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ACHA D2: Delaware 2, Rowan 1

The Delaware Blue Hens (13-9-0) ended the fall portion of their 2017-18 season on a winning note with a 2-1 triumph over the Rowan Profs (8-9-0) on Saturday evening (Dec. 9) at Hollydell Ice Arena in Sewell, N.J.

The Profs established a physical tone early, as Hens’ leading scorer Stephen Bryson fell victim to an open-ice check in the first minute of play.  Despite Bryson’s return to action after missing a few shifts,  the first goal of the game did not come until the 16th minute of the second period, when RJ LaSpina batted a rebound past Rowan goalie Justin Natiello.  Peter Kaz recorded the equaliser for Rowan with a top-shelf snap shot from the right point with 2:10 remaining in the middle frame, just nine seconds into a late-period power play.

After Ryan Morse notched a shorthanded breakaway goal to put Delaware up 2-1 midway through the third, it was a heroic effort from goalie Eric Birnberg that protected the Hens’ lead to the final horn.  The junior netminder from Wayne, N.J. stopped 49 of the 50 shots he faced in victory, including a series of acrobatic saves in the closing minutes of the game.
With Sunday’s (Dec. 10) game against Virginia Tech cancelled due to the threat of inclement weather, the Hens will be out of action until Saturday, Jan. 6, when they host Stevenson.
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