Newark, Del. — The Delaware Ducks 18AA team split their first two games of 2019, both contested Saturday (Jan. 5) at the Patriot Ice Center. After a 6-1 defeat to the Ashburn (Va.) Xtreme in EJEPL action, the Ducks bounced back for a 4-2 win over Haverford in a DVHL contest.
Ashburn 6, Delaware 1
The Ducks (14-3-2 EJEPL) failed to recover from to a slow start, giving up four first-half goals to Ashburn (9-6-1 EJEPL) and failing to generate quality scoring chances throughout the game. The Xtreme’s Harris Blackwood accounted for two goals and assisted on all four of the others, while linemate Ryan Battles accounted for three assists as well. Defenceman Blayden Reid scored the lone goal for Delaware.
Delaware 4, Haverford 2
While the “second off the layoff” angle is prevalent in horse racing, it proved the case in hockey as well on Saturday afternoon, as the Ducks (12-3-0 DVHL) bounced back to win their second game of the day, pulling away after a back-and-forth first two periods to break a 2-2 tie.
Mike Irey opened the scoring for the Ducks with a rebound put-back of an Aidan Smith chance 12:39 into the first period before the Hawks’ (10-6-0 DVHL) Conor Ryan tied the game on a power play 8:39 into the second. Reid responded with a top-shelf power-play goal from the top of the left circle four minutes later, only for Joseph Temoyan to lift Haverford back into a 2-2 deadlock with 1:39 left in the middle frame.
While chances were fewer and farther between for the Ducks in the third, leading scorer J.P. Ahearn used his menacing net-front presence to reclaim the lead for the Ducks with 3:36 left, putting away the rebound of an Alex Maglio chance past Tyler Cassidy. With the Haverford net empty in the final minute and a half, Zach Swift — who assisted both Reid and Ahearn on their goals — iced victory for Delaware, applying forechecking pressure in the Haverford zone, stealing the puck, and backhanding it into the empty cage from the mid-slot with 56 seconds remaining.
Emergency backup goalie Dylan Hadley, who subbed for an ill Troy Stefano, recorded 28 saves in victory for the Ducks.
The Ducks return to action Sunday morning (Jan. 6) at Hershey before returning to the Patriot Ice Center to host the Quakers.