The Blue Hens continued their road trip against conference rival Rhode Island. The Blue Hens played Rhode Island on Friday and Saturday. Both of the teams are expected to be competing for the ESCHL title after successful campaigns last year. The series was split; the 14th ranked Blue Hens won the first game but 7th ranked Rhode Island recovered to win the second game.
About six minutes into the first game, the Blue Hens managed to beat Rhode Island goalie Andrew Sherman. Freshman Maxwell Freeman was able to score his fifth goal of the season to put the Blue Hens up 1-0.
In the second half of the 1st period, the Blue Hens were repeatedly on the penalty kill. There were three Blue Hen minors starting with John Brancaccio’s cross Check at 11:49. Even though the Blue Hens faced numerous penalty kills, Blue Hens goalie Dylan Troiano was up to the task and came up big for the Blue Hens. Rhode Island managed 17 shots in the first period, but Troiano stopped all of them.
Only a minute into the 2nd period, Rhode Island would eventually score. Rhode Island Junior Mark Luciano scored his fifth goal of the season to tie the game at 1-1.
The second period was marred by penalties. Overall, there were seven minors called. The only one to capitalize on all the open ice was Blue Hens Senor captain Steven Braun, who scored his second goal of the season on the power play to make the game 2-1 going into the second intermission.
The Blue Hens continued their momentum into the third. After Rhode Island Sophomore Matthew Pederson got a minor for slashing, Maxwell Freeman was able to score his second goal of the game on the power play. A few minutes later, his freshman line mate Cole Zucker buried his fifth goal of the season to put the Blue Hens up 4-1. Troiano was able to preserve the 4-1 lead and the Blue Hens got a big win over 7th ranked Rhode Island.
The teams met again the next day. After an uneventful first period, there were four goals scored in the second.
Cole Zucker scored first for the Blue Hens. With his sixth goal, he tied Max Freeman for most goals this season.
Rhode Island then responded on the power play. Just like in their first game, the second period was marred by penalties. There were eight minors and a game misconduct for Blue Hen Alex Guerere. Rhode Island’s first goal came during Cole Zucker’s minor for delay of game. Rhode Island would continue the barrage, scoring an additional two goals to make the game 3-1 Rhode Island heading into the second intermission.
The third period was a seesaw battle. Only 21 seconds into the third, John Brancaccio found Vincent Zingarelli who scored to make the game 3-2.
Rhode Island forward Mark Luciano would respond with his seventh goal of the season to put Rhode Island up 4-2.
Rhode Island Forward John Ferguson was caught with the cross check about halfway through the third. Vincent Zingarelli scored his second goal of the game, his third this year, to make the score 4-3
Alex Guerere was then penalized with a too many men on the ice minor that put the Blue Hens on the brink. Dylan Troiano faced plenty of shots, but was yet again up to the task and able to stop a Rhode Island power play. Rhode Island’s power play was only 1 for 12 for the weekend.
The Blue Hens offense could not capitalize on its second power play of the game. Rhode Island goalie was able to stop all comers to preserve his team’s 4-3 victory.
Even though the series was tied, the Blue Hens managed to outscore 7th ranked Rhode Island 7-5. The Blue Hens special teams were a big part of their success. Blue Hens power play scored on 3 of their 10 power plays. Rhode Island only managed to score on 1 of their 12 chances.
The power play, and the Blue Hens, dominated in the third period. The Blue Hens scored a power play goal in both of the third periods. In total, the Blue Hens outscored Rhode Island 4-1 in the third.
The Blue Hens have three more games on their road trip. On Friday, November 7th and Saturday, November 8th they will travel to the LaHaye Ice arena to face Liberty University.
By: Tyler Fitzpatrick