The University of Rhode Island men’s ice hockey team split a doubleheader against the Delaware Blue Hens last weekend taking them to a 28-7 overall record.
Rhode Island shut out the Blue Hens 1-0 on Friday, but dropped a close 2-1 contest on Saturday. The results helped secure the Rams first place in the Eastern States Collegiate Hockey League standings ahead of their final home games.
There was a history between the teams, with one game last year ending in a brawl. The result was important to keep URI ahead of Stony Brook University, who swept the Rams in a doubleheader last weekend at the Bradford R. Boss Ice Arena.
“Both the games were very similar,” Rhode Island head coach Joe Augustine said. “They were close checking games and there was not a lot of scoring. We didn’t take advantage of our opportunities when we had them.”
URI took the first win of the series with only one goal and strong play from senior goaltender Andrew Sherman. The netminder secured 42 saves on the defensive end resulting in his fifth shutout, despite Delaware dominating puck possession early on.
Meanwhile on the offensive end, Mark Luciano was the only goal scorer of the game. His goal came midway through the second period on a power play resulting from a Delaware slashing penalty.
“It was a great game defensively which we’ve been having trouble with, but we didn’t get enough traffic in front, their goalie could see everything,” Rhode Island senior captain John Del Padre said. “We just need more plays offensively and to just get creative in the offensive zone with hopes of scoring more.”
Delaware’s Alex Guerere dominated the ice on Saturday night. He scored both of the Blue Hens’ goals to topple the offensively struggling Rams.
His first score came late in the first period and the Rams could not answer it until 12 minutes into the third. Freshman Brian Schehr was assisted by fellow frosh Matthew Armenti to even the score, but Sherman was unable to stop another one of the 48 shots taken by the Blue Hens. Four minutes later, Guerere scored again to seal the game and the series split.
“I thought we had a bad bounce on that winning goal,” Augustine said.
“We’re getting more confident as we’re winding down,” Del Padre said about the upcoming matchups for his team. “Hopefully we can keep scoring, our goalie gets hot and we can make a little run in the playoffs.”
Rhode Island will face Drexel University in a weekend doubleheader this Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 4 p.m. at the Boss Ice Arena. The latter matchup will be Senior Day for the Rams.
“Drexel has a very good team, we just have to get better in some areas like our offensive zone, I think we should be okay but Drexel will be tough,” Augustine said.