WEST GOSHEN — It has felt like a long off-season since West Chester Rustin was crowned state champions in March, but hockey is finally in the air as Ice Line filled with eight teams competing in the Hicks Cup preseason tournament Monday night.
The tournament was started by the Hicks Foundation in memory of West Chester Henderson student and hockey player Andrew Hicks, who passed away in 2010 before he could start his senior year.
All proceeds made during the tournament go to the foundation.
The tournament continues Oct.10 and 13, before ending on Oct. 17.
West Chester Henderson has won the tournament the last three years.
West Chester Henderson 6, West Chester East 2: It was a very spirited match between two of the three West Chester teams and went back-and-forth up through the second period before Henderson notched three goals in the third.
Tyler Bonjo, playing the second half of the game, was perfect in net for Henderson. Forward Matt Carreras, the Warriors’ new captain, had two goals in the game while freshman forward Tommy Aughey impressed with two goals and an assist.
“It was a good game overall,” said Henderson head coach Scott DiRico. “We played a lot better than we had in the last couple of weeks in practice. They were doing a good job cycling and more so forechecking and maintaining who was playing on the ice and where the play was going to go.
“Our defense did a good job. They were a lot more patient and didn’t rush a lot as they have a tendency to do. Overall, it was a spirited effort.”
The goals were spread pretty evenly across the Cougars roster. Collin Harple, Joe Kubachka and Ben Robertson tallied two goals each. Connor Kloss, Dustin Fisher, Justin Cohn and Bobby Kiefer added a goal each.
“It was a great overall performance,” said Downingtown East head coach Dave Hendricks. “We have a lot of new kids on the team and it was great to give them ice time and an opportunity to play with each other.
“I’m very impressed with the overall attitude of the team. We have a great bunch of seniors that are doing a great job leading a bunch of freshmen. The goaltenders also played well along with a really good job by my defense.”
West Chester Rustin 5, Downingtown West 1: The defending state champions kicked off the preseason in the win column after three quick goals in 2:27 in the second period.
Forwards Tommy Sloan and Austin Aurillo scored two goals while Beau Weimer tallied on for the Golden Knights in the win.
“For the first game of the season, I thought we played well,” said Rustin head coach Nick Russo. “There were some good things and some good puck movements.
“Defense is where you’re rusty early in the season and that showed. We had some lapses, but we’ll clean it up.”
Forward Gabe Masters notched two goals for the Indians. Tyler Millhouse and Sullivan Delaney had the other two goals.
“We played well in the first half of the game,” said Unionville head coach Bill Hammond. “Being our fourth time on the ice, it showed. It’s sloppy hockey and it’s what I expected in the first game.
“We have a long way to go. It’s a start and that’s all it is. It’s why I’m glad we do this preseason stuff because you have to work on chemistry. We have some new kids this year and kids moving up for the first time. They have to get a feel for playing together.”