to come back out in the second, the team needed to keep up the intensity. Jandoli extended the Hens’ lead off an assist from John Redgate and Tommy Cascone with just over sixteen minutes left in the period. The Seawolves responded quick, and scored thirty seconds later. UD found more success on the penalty kill in the second. The energy in play slowly declined throughout the period for the Hens. Within the last three minutes of the period, Stony Brook was able to put two more past Troiano, and came out on top. The score of the period was 3-2, Seawolves.
The Hens came out of the locker room with pep in their step, and were able to make a comeback. In the right mindset, the team was making smart plays and creating opportunities for themselves. They made some really incredible passes, and stayed level headed. Just over five minutes in and on the power play, Freeman was able to get one past the opposition’s goalie off an assist from Redgate and Zingarelli. With the score tied up, it was crucial for the Hens to stay out of the box and keep playing with high intensity. Nearly a minute and a half later, Cole Zucker scored the game winning goal off an assist from Pierce Lamberton and Mike Zidansek! Throughout the rest of the period, Delaware played strong defensively and maintained their composure. Troiano made some great saves to keep the team out of over time, and the Hens took the W for the first time in three years! The final score of the game was 4-3, UD.
After the game, it was no doubt that some of the players were excited to share their thoughts on the win. Mazzella said, “It was a great win. We had a good start, and a slow second period. We battled back in the third, and found a way to win.” Jandoli added, “It was a great win coming back from break. It was good to see the boys keep their composure and battle back. I hope we can carry the momentum into tomorrow to finish off the weekend strong heading into our other long break.” As for the mindset going into Saturday’s game, Justin Hoch said, “We need to play a whole three periods, get pucks in the net, and score more goals than them.”
Puck drop on Saturday was 3:45 in the afternoon, and the starting lineup was the same as the night before. The second the puck hit the ice, everyone knew it would be an exciting game. Not even two minutes into the first, Lamberton scored the first goal of the day off an assist from Nisky. The Hens found themselves on the power play quite a few times throughout the period. The Seawolves tied up the game with a shorthanded goal with just under fourteen minutes on the clock. Delaware didn’t allow that tie to last for too long, and Dustin Rabinowitz put us back in the lead off an assist from Lamberton and DeFares! A few penalties were called on both teams. Things were chippy out on the ice, and both teams wanted to come out on top. With five minutes left on the clock, Zingarelli extended the Hens’ lead off an assist from Hoch. The period came to an end with the Hens up by two.
Feeling good about being in the lead, the Hens came out for the second with confidence. A few minutes in the teams matched penalties, and they played four on four hockey for two minutes. Within those two minutes, Cole Zucker found himself on a breakaway, and slid the puck past the Seawolves’ goalie. A few minutes pass by, and puck possession was constantly changing between the two teams. Stony Brook scored two back to back goals with under ten minutes left in the period. Delaware killed off two penalties, and the period came to a close. The Hens were up by one, and needed to come out strong in the third.
Both teams came out after the second intermission hungry for the win. The Seawolves went on the power play not even two minutes into the period. They capitalized on the man advantage, scored, and tied up the game. It was crunch time for the Hens, and the energy in the Rust was high. Nearly a minute and a half later, Kevin Felice scored his first goal of the season off an assist from Max Shusterman and Max Freeman, and put the team back in the lead! The momentum kept up from there, and the Hens scored again. With thirteen minutes left on the clock and on the power play, Lamberton scored once more, making the score 6-4! Adrenaline was running high. Stony Brook halved their deficit with just under seven minutes left. The Hens were eager to hear the buzzer soon. The team maintained their composure, stayed strong, and played smart. The game came to an end, and the final score of the game was 6-5! It was a great day to be a Blue Hen!
The team was on a high, and many of them were excited to spread the news. Many of the players shared their thoughts on the sweep. “We came out strong in the first, and took a 3-1 lead. It was a team effort and we pushed in the third to beat them,” said Lamberton. Ian Anderson added, “We got swept twice by them last year, so we tried to come out and use our speed to our advantage.” Andrew Corapi said, “We haven’t beat Stony Brook once since the juniors have been here, so it was nice to get two wins against them.” Short and sweet, Freeman said, “It wasn’t pretty, but we got the job done.” Devin Jenny added that it was a good team effort. Tommy Cascone said, “It was a hard weekend. We haven’t had a good past with them, so it was a nice win.” Felice said, “It was a big weekend. Everyone worked hard and contributed. Everyone had a good weekend, and it’s good momentum going into break.” Mike Redgate added, “It was a great sweep, and great to be healthy again. It was all around the best team weekend of the year.”
Excitement came from the captains as well. Vinny Zingarelli said, “We put in hard work, and it was good to get a sweep against Stony Brook. It’s been a while since that’s happened. It was a rollercoaster of a weekend for sure.” Cole Zucker said, “This was a very big weekends for us coming off Thanksgiving break. We had a lot of key players coming off injuries, like Vinny Zingarelli and Greg Jandoli, who made a huge impact in the games. We needed to make a statement to the league, and I think this weekend really showed the strengths of our team.” Finally, the captain, John Redgate, added, “It was great to finally sweep them. No matter what, they play hard and never give us an easy time. It was great to see so many guys contribute. It’s a very encouraging sign to see how far we have come as a team this year.”
The team wants to wish everyone good luck on finals, and happy holidays! The guys will be back at the Rust, January 27-29th for a three game weekend. Be sure to come back to support the team, but for now keep up with the team’s social media pages for updates! See you in January!
Facebook: University of Delaware Men’s Division 1 Ice Hockey
Written By: Analisa Vizzoni