OAKS — They’ve come close on many occasions, but it wasn’t until Wednesday night when Downingtown East was finally able to string together back-to-back wins for the first time this season in a 10-0 romping of Boyertown in a Ches-Mont game at Center Ice.
Out of the four losses this year, three of those have been by just a single goal.
“At the beginning of the season, we just weren’t picking it up and we realized that we were losing games we could have easily won,” said D-East junior forward Jack Magee. “Now we’re finally putting in our all and winning some games.”
Unfortunately for D-East (3-3, 4-4), those three losses also came at the hands of conference opponents, which hurt them in the standings.
“We’ve been close in every single game,” said D-East head coach Dave Hendricks. “We’ve been right there. Nobody has blown us out.”
But the tides seem to be turning in favor of the Cougars as they knocked off Boyertown (3-3-1) in the 10-0 shutout and won 6-3 over Salesianum Monday.
“Stringing together a couple of nice wins is great for the morale,” Hendricks said. “It’s the way they did it that I’m more impressed by with the passing and stuff like that. We were stringing together close games by carrying the puck instead of passing it. Now, we’re passing and moving it. It’s helping out a lot. I don’t want to say it’s a turning point because I always feel that we’re in it. There isn’t that much of a change in terms of how they’re playing, other than moving the puck a little more. They’re still working their butts off, they’re still trying the best they can and they’re doing it with four lines.”
Just by looking at the scoresheet, the passing play becomes evident: Only three of D-East’s goals were unassisted.
“Every goal should have two assists – every goal should have four assists on it, in my book,” Hendricks said. “The kids hopefully see that when they play that way they’ll have better success. We win or loss, live or die as a team together. That’s the way we have to do it.”
What jumps out more on the sheet are the names of Magee and sophomore forward Joe Kubachka, who both kept racking up the points in the game.
Kubachka finished the night with a hat trick and an assist while Magee tallied five goals to go along with an assist.
“It kind of became a running joke on the bench between the two,” Hendricks said. “Both kids are are just absolute, top-notch players. With Magee, we’re finally seeing the blossom out of him. He has shown signs over the years, but now he’s becoming a full-fledged threat where teams are now keying in on him.
“Joey is just a man-child. He’s just a dominant force that you can’t cover with one person. You need to cover him with two or three. Most importantly, both kids are skilled hockey players, but both are just great kids, which is most important, after all.”
With a solid defense in front of him, junior goaltender Benjamin Silver made 10 saves en route to his first shutout of the season.
Downingtown East will try to build on the momentum from the wins and continue to climb back up the standings in the Ches-Mont, but it won’t be an easy task as the Cougars will face an offensive-threat in West Chester Henderson.
“Hopefully we can keep doing what we’re doing and bring it into next week,” Kubachka said. “We’re hoping we can take this into Monday and the rest of the season.”