Newark, Del. — The University of Delaware Division 1 men’s hockey team met their match in an Eastern Hockey League team in Friday night’s (Sept. 20) preseason game at Fred Rust Arena, falling 2-1 to a relentless Philadelphia Jr. Flyers side.
A fast breakout proved the key to the game for Philadelphia, whose Jonathan Gabriel notched the game-winning goal with a backhand shot from the right edge of the crease just 1:48 into the third period and mere seconds after winning a defensive-zone face-off.
The Jr. Flyers established that fast pace right from the opening draw and dominated the Delaware zone for the first six minutes of the game before the Blue Hens were able to build momentum. At 7:34 in the first period, Mike Nisky set defenceman Jake DeFares up for a net-front goal with a headman pass through the slot to give the Hens the early lead.
In the second period, the Hens ran into strong goaltending from Sean Dynan and failed to convert on any of four power plays — including a 43-second two-man advantage. Shortly after killing off the 5-on-3 deficit, a strong Philadelphia transition led to the game-tying goal. With 7:42 left in the period, Jr. Flyers right winger Alex Burnett buried the rebound of an Anton Martino blast from the left point.
Strong penalty killing from the Jr. Flyers rendered the Blue Hens scoreless for the remainder of the second period, and after Gabriel’s game-winning tally, Aidan Boote protected the Flyers’ lead with a strong display in net for the third period.
Delaware begins American Collegiate Hockey Association regular season play on Friday (Sept. 27), hosting Penn State Berks for the first of a two-game set. Game time is 7 p.m.; full coverage will be available on DHN TV and DHN Radio.