Posted: February 18, 2006
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – On a cold and snowy afternoon Lehigh hung tough with the No. 16 Delaware Fightin’ Blue Hens, but a four-goal fourth quarter by the visitors propelled them to a 10-9 win over the Mountain Hawks at the Ulrich Sports Complex on Saturday. Jeff Wiener and Blake Best both scored two goals for the Brown and White (0-1), while John Park recorded nine saves in net in his first career start. Marty Kupprion netted four goals on the day for Delaware, who improves to 2-0 on the young season.
“Delaware is a good team,” head coach Chris Wakely said following the contest. “Certainly you don’t enjoy losing, but I thought we did some very good things out there today. We did not handle certain situations in the fourth quarter too well, but we showed good fight to come back after being down on several occasions. We responded well to the occasions (when we were down) and displayed much better execution.”
Delaware jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first 17 minutes, on the strength of goals by Cam Howard and three straight by Kupprion. Lehigh responded with three straight scores though, as Best netted two goals and David Walsh found the back of the net once. The score stood at 4-3 in favor of the Fightin’ Hens with 2:05 left in the first half. Delaware would add one more goal before intermission as Howard scored with just 1:51 to go.
The Mountain Hawks played a tremendous third quarter, scoring four times. Mike Moran got things started with a man-up goal at the 8:57 mark, and Wiener netted a score of his own at the 6:10 mark to make the score 6-5 in favor of the visitors. Alec Hoof then tied the score at six with a goal and Wiener put the Brown and White ahead with 1:37 to go in the third with his second score of the day.
In the fourth quarter Delaware scored quickly, as Kupprion netted a goal just 1:09 in, and Jarryd Knouse scored at the 10:09 mark, making the score 8-7 Blue Hens. Beau Davis then netted back-to-back goals and Lehigh found itself down 10-7. But Stephen Marino and David Gaunt would score twice in a span of just 1:09 and the Mountain Hawks had life. Unfortunately Lehigh could not score for the remainder of the game, and came up just short.
Marino dished out three assists for the Mountain Hawks on the day, while Gaunt and Wiener both handed out one. Delaware scooped up 31 ground balls to Lehigh’s 11 and won 17 of 23 face offs. Lehigh was 21 of 23 in clear opportunities and the Fightin’ Blue Hens were 20 of 23. Jeff King led the Brown and White with four ground balls, while Walsh unleashed a team best six shots.
Lehigh returns to action next Saturday, February 25 when the Mountain Hawks host Marist at the Ulrich Sports Complex. Game time is slated for 1:00.
Photos Copyright (2006), Walt Young.