Posted December 12, 2012; Published in Daily Local News
WEST CHESTER – Just a week after routing West Chester Rustin, West Chester East laced up the skates to defend their perfect 5-0 record in a clash of two Ches-Mont West division rivals. The Vikings did just that with another decisive victory, an 8-2 decision over the Golden Knights.
East came out strong and started banging bodies from the opening shift.
“We’re not typically a physical team,” said East head coach Drew Cox. “I try to focus on puck possession.”
Apparently defenseman Gage Downing didn’t get the message because he threw his weight around all game and had some momentum-shifting hits.
West Chester East opened up the scoring at 3:50 into the first period with a goal by forward Pat Ward, assisted from team captain Colin Brown. It was Brown’s first helper of the season after finishing the first five games with five goals and no assists.
“I’m actually more of a passer,” said Brown. “I don’t know how I have all these goals already.”
With 4:30 left to play in the first, Brown made the score 2-0 East on his sixth goal of the year.
Down 2-0, the Rustin offense woke up and tallied their first score of the game only 17 seconds later. Golden Knights forward J.R. Barone brought some life back to the game with his first of two goals on the evening.
After one period of play, the two teams found themselves exactly where they were one week prior: a tight 2-1 game in favor of East.
“In most of our games, we’ve had good starts,” said coach Cox. “We started out slow these two games against Rustin but what’s important is that we did finish the first with a lead and got a couple (goals) early.”
One of the reasons the team may have started slow out of the gate is that East was missing three players, including freshman Chris Rodier, who were away at a club team tournament.
“The lines were shaken up and I think the players had to get accustomed to the changes,” said Cox. “But when they did their play started flowing.”
The second period proved to be a close battle up until about the halfway mark when Rustin forward Austin Beebe was sent to the penalty box for two minutes after a holding call. East went to work on the power play right away and Zack Bowe scored his first of back-to-back goals on the night while giving Colin Brown his second assist.
In a 4-1 hole, Rustin moved toward an offense-minded approach when a slip-up gave East’s Mike Roberta an open lane to the puck and the net. As he flew down the center of the ice, Roberta put on a quick deke and sent the puck top-shelf for the 5-1 lead. That’s where second period would end and the third proved to be no different.
Down 6-1, J.R. Barone scored his second for the Knights against East junior goalie Tyler Percival. Although the Vikings’ attack left Percival in a pretty nice situation, he actually had a great game of his own. Percival stopped 27 of 29 Rustin shots and looked solid throughout.
“He’s been doing great all season,” said Cox. “He’s a junior who has waited his turn to be the starting varsity goalie and he hasn’t disappointed.”
Team captain Colin Brown added that Percival is “the best goalie in the league.”
East has rolled to a 6-0 start with six or more goals in four of those six wins.
“As of now we’re doing great,” said Brown. “It’s the opposite of our usual slow start to the season.”
W.C. East 8, W.C. Rustin 2
W.C. Rustin 1 0 1 — 2
W.C. East 2 3 3 — 8