Rowan’s DIII men’s ice hockey team defeated rival University of Delaware in a thrilling nine-round shootout this past Saturday at Hollydell Ice Arena.
The last time the teams faced off was last spring during the Delaware Valley Men’s Collegiate Hockey Conference (DVCHC) playoffs, where the Blue Hens knocked the Profs out for a devastating round one exit.
This time, the Brown and Gold came back for vengeance.
The Profs were the first to take the lead with a goal by forward Zach Faust, assisted by John Callander and Hunter Bello. The Blue Hens came back with a quick response to tie the game up 1-1 by the period’s end.
Coming back out to start the second, the Profs knew they had to react fast to compete with the Blue Hens’ explosive skating.
Senior defensemen Colton Shan did just that by putting the puck in the Hen’s net early in the period, assisted by rookie defensemen Nick Canfora.
The lead was once again stripped with a Delaware goal to tie the game back up 2-2 with half the period of play remaining.
A snipe from senior forward Anthony Gallicchio, assisted by Lee McCarthy, brought the close of the second with a score of 3-2.
The Profs came out hot in the third, when forward Peter Andolino, assisted by Faust and Frank Ferrante, was able to get another one in to secure a 4-2 lead.
Unfortunately, the Blue Hens took full possession for much of the third, scoring two unanswered goals to bring the game 4-4 and push the play into overtime.
Delaware made sure to test sophomore goalie Cam Conrad with multiple scoring opportunities. That was a test Conrad aced with his precision and confidence in protecting the Profs’ winning streak.
3-on-3 overtime is exciting, but gut wrenching knowing that the fate of the game lies on the first goal scored.
Conrad was able to make a few outstanding stops.
Even with strong defensive play, the Profs weren’t able to capitalize and the game was forced into a shootout.
After seven heart-stopping rounds, both Delaware and Rowan were able to score bringing the shootout to a sudden death.
With one more chance, Andolino was able to send the Blue Hens packing with an incredible shot to win the shootout.
Overall, the Brown and Gold gave one of their better performances of the season against one of their toughest competitors to rally for an exciting shootout win.
It is clear that the new and returning players are settling into their positions to play on the Profs’ strengths as a team.
The DIII Profs have now won their last five games, bringing their season record to an outstanding 8-2 start.
If they can keep their heads in check and their sticks hot, the Brown and Gold could very well punch their ticket to Dallas this coming spring to compete at Nationals.
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