Ice Hockey: Russell line leads charge for W.C. East

West Chester East stayed atop of the Ches-Mont with an 8-1 win over Downingtown West Friday night. (Candice Monhollan)

West Chester East stayed atop of the Ches-Mont with an 8-1 win over Downingtown West Friday night. (Candice Monhollan)

WEST GOSHEN — Their names didn’t appear on the scoresheet until the second period, but once it did, the line of Eddie Russell, Chris Rodier and Charlie Carsello was impossible to stop.

The line combined for half of West Chester East’s goals in an 8-1 win over Downingtown West Friday night at Ice Line.

“They didn’t get going early on and … I went down the bench and said, ‘Alright guys, it’s your turn. Get going now,’” said East head coach Drew Cox. “I don’t know what it was, but I guess they were waiting for the go-ahead because right after that, they just started tic-tac-toeing and when they can find each other, they’re real dangerous.”

Russell, who accounted for all three of East’s (13-3, 14-3) goals in the second, wasn’t sure how it happened.

“We had so much chemistry tonight,” he said. “Last game, we were working the puck, but we really clicked tonight and started scoring a lot. There’s just a lot of skill on our line.”

But they weren’t the only ones having a good night.

East came out flying and never let up, carrying a 5-0 lead into the second intermission and allowing only eight shots to its 27.

“When we’re on our game, that’s the way the game should go,” Cox said. “We came out flying. We wanted to play the game with the speed and tempo (D-West) couldn’t stay with the whole game and that’s pretty much how the script went. We just turned it up at the very beginning and stayed up. It worked out for us.”

D-West (7-7, 7-10) wasn’t able to crack goaltender Joe Stacy until the third period, courtesy of Joseph Leahy, but that would be the long time.

The Ches-Mont match-up was the last on the schedule for the Vikings, will sit by to watch where they end up in the rankings.

They currently sit first, but West Chester Rustin has been on their heels for the last couple weeks, just one point behind East.

“Unfortunately, we have to play a waiting game to see where we end up — at 1 or 2 — but we’ve done our job,” Cox said. “We wanted to get our last two league points and now it’s just sitting back and letting the chips fall where they may. Moving forward, it’s just getting ready for the postseason.”

To get ready for the postseason, East will use its remaining two games against non-conference teams to fine tune and tweak anything the coaching staff feels may need some work.

“They’re not throw-away games, but valuable ones against two good opponents in St. Joe’s Prep and Garnet Valley,” Cox said. “They’re two good opponents, which is good because we’re going to see nothing but good opponents and good games in the playoffs.

“I like how our schedule is setup for us the way we can use these games and not worry about getting the points out of them, but working on the things we want to be doing well in the playoffs.”

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