April 10, 2010

Courtesy of Hofstra

East Rutherford, NJ - Jay Card and Kevin Ford each scored three goals and Stephen Bentz added two to lead the 10th-ranked Hofstra Pride to a 12-11 CAA victory over the Delaware Blue Hens in the Konica-Minolta Big City Classic at the New Meadowlands Stadium Saturday afternoon. The Pride, who won their second consecutive game, improve to 7-3 on the year and 1-2 in the CAA. Delaware, which dropped its second consecutive game, fall to 5-6 overall and 0-2 in league play.

Card, a junior, tallied a game-high six points on three goals and three assists with classmate Bentz adding two goals and two assists. Ford, a sophomore who returned to action after missing the previous two games with a foot injury, scored three goals and added one assist. Hofstra sophomore goalie Andrew Gvozden stopped 11 shots in the Pride cage for his second win of the year. The Blue Hens of Delaware were led by senior Curtis Dickson with four goals while senior Martin Cahill added two assists. Junior Noah Fossner made 10 saves in the Blue Hens' cage.

The first half featured four lead changes and five tied scores. The Pride would use a five-goal run near the end of the first half and into the third quarter to pull away from the Blue Hens. Ford opened the scoring in the contest 6:11 into the first quarter recording his seventh of the season, on a bullet from the middle of the box, for a 1-0 lead. But the Blue Hens responded with three unanswered goals as Dickson notched his 39th and 40th goals of the year around a Nick Elsmo goal to give Delaware a 3-1 lead with 4:37 to play in the first quarter. Card would notch his first of the game and 20th of the season with 1:04 to play in the period to close the deficit to 3-2 after one quarter.

Dickson boosted the Blue Hens' lead back to two at 4-2 with a man-up goal, from Cahill, 53 seconds into the second quarter before Hofstra scored unanswered goals by Ford, Bentz and freshman Adrian Sorichetti, in a three minute span, to take a 5-4 lead. But the Blue Hens came right back with sophomore Grant Kaleikau scoring his ninth of the year at the 6:58 mark and John Austin notching his ninth 37 seconds later to give UD a 6-5 advantage.

Hofstra's high-scoring junior Jamie Lincoln tallied his 29th goal of the year, from Card, with 4:03 to play in the half to tie the game before the Blue Hens' Chris Hichborn scored his eighth goal of the year less than a minute later to give Delaware a 7-6 lead. It would be the Blue Hens last lead of the contest as Bentz would score a man-up goal, from Card, with 27 seconds to play in the half, and Card would score his second of the game and 21st of the year, from freshman face-off man John Antoniades, seven seconds later to give the Pride an 8-7 lead at halftime.

In the third quarter, Ford continued the Hofstra run with a man-up goal from Card 30 seconds in and Card completed his third hat-trick of the year seven minutes later, from Bentz, to boost the Pride lead to 10-7. Sophomore Brad Loizeaux added his 13th of the season with 5:59 to play in the third to give Hofstra the biggest lead of the game at 11-7. Dickson would score his 42nd just 35 second before the end of the quarter to close the Delaware gap to 11-8.

Hofstra senior Dan Stein gave the Pride a four-goal lead 2:34 into the fourth quarter with his sixth goal of the year. The Blue Hens closed on goals by Kevin Kaminski at the 6:38 mark and Dom Sebastian 21 seconds later to close to 12-10. But Taylor Burns' first goal of the season with two seconds remaining was not enough as the Pride posted its fourth straight victory over their longtime conference rivals. Hofstra now leads the series, 23-10.

The Pride outshot Delaware, 34-33, with the Blue Hens picking up 31 ground balls to Hofstra's 29. Delaware also captured 19 of 27 face-offs.

Hofstra, the CAA preseason favorite, will be looking to keep its conference tournament qualification hopes alive when the Pride return to action next Saturday, April 17 when they travel to State College, Pennsylvania to face Penn State. Game time is 7:30 p.m.