After being handed a 5-3 defeat by the North Carolina State IcePack on Friday night (Jan. 12), the Delaware Blue Hens Division 2 men’s hockey team (15-10-0, #5 Southeast) rebounded Saturday afternoon (Jan. 13) for a 9-4 victory over the UNC-Charlotte 49ers.
Despite a pair of goals from first-line forward Ryan Morse, one of them the first of the game in the sixteenth minute, Delaware was overpowered by North Carolina State from the start of the second period on in a 5-3 defeat.
Right winger Louis Gimenez earned the equaliser for the IcePack 35 seconds into the second period, setting off a salvo of shots against Delaware goalie Eric Birnberg which saw North Carolina State explode to a 3-1 lead at the intermission and a 5-1 lead midway through the third. Eric Todd, Cam Mazikowski, Davis Hudson, and Chris Wing also found the back of the net for North Carolina State, with the final three all on power plays. In all, the Hens collected 48 penalty minutes, with both Mike Hicken and Brian Boylan issued game misconducts midway through the second.
With 7:08 remaining, Morse’s second goal of the game and 20th of the season cut the IcePack lead to three, but Delaware’s rally was simply too little and too late. Steve Bryson contributed his 22nd goal of the season not a minute later, but the Hens could muster no more.
Birnberg dropped to 5-7-0 in defeat; shots on goal were not tracked.
Saturday: Delaware 9, UNC Charlotte 4
Ryan Lowe opened fire early and often on Saturday, tallying four of Delaware’s first six goals against UNC-Charlotte and increasing his seasonal goal total to 19. The freshman winger is now second in the Hens’ scoring ranks beneath linemate Steve Bryson, who has 23 on the season thus far.
Delaware put themselves out of reach for good with another trio of tallies in the first half of the third period. Lowe’s linemates Steve Bryson and Ryan Morse beat Beaulieu, as did second-line winger Jeremy deWit. In all, the Hens peppered Beaulieu with 47 shots on goal.
UNC-Charlotte managed a mild comeback through the final eight minutes, but could not overcome the insurmountable deficit they faced. Andrew Miller, leading scorer for the 49ers, notched his 23rd and 24th goals of the season, while Max McArthur and Philip Arnold also connected.
Stephen Odgers won in net for Delaware; again, shots against were not recorded.