Besides the joy of beating the nation's No. 20-ranked team, there were a lot of positives to take away from Hofstra's performance after its 13-5 win over Delaware Saturday at Shuart Stadium.
The Pride's second-half shutout of the Blue Hens, and the halting of a two-game home losing streak are two positives to begin with. And even its green and white uniforms in honor of St. Patrick's Day were mentioned during the postgame news conference.
Those aspects notwithstanding, the most important stretch of the game might have come during the second period for the 19th-ranked Pride.
Ahead 5-4 after a Lance Yapor goal, Hofstra was whistled for five penalties over the final 4:04 of the second period and played at least one man down for three-plus minutes.
The disadvantage didn't deter Hofstra's defense as it limited Delaware to just one goal during that span. Delaware finished the game 1-for-9 on extra man opportunities.
"There was a point when we were down two men and we just killed the clock," said Hofsra goalie Andrew Gvozden, who finished with 13 saves. "If you can do that and get through those moments, that's when you get momentum and that's when you really get the team going."
Making the stand even more impressive was that the Pride (3-3, 1-0 CAA) took a 6-5 lead into the break on an unassisted goal by Steve Serling with 14 seconds left.
The route was on in the second half as Hofstra befuddled Delaware (3-5, 0-1) on both sides of the ball, outscoring the Blue Hens 7-0.
"I think we finally played a really solid half of defense," Gvozden said. "In the beginning we let up a couple of in-close shots . . . I think we did better job with our slide packages in the second half and really making sure that we limited the inside shots."
Hofstra coach Seth Tierney lauded assistant coaches Kevin Unterstein and J.P. Brazel for work they did in analyzing Delaware's offense.
"That was an emotional lift for us," Tierney said. "Have to give credit where credit is due."
It was balanced attack offensively for Hofstra. Adrian Sorichetti and Tyler Begley had three goals each, while Serling and Yapor scored two goals apiece for the Pride.
John Austin led Delaware with two goals.
Another positive for Hofstra was winning its CAA opener.
"Every CAA team right now, maybe with the exception of UMass because their record is so strong, is fighting for these CAA games," Tierney said. "The first fight is to get into the CAA tournament and we have a long way to go. This was one game. We're not handing out party hats yet."