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Clemson ice hockey shuts down Delaware for 1st Division I win

Leah Marie Pereira
Clemson forward Cade Heinold takes the faceoff at center ice to start the third period against Delaware on Oct. 28.

The Clemson club ice hockey team defeated the Delaware Blue Hens, its first Division I opponent, last Friday by a score of 2-1. With the win, Clemson improved to 9-2-0 and matched its total number of wins from last season when the Tigers finished 9-10-0.

After a scoreless first period, Clemson forward Mike McKeon found the back of the net first with just 21.9 seconds left in the middle frame. It was McKeon’s first goal of the season, as he’d been out with a wrist injury since Clemson’s matchup with Georgia on Sept. 8.

With 11:53 remaining in the third period, Clemson forward Cade Heinold netted what ended up being the Tigers’ game-winner. Heinold now leads the team in points with 18 on the season.

Down two goals, the Blue Hens scored their first and only goal while on the power play. This shot was the only one Delaware could get past Clemson goalkeeper Parker Dietz, who put on an impressive performance, saving 23/24 shots.

“The best thing we had going for us today was Parker Dietz,” McKeon said. “I mean, he played incredibly. It’s an unlucky bounce there in the slot, nothing he can really do about that. But I mean, he’s the reason we won that game. He kept us in it the whole time.”

Clemson gained some confidence after this win. Knowing they’re capable of defeating a DI program is essential ahead of the Tigers’ next two games against South Carolina.

Of course, there are some things the Tigers will look to improve upon as they approach their first cross-state battle against the Gamecocks next weekend.

“(We have to) get off to a better start,” McKeon said. “It’s my first game in a while, so I don’t know exactly how the feeling has been, but I think we started off a little slow. Hopefully, next weekend, we’ll come out harder against, obviously, a good South Carolina team. They’re going to be better than this team, so we have to come out flying.”

Clemson will host their in-state rivals this Friday, Nov. 3, at the Ice Station in Greer, South Carolina, for the first of three matchups against the Gamecocks this season.

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Kelly Kaelblein
Kelly Kaelblein, Asst. Sports Editor
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