Blue Hens

Blue Hens 1-1-1 At Nationals, Denied Semifinal Berth

(Carl McCombs)

The University of Delaware women’s hockey team completed the preliminary stage of the ACHA National Championship tournament with a 1-1-1 record after defeating Loyola of Chicago, losing to Adrian, and battling to a 1-1 tie with North Dakota State.

Despite the Blue Hens and North Dakota State finishing atop their three-team pool with identical 1-1-1 records and the Hens winning the tiebreak as published on the ACHA website, they were not granted a semifinal berth.

Game 1 • Delaware 5, Loyola of Chicago 1

After giving up a goal early in the first period, the Delaware Blue Hens found their best stride in the second, edging away steadily to beat Loyola University of Chicago, 5-1, on Wednesday afternoon (March 14) in the northeastern suburbs of Columbus, Ohio.

Blueliner Mary Claire Newtown led the Hens with two goals, padding the Delaware lead after Shannon Breen’s go-ahead power-play goal midway through the second.  Anna Schell and Callan Small found the back of the net as well, while Carlie Smith, Courtney Marino, and Emily Hockey each accounted for a pair of assists.

Emily Becker backstopped the Hens to victory, recording 23 saves on 24 total shots.

Game 2 • Adrian 5, Delaware 3

The Michigan-based Adrian College Bulldogs defeated the Blue Hens, 5-3, on Thursday afternoon (March 15).  Erika Gilbert, who led the Bulldogs with a hat trick and an assist, accounted for what ultimately would be the game-winning goal 1:17 into the third period.

Gilbert opened the scoring for Adrian in the fifth minute before assisting Maria Granger with just over eight minutes remaining in the first period.  Delaware responded to tie the game at two goals apiece early in the second, as both Emily Hockey and Carlie Smythe beat Adrian goalie Victoria Poland.  After Smythe’s power-play goal at 7:29, Katie Hayward started a 3-0 run for Adrian, notching the go-ahead goal at 11:46 before Gilbert’s pair of third-period goals extended Adrian’s margin to 5-2.  Anna Schell got one back for the Hens off a Hockey assist with just over four minutes to go, but the Delaware rally proved too little and too late.

Kendall Smythe took the loss in goal for Delaware, saving 25 of 30 shots faced.

Game 3 • Delaware 1, North Dakota State 1 (OT)

After giving up an early goal, the Blue Hens battled back to a 1-1 tie with North Dakota State in their final preliminary game on Friday afternoon (March 16).  Despite prevailing per the published tiebreaking procedures, the Hens did not advance to the semifinals.

Mary-Carmen Przekwas opened the scoring for NDSU on a first-period power play, taking advantage of a Mary Claire Newtown body-checking minor just past the midpoint of the period to beat Emily Becker.  Courtney Marino responded with 3:43 in the second for the Hens, connecting on a Melissa Macrides feed to tie the game at one goal apiece.

Both sides battled through the third period and a full 20-minute overtime with neither able to break the deadlock.  Goalies Becker and Bridget Slater combined for 54 saves on 56 total shots.

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