Athens, Ohio — After falling short in a 2-1 defeat on Friday (Oct. 19), the University of Delaware Division 2 men’s hockey team (9-2-0) earned a weekend-series split against Ohio by way of a 3-0 triumph over the Bobcats on Saturday (Oct. 20) at Bird Arena.
A pair of early goals from Ohio’s Mason Yenchar were the difference in Friday’s meeting, a 2-1 decision which fell in favour of the Bobcats. Despite outshooting Ohio 32-29, the Blue Hens were met by a strong Ohio defence and unable to generate quality shots while Austin Callens earned a 31-save victory on home ice.
Down 2-0 1:27 into the second period and failing to convert on their first power play shortly thereafter, Alec Rankin finished for a shorthanded goal at the 8:33 mark to bring the Hens back within one.
The door was open for Delaware with a man advantage for 4:19 of the final 7:13 of the game, but the Blue Hens could not convert on any of four power-play opportunities availed them. Senior goalie Eric Birnberg registered 27 saves in defeat.
The Blue Hens were tested defensively in Saturday’s game, but goalie Stephen Odgers answered every call in a 45-save shutout. Ryan Lowe opened the scoring for Delaware 10:43 in the first period before Ryan Morse and Mike Leather contributed a pair of third-period tallies to pad the lead to three with 12:51 remaining.
“He played great,” said Birnberg of his fellow netminder. “They were peppering him at different times, getting multiple shots off in a play.”
Delaware will face Maryland (3-3-0) at The Gardens Ice House in Laurel, Md. on Friday (Oct. 26) at 8 p.m. The game, along with all of the Blue Hens’ Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Hockey Conference matchups, will air live on Delaware Hockey Night Radio.