By Andrei Radu
Special for ChesCo Hockey Haven
The Hornets scored early in the first period and never let up the lead. Later in the first period, Oxford scored again, taking a 2-0 advantage. The second period was scoreless, thanks in no small part to Oxford goaltender Ryan Snowden, who made several excellent saves during a formidable power play effort by the Jags.
Head coach Harry Giovan said, “It’s all about giving 100 percent all the time. The moment you start letting up is the moment when things start going wrong.”
Things never went wrong, and when Appoquinimink ended the shutout in the third period, Oxford had Snowden to keep things in check.
“He’s a phenomenal goalie — I would say probably one of the more elite goalies — and we’re lucky to have him” Giovan said.
While Giovan praised his team’s effort and his goalie’s performance separately, Snowden attributed much of his success to his teammates’ play in front of him.
“The team around me was able to play well and kept (Appoquinimink) to those outside shots, and I thank them a lot for that as well as playing their positions right. When they’re able to help you out, it really makes it easier on the goaltender,” Snowden said.
Perhaps Oxford’s good positioning can be attributed partly to their coach’s reinforcement of his main idea: “You have to keep your feet moving constantly. When you do that, you’ll keep the lead the whole time.”
Snowden played in Finland last season while he was there as a foreign exchange student. Judging by his coach’s praise and his performance on Sunday, it did nothing but better his game.