NEWARK, Del. — It may be the first season in nine years for the Oxford boys ice hockey team, but they started things off with a bang in a 9-0 rout of the Firebirds in a Delaware Scholastic Hockey Association non-division game Nov. 7.
It was exciting for the Oxford coaches to see the team come out with such a force, especially in its first season back.
“We have a lot of guys in Oxford who play hockey,” said Oxford head coach Harry Giovan. “Last year, three families got together and said, ‘Let’s put a team together.’”
Facing a team missing half of its players, Oxford was able to wear down the opposition and lit up goaltender Andrew Nugowski for seven goals in the third period.
“A lot of guys who play high school hockey are on travel teams and sometimes the games overlap,” Giovan said. “They had at least seven or eight guys who weren’t there tonight, which is tough.
“It’s a strategy and you start wearing them down and wearing them down. It showed.”
Leading the way for Oxford was Cameron Lindsay, who put up five goals and an assist in the game.
“It doesn’t surprise me,” said older brother and teammate Bryce Lindsay. “He’s a character in himself.”
It also wasn’t shocking for Giovan to see.
“He’s one of our top players,” he said. “He plays every day of the week, all day. He’s a great player and a great leader.”
Though the Firebirds only had eight skaters for the game, they put up a tough fight through the first two periods behind the stellar play of Nugowski.
“He did amazing,” Giovan said. “He was standing on his head. It was ridiculous. I don’t even know how many shots we had. He was just saving everything. Hats off to him.”
Oxford threw 22 shots at the goaltender while the Firebirds could only muster two of their own.
Nugowski, facing a barrage of pucks sent his way, made some spectacular saves which left those in attendance in awe.
“Their goalie kept them in it. He stood on his head through first two periods,” Bryce Lindsay said. “We just got them worn down and having a full bench helped us out a lot.”
In the third, Cameron Lindsay started things off 1:27 in and followed up 2:23 later with his third of the night before tacking on two more in the final three minutes.
Zackary Mullen, Zachary Balla and Tyler Swick also added goals of their own in the third.
“It felt good to get everything under control,” Bryce Linsday said. “We’re going all the way (this year) — DMA and the championship.”