Newark, Del. — A hat trick from sophomore centre Devin LeBlanc — and assists on two other goals — blazed the way for the University of Delaware Division 2 men’s hockey team (5-0-0) to topple Montclair State (0-1-0), 9-2, on Friday evening (Sept. 28) at Fred Rust Arena.
Strong face-off presence from LeBlanc has been key in all five of the Blue Hens’ wins thus far in the season, but he proved he can finish scoring chances just as well as he can generate them.
After Ryan Morse opened the scoring for the Hens at 5:39, batting in the rebound of an Alec Rankin chance for his seventh goal of the season, LeBlanc increased the Delaware lead to 2-0 at the 10:25 mark, swatting the rebound of a long Tyler Swift shot past the outstretched right foot of Red Hawks goalie Ondrej Smalec. LeBlanc earned his second goal of the game 4-1/2 minutes later, when he lofted his own rebound over Smalec and into an open top half of the net from the left edge of the crease to put the Hens up 5-0. Additional first-period goals from Jeremy DeWit, Rankin, and Eddie Martorella led to an abbreviated start for Smalec, who was relieved by Danny Porth with 4:21 remaining in the first period after allowing six goals on 11 shots.
Porth fared far better for the Red Hawks, saving 28 of the 31 shots he faced and keeping Delaware scoreless through the second period and the first half of the third while Will Prinz and Michael Buckel registered goals in that time to close the gap to 6-2. With just over eight minutes remaining, LeBlanc finished his hat trick after splitting defenders on a two-on-two and connecting with a 15-foot wrist shot from a Ryan Johnson setup. After Matt Tofte increased the Delaware advantage to 8-2 off an attacking-zone takeaway, LeBlanc assisted Johnson, who fired a top-shelf wrist shot from the top inside hashmark of the right circle with 3:24 remaining.
Delaware goalie Chris Demas improved to 2-0-0 with a 22-save win on 24 shots. The Blue Hens host Virginia Tech Saturday (Sept. 29); game time at Fred Rust Arena is 5:25 p.m., with live coverage on Delaware Hockey Night Radio to begin at 5:00 p.m.
Delaware 9, Montclair State 2
Fri., Sept. 28, 2018 – at Fred Rust Arena, Newark, Del.
Montclair State – 0 1 1 – 2
Delaware – 6 0 3 – 9
First Period: Delaware, Morse 7 (Rankin), 5:39. Delaware, LeBlanc 4 (Swift, Johnson), 10:25. Delaware, DeWit 6 (Martorella, Camisa), 10:42. Delaware, Rankin 1 (Marciniak, Bryson), 13:06. Delaware, LeBlanc 5 (Johnson, Lowe), 14:52. Delaware, Martorella 1 (LeBlanc), 15:39. Penalties: Swift, UD (roughing), 7:19. Meneghin, Mtc (roughing), 11:04. Swift, UD (interference), 15:57.
Second Period: Montclair State, Prinz 1 (Lapinski), 1:51. Penalties: Martorella, UD (roughing), 5:28.
Third Period: Montclair State, Buckel 1, 1:47. Delaware, LeBlanc 6 (Johnson, Knox), 11:59. Delaware, Tofte 1, 13:39. Delaware, Johnson 4 (LeBlanc, Lowe), 16:36. Penalties: Buckel, Mtc (roughing), 5:39. Martorella, UD (interference, boarding, roughing), 5:39. Meneghin, Mtc (slashing), 8:57. Johnson, UD (hooking), 18:15.
Shots On Goal: Montclair State 24, Delaware 42.
Penalty Minutes: Montclair State 6, Delaware 14.
Power-play Opportunities: Montclair State 0 of 6, Delaware 0 of 2.
Goalies: Montclair State, Smalec 0-1-0 (15:39, 11 shots, 5 saves), Porth (44:21, 31 shots, 28 saves). Delaware, Demas C. 2-0-0 (24 shots, 22 saves).
Referees: Paul Valerio, Monty Ferguson. Linesmen: Joe Tagle, John Casey.