Both the Division 2 and Division 3 men’s hockey teams from the University of Delaware will log hefty mileage this weekend, as the Division 2 Blue Hens (14-9-0) head to North Carolina for a three-game road trip and the Division 3 team (11-6-2) commences the 2018 portion of their season with a three-game set of their own in the Laurel Highlands.
The Division 2 Hens, fresh off wins over Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Hockey Conference rivals Rowan and Stevenson, improved to fifth in the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) Southeast Region rankings this week. They carry their uptick in momentum into the Raleigh IcePlex on Friday evening (Jan. 12), where they face the North Carolina State IcePack (5-3-1). The last two meetings between the teams resulted in victories for the Hens: 4-2 on the road in September of 2012 and 7-3 on home ice in October of 2013.
The Hens head farther south Saturday (Jan. 13) for an afternoon meeting with the UNC-Charlotte 49ers (10-4-1) before returning to Raleigh on Sunday (Jan. 14) for a matinee meeting with the North Carolina Tar Heels (4-7-3).
To date this season, the Hens have had no common opponents with either the 49ers or the Tar Heels, while the North Carolina State IcePack were defeated by Millersville, 6-3, on Sept. 30 and claimed victory over Navy, 5-3, on Oct. 8. The Hens beat the Marauders and the Midshipmen, 10-5 and 7-1 respectively, to kick off their season.
The Division 3 Delaware team, ranked 10th in the Atlantic Region, starts their road swing at the historic Cambria County War Memorial in Johnstown, Pa., where they face off against Pitt-Johnstown (7-5-4, #8 Atlantic) on Friday evening. In their last meeting, at the Empire Classic (Warwick, Pa.) in November, the IceCats beat the Hens, 4-1. Shane Saladis scored the lone Delaware goal, while Gabriel Nadell stopped 34 Pitt-Johnstown shots in defeat.
Their previous meeting was at the War Memorial in January of 2015, in which Pitt-Johnstown defeated the Hens 7-5.
The Division 3 squad will then head southwest to tackle West Virginia University’s Division 2 side (7-5-1) for a weekend pair in Morgantown, W. Va. The Hens defeated the Mountaineers 3-1 at Gold Arena when they last met in October of 2016.
For recaps, check back at www.dehockeynight.com through the weekend, and for real-time updates, follow the University of Delaware Division 2 and Division 3 teams on Twitter.