The Salesianum Sallies (3-6-0) made the most of their scoring chances in the first 2018 installment of the Battle of Delaware, outpacing the Delaware Military Academy Seahawks (7-1-0) through every step of a 7-2 victory on Friday (Jan. 21) before a capacity crowd at the Patriot Ice Center (formerly the Pond Ice Arena) in Newark, Del.
The Seahawks, undefeated coming into the game, gained control off the initial faceoff, but were overpowered in the second shift. Senior captain Fisher Sellers opened the scoring for Salesianum 4-1/2 minutes into the first period, completing a give-and-go with linemate Ryan Bryson for a stick-side goal against DMA goalie Julia Emerich. Joey DeFilippis contributed a breakaway goal at 10:58 in the first, blasting in from the right side of the neutral zone and evading DMA defenceman Kameryn Starkey on his way to his third seasonal goal. DeFilippis then accounted for the secondary assist on Sellers’s second goal of the game, a one-timer from the left dot after Bryson extracted the puck from a battle in the corner, 13:50 into the opening period. Emerich, who exited the game after one period, gave up three goals on seven shots.
Salesianum refused to relent in the second period. Freshman centre Cam Bergeman, who missed much of the first period due to a controversial two-and-ten charging penalty, earned both second-period goals from right in front of the crease, deking to draw substitute goalie Anthony Guerrieri out of position before connecting.
Bergeman’s second-period pair, however, was answered by back-to-back goals from DMA captain Markus Cook in the middle stages of the third. The senior’s 21st seasonal goal came from a tap-in off a rebound from a close Justin McGee shot at 7:42, while his 22nd of the year was a point-blank snipe from the high slot that evaded Sallies goalie Graham Burke at 10:28. While Cook’s efforts brought the Seahawks within three, Salesianum pounced immediately to be sure they would have the last word. Bryson redirected a Sellers shot from the high slot past Guerrieri only 26 seconds later, while Bergeman completed his hat trick at 11:08 after stealing the puck at his own blue line and manufacturing a breakaway.
The Sallies had to negotiate the second half of the game without Mike Nauman at their disposal. The versatile senior, who has seen time at defence and forward alike this season, was assessed a major penalty and game disqualification for a spearing infraction while battling Lukas Cook for position in the low slot midway through the second period.
Burke stopped 27 of 29 shots faced, while Guerrieri turned aside 17 of 21 in relief.
A make-up date for the abandoned Jan. 8 meeting remains yet to be announced.