Newark, Del. — Deadlocked 2-2 through 65 minutes of hockey, the University of Delaware Division 3 men’s hockey team came up short in their Collegiate Hockey Federation debut, falling to Kutztown in a shootout in a non-league game Friday (Sept. 20) at Gold Arena.
Matt Sheaffer scored both of the Bears’ regulation goals, accounting for their initial tally on the power play 9:04 in the first period before potting his own rebound of a cross-slot backhander to break a 1-1 tie 6:38 into the third. He additionally was credited with the game-winning goal in the second round of the shootout, beating Delaware goalie Gabe Nadell with an eight-foot backhand shot before Perry Carpenter sealed victory for Kutztown in the third round.
After Sheaffer’s first-period power-play goal established Kutztown’s lead, the Blue Hens took advantage of a 5-on-3 with 6:22 left in the second period to tie the game. With Dan Barrett off for hooking and Joe Eben off for boarding, the Hens’ top power play unit pounced on the prime opportunity they were availed after failing on 14 shots in the first frame. Steven Palomba connected with Brandon LaSpina on a cross-slot pass, leading to a 10-foot wrist shot from LaSpina over the left shoulder of Kutztown goalie Nick Kreiser.
Delaware’s top line accounted for their second goal as well, as Safwaan Khan buried the rebound of a Palomba shot from close range with 10:13 left in regulation. Extremely physical play from both sides through the closing minutes minimised further chances and forced extra time.
Kreiser saved 34 of 36 shots faced through regulation and overtime, while Nadell turned aside 32 of 34.
Delaware returns to action next Friday (Sept. 27), when they host divisional rival UMBC. Game time is 8:40 p.m.; coverage on DHN Radio will begin following the conclusion of the Delaware Division 1 game.