Delaware Upends #8 Hofstra in CAA Semifinals

Hofstra jumped out to a 2-1 lead after goals by Jay Card and Ford 45 seconds apart early in the first stanza but the Hens answered with goals by Nick Diachenko, Taylor Burns, and Smith in the final four minutes to take the lead for good at 4-2. Kaminski scored the game's only second quarter goal to give the Hens a 5-2 advantage at the break.

Kaleikau fed Smith and John Mills on back-to-back goals in the third quarter to help push Delaware's lead to 7-3 before Hofstra netted the final two tallies of the stanza to pull to within 7-5.

Smith opened the final quarter with his third goal of the game just 22 seconds it to push the UD lead to three but Ford responded with consecutive goals for Hofstra to narrow the gap to 8-7 with 8:58 left to play. Kaleikau fed Sean Finegan for a goal with 6:20 left to break the Hofstra string and Kaminski added some insurance with an unassisted goal on an empty net with 2:35 left.

It turned out that Kaminski's goal would be much more than an insurance tally. Hofstra refused to let up as Ford scored for the fifth time with one minute left and Lincoln tallied at the 44 second mark to cut the lead to 10-9.

Hofstra, which won 14 of 22 faceoffs, won the ensuing draw and set up in hopes of sending the game into overtime. Fossner made a lunging save on a rifle shot by Braddish with 23 seconds left and Ford's shot with 13 seconds remaining went wide. Delaware regained possession but Fossner turned the ball over, giving Hofstra another chance. However, the Pride could not get another shot off and Delaware's Matt Stefurak picked up a loose ball to clinch the victory.

"That last minute was just chaos," said Fossner of the frantic final moments. "I was nervous after I turned the ball over and gave them a second chance. I was just thinking that I needed to make a play and fortunately I got a piece of the ball. Then our defensive guys made a big play for us."

The Hens, who won CAA titles in both 2007 and 2010 and also advanced to the CAA title game in 2005 and 2006, snapped a four-game losing streak to the Pride in Hempstead, downing Hofstra for the first time since a 12-10 win in 2004. Delaware had also lost two straight post-season games to the Pride on Long Island.

Delaware, which advanced to the CAA Tournament for the seventh time in the last eight seasons, reached the 10-win mark for the 14th time in school history and for the eighth time since 1999.

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2011-05-04



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