Newark, Del. — The University of Delaware Division 1 men’s hockey team (6-6-0) kept their undefeated home record intact with a 3-2 shootout win over Drexel on Friday (Oct. 25), but were subsequently kept winless on the road when the Dragons edged out of a 2-2 tie to defeat the Blue Hens, 4-2, on Saturday (Oct. 26) at the Class of 1923 Arena in Philadelphia.
Friday, Oct. 25 — Delaware 3, Drexel 2 (SO)
After giving up a 2-0 lead, the Blue Hens defence maintained a 2-2 deadlock through the final 8:57 of regulation and through overtime before Mike Nisky potted the game-winning goal in the second round of a shootout.
Nisky, who leads the team in points with 18, recorded assists on both Delaware goals in regulation. Just 1:07 into the contest, Nisky set up defeceman Harrison Chuma for a 35-foot wrist shot that sailed into the Drexel goal over the left shoulder of netminder Jeremy Wik.
With Wyeth Kuhl serving a hooking minor for Drexel just beyond the midway point of the second period, Nisky and Jack Zimmer combined to assist Chris Mazzella on a power-play goal at 11:31. Mazzella fired a wrist shot from high in the zone that bounced off the left post and in for his seventh goal of the year.
Drexel’s power play unit responded in kind with 1:56 left in the second, when Eugene Lim carried the puck in toward the Blue Hens goal from the left dot and landed a hard wrist shot. The Dragons’ penalty killing unit came up equally as big early in the third period, killing off an extended 5-on-3 which saw Kyle Fiore and Zane Reynolds out of action for cross-checking and tripping minors respectively. At 11:03 in the third, Drexel blueliner Tyler Black attacked into five Delaware backcheckers before feeding a back-door centring pass to James Schickling for the tying goal.
Mazzella and Schickling traded goals in the first round of the shootout before Nisky gave Delaware the lead with his second-round goal. Kyle Weller was unsuccessful for Drexel immediately after, as was Delaware’s Colin Emerich. Blue Hens goalie Chris Ponticello sealed victory with a poke check on Dragons winger Eugene Lim in the third round of the shootout.
Saturday, Oct. 26 — Drexel 4 (ENG), Delaware 2
The Blue Hens and Drexel appeared nearly even in the second game of the home-and-home series, but stellar goaltending from Wik and two third-period goals from Aaron Carmichael made the difference for the Dragons on their home ice.
Pat McGinley of Drexel and Nisky traded goals in the seventh minute of the first period before Lim provided the Dragons their go-ahead goal with a mid-slot snipe off a Reynolds centring pass at 10:18. The Hens chipped away at Drexel with a 13-shot second period, and the final shot of the frame connected. With :23.9 left, Cam Piorkowski gathered in a rebounding puck and launched a 35-foot wrist shot past Wik to tie the game at 2-2.
While Delaware successfully killed off an interference minor assessed to Harrison Good early in the third period, the Dragons prolonged their momentum beyond the power play to reclaim the lead. From the right dot, Carmichael put back the rebound of a Jamie Crane shot at 6:39. In the final five minutes, the Drexel penalty kill stood tall again — this time to protect their 3-2 lead. They killed off a two-man disadvantage for the second straight night, and Carmichael’s second goal — an empty-netter borne of an intercepted outlet pass in the Delaware zone — sealed the Drexel victory with 42 seconds remaining.
Ponticello recorded 36 saves in defeat, while Wik backstopped Drexel to their sixth seasonal victory with a 32-save performance.
Delaware returns to Fred Rust Arena for a two-game set against Syracuse next Friday (Nov. 1) and Saturday (Nov. 2); both games will stream on Delaware Hockey Night TV and Delaware Hockey Night Radio.