University of Delaware

ACHA D2: Blue Hens Come Full Circle

Five months ago, the University of Delaware Division 2 men’s hockey team commenced their 2017-18 regular season with a 10-5 win over Millersville (15-8-4).  On Friday night (Feb. 9), the Blue Hens wrapped up their regular season in similar fashion, edging away steadily from the Marauders for a 6-1 triumph on home ice.

The Hens, who honoured senior players Tyler Perry, Steve Bryson, and Tony Jorgenson in a pregame ceremony, needed the better part of the first period before drawing first blood, but refused to look back after doing so.  Ryan Morse opened the scoring with a top-shelf wrist shot through the mid-slot at 17:04 in the first period, well after Millersville captain Matt Iehle had a goal disallowed at 7:40 after he batted the puck out of the air with a high stick.

Iehle made amends 2:38 into the second, tying the score at 1-1 with a second-chance goal directly in front of the net, tapping the rebound of a Nick Capasso shot past Delaware goalie Eric Birnberg.  After the junior netminder allowed a lone goal on 26 total shots faced, the Hens responded with five unanswered goals through the final period and a half.  Morse tallied his second of the night at 10:42 from a Bryson centring pass, and their linemate Ryan Lowe—who accounted for three assists—finished off a Morse breakaway chance at 18:02.  After Morse’s stick was lifted by Millersville defender David Andrews, Lowe chipped the puck past Mathieu Schroeder from inside the right dot to give the Hens a 3-1 lead through two periods.

Three further goals in the final period gave Delaware a comfortable lead en route to their 19th win of the season.  Matt Tofte sniped the puck past Schroeder from the left dot at 6:40, Jorgenson connected in bar-down fashion from the top of the right circle at 8:41, and Mike Hicken’s power-play tap-in at 11:29 caused Millersville coach Travis Duffey to relieve Schroeder of his duties after giving up 6 goals on 43 shots.  Jeffrey Pelkowski stopped all four shots he faced in relief.

Delaware commence postseason play Friday (Feb. 16) in the Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Hockey Conference tournament, facing Maryland in the first round of the South Division bracket.  Game time in Pennsauken, N.J. is slated for 3:20 p.m. Eastern; coverage on Delaware Hockey Night Radio will commence at 3:00 p.m.

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