Ice Hockey: Great Valley ends losing slump

Great Valley Junior Hayden Mathias registered his second hat trick in two games, this time in a 10-1 win over Sun Valley Friday night. (Candice Monhollan)

Great Valley Junior Hayden Mathias registered his second hat trick in two games, this time in a 10-1 win over Sun Valley Friday night. (Candice Monhollan)

WEST GOSHEN — Great Valley was looking for the chance it needed to get itself out of a three-game losing slump and was able to do just that Friday night in a 10-1 drubbing of Sun Valley in a Ches-Mont game at Ice Line.

Leading the way for the Patriots (2-3, 4-3) were senior Andrew Ungvary and junior Hayden Mathias, who each registered hat tricks, and senior goaltender Evan Christian, who made only five saves, but they were big ones for his team.

“I feel good,” Mathias said. “Me and my linemates are working the puck very well. It was a good game for our line. The team wasn’t too strong, but it doesn’t matter. It’s all about how you work the puck. If you don’t work the puck, it’s not going to go in.”

Taking advantage of the big lead, Great Valley worked on a new forecheck system to try and help them battle in games down the road.

“What was nice tonight is that instead of just scoring, they actually tried to learn a different style of hockey,” said Great Valley head coach Ladd Clark. “Normally, my teams don’t do that. They just try to 10-goal a team and go home. We were ahead 3-0 in the last game and lost 4-3 because we couldn’t play defense. We looked at today as an opportunity.”

The Patriots out-shot Sun Valley (0-8, 0-9) 32-6 and though Christian may not have faced a lot of rubber, its tough to keep mentally sharp and those times when he was challenged, he had to come up big – twice having to stop sophomore defenseman Casey Crockett on breakaways.

“He’s doing a great job,” Clark said. “These are very hard games (for a goalie).”

Though the game was far from perfect, it was the type of win Great Valley needed after losing by just one or two goals in the last three games.

“It was more of a team effort for us,” Mathias said. “We honestly had three games in a row where we could have won all of them. It’s a good bounce-back game for us. We needed this game. It’s good for us to get some momentum going into (upcoming) games.”

Heading into the middle of the season, Great Valley will face tough opponents in West Chester Henderson, Unionville and West Chester East, but the Patriots are hoping to be able to turn some heads in the Ches-Mont in those games.

“We all know what we want to do by the end of the year and we have the talent to, but sometimes, we’re not disciplined enough – not in the mental part of the game. We have a lot of young players and we keep making mental mistakes, but we’re starting to get through it.

“Every team has that mental mindset of ‘this team sucks, so we’re not going to try,’ but we’re trying to get out of that. … We have no respect and we’re trying to get out of that hole this season because we have a special team here. To get out of that hole would be great and just to earn some respect from around the league. We’re working as hard as possible. We’re taking a big step in the right direction with all of our games.”

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