The Blue Hens D1 hockey team played the first game of 2018 right at home at the Fred Rust Arena in Newark, Delaware. This past weekend, the team matched up against the University of Rhode Island Rams and played two tough head-to-head games, ending in a split weekend.
Friday night puck drop was at 6:15pm. The starting lineup was #26 Brian Ostrander, #28 Cole Zucker, #14 Dustin Rabinowitz, #24 Michael Zidansek, #6 Harrison Chuma with #30 Stephen East in the net. The game was kicked off by an early goal by Rhode Island. Halfway through the first period, URI scored another goal, making the score 2-0. Delaware nipped the lead with a goal from #26 Brian Ostrander off an assist from #28 Cole Zucker and #22 Michael Nisky at 16:15 minutes. The first period ended with the Rams in the lead, 2-1. Into the second, Mullin tied up the score with assists from Zidansek and Nisky. With the game tied, both teams fought hard to get the next goal and break the even game. #13 Chris Mazzella cashed in on an assist from #22 Michael Nisky and #28 Cole Zucker, breaking the tie. Right before the end of the second, the Rams managed to raise the score again, tying the period at 3. No goals were made in the third period, forcing the teams to go into overtime. The teams played tough on the ice, but a game winning goal by Delaware’s #16 Kevin Felice, The final score was 4-3, Delaware. #37 Jack Zimmer shared his thoughts on the game with us stating, “It was rough getting back out into playing games after a couple weeks off so our consistency was broken up. When we were able to come back from that, we were able to dominate them. For future games, we need to come in with consistency from the puck drop.” #16 Kevin Felice, told us about his game-winning goal in overtime, “You play for the moments. Coming down the wing, the defensemen were playing 2 on 1 and I got lucky and put one in the net. It’s a great start to winter session when we get to walk out winners.”
On Saturday, the teams reconvened for another game with a 5:25pm puck drop. The starting lineup was #28 Cole Zucker, #22 Michael Nisky, #13 Chris Mazzella, #24 Mike Zidansek, #6 Harrison Chuma and #30 Stephen East in net. Hardly 20 seconds into game start, Zucker put one past URI’s goalie, putting Delaware in the lead. Delaware maintained the lead for most of the first period. The Rams scored with 56 seconds left in the first. The second period started with both teams tied at 2. With 5:17 left in the second, #37 Jack Zimmer scored putting the Hens in the lead. The Blue Hens came into the third still ahead by one. With 13:42 left in the third, the Rams tied up the score again. Regulation ended with the teams tied at 2, meaning overtime for the second night in a row. The Blue Hens fought to score, but the Rams put one in the net with 24 seconds left in overtime, giving them the win for the night. #6 Harrison Chuma informed me that the team was going to work on quicker breakouts and faster transitions into the offensive zone. “We need to keep guys out from in front of East so that he can get a read on the shot and isn’t screened so often. Also, in general, we need to work on putting teams away so that once we are ahead a goal or two, we can quickly make that three or four goals ahead and dominate the game.”
The weekend was overall a tough but strong weekend for the Blue Hens. The boys managed to hold their ground against the University of Rhode Island. Next weekend, the Blue Hens will be playing Drexel University at the Fred Rust Arena in Newark, Delaware. Senior #10 Drew Torrey said, “They’re a tough opponent, but with a good week of practice we’ll be prepared. We need the four points.” Join us next week to catch your Blue Hens on Friday at 6:15pm and Saturday at 5:25pm.
Facebook: University of Delaware Men’s Division 1 Ice Hockey
Written by: Daniella Fioretti