PRE SEASON TOURNEY SETS UP ROLLER HOCKEY FOR SUCCESSFUL YEAR
The Fightin’ Blue Hens Roller Hockey Team opened up their season with an undefeated showing at the Eastern Collegiate Roller Hockey Association’s Columbus Day Kickoff event. The team went 3-0 posting victories over Albany, Vermont, and long time rival Scranton. Junior, Justin Kozak stepped up big in his first game as captain by scoring three goals and an assist. A total of 7 different players scored to open the weekend with a 10-6 victory against Albany. Kozak followed his first game up with another inspiring performance including two goals and three assists. Fourth year veterans Gerard Gallo and Brad Wompierski each added to the tally and the Blue Hens scored three power play goals to move towards a 7-5 win over the Vermont Catamounts. The final game of the weekend proved to be the most challenging as the Blue Hens matched up against the Scranton Royals. The last time the two teams met up was during the 2009-2010 Regional Playoff Weekend, ending in heartbreak for Delaware when Scranton scored in overtime to win 7-6 and sent the Blue Hens home for the season. Delaware was determined to strike back and finished the first period leading 2-0 with goals from Gallo and third year forward Tom Petro. The Blue Hens managed to capitalize on their power plays, converting both man advantages into goals early in the game. Delaware tallied two more goals in an exciting second period that saw Scranton pull within one goal heading into the third. Just 1:37 into the final period, Scranton pulled even and the teams fought a scoreless battle for most of the period. Veteran goaltender Zach Pertes played perhaps his best game of the weekend, turning away shot after shot in spectacular fashion. It seemed as though hopes of winning were escaping as Delaware was called for a penalty with just over three minutes remaining. However, sophomore sensation, Mark Strickland proved to be the hero after receiving a beautiful pass from Gallo and scored his second of the game, this time shorthanded, with only 1:55 remaining. The Blue Hens would hold on to the lead and find themselves undefeated through three games. Eight different players scored over the weekend to include rookies: Kevin Rafferty (FRSH), Bryan Schaeffer (FRSH) and Brian Forbes (SR). Next up for the Blue Hens on October 29th and 30th are three divisional matchups against Cornell, Queens, and Binghamton.