Lancaster, Pa. — The University of Delaware Division 2 men’s hockey team (1-0-0) potted five first-period goals in a relentless opening salvo en route to an 8-4 win over Millersville (0-1-0) on Friday night (Sept. 14) at the Lancaster Ice Rink.
“It was 100 per cent the start I wanted,” said Blue Hens coach Vince Falkowski of the 17-shot first period which resulted in two goals from winger Ryan Morse and one each from Jeremy DeWit, Shawn Camisa and Ryan Johnson to give Delaware an early 5-1 lead. Delaware, with all but four of the players on the opening night roster returning from last year, made full use of speed and depth to control the puck and territory through the first 20 minutes and limited the Marauders to only five shots in that time.
A pair of second-period goals — DeWit’s second of the game on the power play at 7:48, and a top-shelf rifle from Dylan Knox atop the right circle at 14:41 — extended the Hens’ lead to 7-1 through two, but the Marauders showed some late life.
Millersville turned a corner in the seventh minute of the third period, when Tyler Browne redirected a hard Zachary Mummau wrist shot from the left point past Delaware goalie Eric Birnberg, only for Joe Dooner to finish a Dennis Kohajda chance off the rebound 27 seconds later. Matt Iehle, who led the Marauders with 24 goals last season, nearly cut the Hens’ lead to three at the 7:24 mark, but he failed to convert on a breakaway after splitting defenders at the Delaware blue line.
Defenceman Kyle Milosek would score a fourth goal for the Marauders with 88 seconds left, catching a fortunate bounce of a Birnberg stick save.
“It’s hard to keep your foot on the gas when you’re up 7-1,” Falkowski continued. Of Millersville’s 29 shots on goal, 15 came in the third period.
Despite the Marauders’ belated rally, sophomore defenceman Tyler Swift made sure to give the Blue Hens the last word, finding the back of the Millersville net from the low slot with nine seconds remaining.
“The day off (Saturday) will help them get some rest,” Falkowski said. “We went hard at practice Wednesday and Thursday, so I can understand if we were a little fatigued toward the end.
“It’s game one. While we got the win we wanted, but there are things to work on.”
Birnberg (1-0-0) registered 25 saves on 29 shots in victory for Delaware, while Marauders netminder Garret Baldacci (0-1-0) saved 35 of 43 shots faced.
Delaware swept Millersville last season, winning 10-5 on the road and 6-1 at home. They meet again on Feb. 8, 2018.
The Blue Hens return to action Sunday afternoon (Sept. 16), as they host Navy at Fred Rust Arena. Game time is scheduled for 3:45 p.m.; live coverage will be presented by Delaware Hockey Night Radio.
Delaware 8, Millersville 4
Fri., Sept. 14, 2018 – at Lancaster Ice Rink, Lancaster, Pa.
Delaware – 5 2 1 – 8
Millersville – 1 0 3 – 4
First Period: Delaware, DeWit 1 (Lowe, Johnson), 5:27. Delaware, Camisa 1 (Tofte, Hicken), 10:45. Millersville, Andrews 1 (Kohajda, Iehle)(PP), 11:23. Delaware, Morse 1 (Bryson, Demas D.), 11:35. Delaware, Morse 2 (Rankin, Bryson), 15:15. Delaware, Johnson 1 (Marciniak, DeWit)(PP), 18:52. Penalties: Bideau, Mil (holding), 2:32. Hicken, UD (interference), 11:03. Morse, UD (holding), 12:44. Dunton, Mil (slashing), 17:46. Reider, Mil (boarding), 18:32.
Second Period: Delaware, DeWit 2 (Johnson, Lowe)(PP), 7:48. Delaware, Knox 1, 14:41. Penalties: Hicken, UD (kneeing), 3:21. Leisey, Mil (checking from behind), 6:35. Demas D., UD (checking from behind), 15:40.
Third Period: Millersville, Browne 1 (Mummau), 6:37. Millersville, Dooner 1 (Reider, Andrews), 7:04. Millersville, Milosek 1 (Dreisbach, Iehle,) 18:32. Delaware, Swift 1 (Bryson), 19:51. Penalties: Morse, UD (checking from behind), 7:31. Bryson, UD (roughing), 10:40. Mummau, Mil (roughing), 10:40. Marciniak, UD (slashing), 14:35. Martorella, UD (roughing), 19:29. Dooner, Mil (roughing), 19:29.
Shots On Goal: Delaware 43, Millersville 29
Penalty Minutes: Delaware 16, Millersville 12
Power-play Opportunities: Delaware 2 of 4, Millersville 1 of 6
Goalies: Delaware, Birnberg 1-0-0 (29 shots, 25 saves). Millersville, Baldacci 0-1-0 (43 shots, 35 saves).