The #13 Hens returned home this weekend for a series against the #15 Syracuse Orange. Like last season, the teams split the weekend. After a five game winning streak, the team lost their first game of the season Saturday afternoon.
Friday night was Police and Firefighter Night at the Fred Rust. The team honored those that keep us safe, and held a ceremonial puck drop at 7:00 pm. The starting lineup for the game was John Redgate, Cole Zucker, and Max Freeman as the forwards, Ian Anderson and Mike Zidansek as the defensemen, and Dylan Troiano in goal. At the start of the game, the Orange came out strong, and UD had to keep up with their pace. Syracuse found our net, and scored the first goal of the night. The Hens realized they needed to put in the work, and that’s just what they did. Pierce Lamberton tied up the game off of an assist from Zucker on the powerplay with six and a half minutes left in the first. They finished off the period tied at 1-1.
With the second period underway, the Blue Hens came out with a new kind of energy. They came out with high intensity, and on the penalty kill. Zucker scored an unassisted, short-handed goal two and a half minutes into the second, putting the home team in the lead. From that moment on, the Hens were goal happy. The next three goals were made by players who were scoring their first goals of the season. Michael Redgate scored an unassisted goal with fifteen minutes and ten seconds left on the clock. Syracuse had a flurry of shots on goal, but Troiano let nothing past him. With just under five minutes left in the period, Dustin Rabinowitz scored off of an assist from Zidansek and John Redgate. And, nearly a minute later, Michael Nisky scored the final Blue Hen goal of the night off of an assist from Chris Mazzella. In the last minute of play, SU got another one on the board. The period ended, and the Hens were up by 3. Throughout the third period, the Orange tried to get themselves back in the game. The Hens held their ground and played a strong defensive game. The final score of the game was 5-2, UD.
After the game, some of the players shared their thoughts on the game. Goalkeeper, Troiano, said, “We came out in the beginning of the game a little flat footed, and they out worked us. We took control of the game in the second. We scored four unanswered goals, which gave us the momentum, and completely shut them down in the third.” Freshman, Greg Jandoli, said, “We came out a little slow. We didn’t have enough communication and physicality. We were able to get out of the first period tied 1-1. In the second period we came to life, things started clicking for us and we took the momentum with four unanswered goals. May have been out best period of play so far this season. In the third period, we took too many penalties. We have to stick to 5 on 5 hockey, that when we can dominate and be at our best.” When thinking about going into Saturday’s game, Michael Redgate said, “We need to take less penalties and make sure we stay humble. We have to keep the intensity up and play better defense in our own zone.”
Saturday afternoon the team honored all of those that have survived breast cancer. They sported pink jerseys that were later auctioned off, and the proceeds were given to support the cause. Puck drop was at 3:30, and the starting lineup was the same as the night before except Stephen East was in goal. In the first period, there were a number of penalties given out to both teams. Syracuse was trying to redeem themselves from the night before. Though the Hens were successful on the majority of the penalty kills, within the last few minutes of the period, the Orange found the back of our net on the power play, making the score 1-0. Coming back out for the second, the Hens needed to make a comeback. Nisky tied up the game off of an assist from Shane Mullin and Jandoli. For the most part, the teams matched up on penalties. With seven minutes left on the clock, Syracuse scored, and then again with three minutes and fifty five seconds left. The final score of the second was 3-1, SU.
With the start of the third, the Blue Hens had to come out strong and ready to put up a final fight. They started the period on a power play, and Mike Zidansek scored one for the team off of an assist from Ian Anderson. Syracuse responded, and scored their fourth goal of the night. With the Hens back on the power play, Mullin found the back of the net off of an assist from Vinny Zingarelli and Justin Hoch. The home team put all of their efforts into trying to even up the game, but the clock ran out. The final score of the game was 4-3, Syracuse.
Reflecting on their first loss, Cole Zucker said, “We showed a lot of heart in the third, coming back from a two goal deficit, and making it a game. Even with poor officiating, we showed some character, but couldn’t get the job done. It was a tough first loss, but we need to go back to work this week and focus on Navy next weekend.” John Redgate said, “We need to learn from our mistakes, take less penalties, and prepare for the long season ahead.”
Next weekend the team will face Navy at home on Friday night at 6:00 pm, and in Annapolis, MD at 7:30. Justin Hoch said, “We need to have a good week at practice, forget about the loss from this weekend, and move forward to try to win two games.” With it being parent’s weekend here at UD, the hockey team is looking forward to having their families here for Hockey Parents Night on Friday. As always, keep up with the team’s social media for updates, and come out to the Rust to support your favorite Blue Hens!
Facebook: University of Delaware Men’s Division 1 Ice Hockey
Written By: Analisa Vizzoni