A flurry of three goals in the first 6-1/2 minutes gave Salesianum (6-9-0) an early spark of momentum en route to an 8-3 victory over the Unionville Indians (7-11-0) on Tuesday night (Feb. 20) at the Patriot Ice Center in Newark, Del. Ryan Kelly and Fisher Sellers each accounted for two goals in the Sallies’ triumph.
The Indians controlled offensive territory for much of the first four minutes of the game, but a Salesianum power play borne of a Bryce Halsey holding minor proved the catalyst for the Sallies’ first-period firepower. Mike Nauman opened the scoring for the man-up Sallies with a one-timer from the high slot off a Dylan Johnson assist 5:17 into the first period. Nineteen seconds later, Ryan Kelly intercepted a cross-ice pass in the Unionville zone and converted for a bar-down goal from the low slot. Salesianum’s leading scorer Fisher Sellers added a third goal on the next shift, receiving an outlet pass from Jack Brady before carrying the puck in from the right side and backhanding it under the glove of Unionville goalie Brandon Terrey from directly in front of the crease. Down 3-0 in the seventh minute, Unionville coach Stephen King elected to use his time out and also call upon Keigan Craig to replace Terrey in net (though Terrey returned early in the third period).
Salesianum’s onslaught, though temporarily stalled, resumed in the sixth minute of the second period when Sellers potted his second of the night off the rebound of a Brady shot which rang off the left post. Cam Bergeman and Chase Golden added goals to put the Sallies up 6-0 with 3:24 left in the middle frame, but Unionville responded with a pair of their own in the 30th minute. Leading scorer Jack McKenna fired a hard wrist shot in from the left half wall—which was redirected past Graham Burke by linemate Aiden Masters—at the 13:25 mark, and defenceman Cameron Janofski added Unionville’s second goal 22 seconds later with a one-timer in the low slot off the rebound of a Phillippe Doucette close-range attempt.
Still up by four, the Sallies responded to get those two late-period goals back from Unionville early in the third. Ryan Kelly connected from mid-slot off a Mike Nauman drop pass at 4:41, and Joey DeFilippis earned his seventh of the season off a Unionville turnover at 6:27. Down 8-2 midway through the third, the Indians were unable to overcome an insurmountable deficit, but McKenna was able to tally his sixteenth goal of the season on a late power play, connecting from the left half wall with just over three minutes remaining.
Burke improved to 6-7-0 in net for the Sallies, stopping 26 of 29 total shots on goal. The Sallies were 1-for-2 with the man advantage while also allowing one Unionville power-play goal in three such situations.
Salesianum, who improved to 6-2-0 in action outside the Inter-County Scholastic Hockey League (ICSHL) Prep Division, will host the Delaware Military Academy on Thursday (Feb. 22) after defeating them 7-2 in front of a packed house on Jan. 21. Air time on Delaware Hockey Night Radio is 6:15 p.m.