Ice Hockey: Henderson rolls to seal third place

West Chester Henderson's Sean Miller scored on the power play in a 5-2 win over Unionville Thursday night. (Candice Monhollan)

West Chester Henderson’s Sean Miller scored on the power play in a 5-2 win over Unionville Thursday night. (Candice Monhollan)

WEST GOSHEN — It seems like it was a season ago since West Chester Henderson and Unionville last went head-to-head with each other.

In reality, the two played each other in their first game of the year back in October, with Unionville coming out on top in a shootout of a game.

This time around, however, Henderson had the upper hand as they scored five unanswered goals in a 5-2 win Thursday night at Ice Line.

“(Unionville is) a good team,” said Henderson head coach Scott DiRico. “They play incredibly smart. It was good to get back in it and take momentum and go from there. All those things are big and they build toward the Flyers Cup, so it was something we needed.”

Just 16 seconds into the second period, Unionville (6-4-5, 6-7-5) scored its second goal on the power play, going up 2-0 over Henderson (10-3-2, 11-5-2).

But instead of feeling deflated after the bad bounce, Henderson picked itself up and kept pushing.

“We just stuck to our gameplan,” said sophomore forward Dylan Teeter. “The coach told us what to do and we kept going after it and eventually we got that first goal and we just kept going. Once we got that second goal, we were just on a rally and kept going with the flow.”

Teeter started the rally with his beauty of a backhander 22 seconds after Unionville’s goal, and then it was all Henderson on the scoreboard.

Junior forward Jarrett Slear tied the game late in the second before Sean Miller and Tommy Aughey put the game just out of reach in the third.

“We were playing fine,” DiRico said. “We just stayed the course and got a goal. We have the fire power. It was just a matter of two unfortunate bounces. It was good determination of them to be able to fight through it and get back in the game and take control.”

Slear sealed the win with his second of the night on an empty-netter.

“We had a little space and got to play a little more defense,” Teeter said. “We didn’t have to score goals and kind of just sat back and read what they were doing.”

Henderson has had some defensive problems since the beginning of the season and to help counter that, DiRico made some moves on his roster, including taking lethal goal-scorer Matt Carreras and moving him to the blue line.

“Matt’s an exceptional player,” DiRico said. “He sees the ice better than most people in this league. For him to have the whole ice to see and be able to control everything from back there just adds another element to our game. We moved up two defensemen to forward, who are awesome at forward, so it works out both ways for everybody.”

Though the two points this late in the season weren’t dire for Henderson, it did lock the Warriors into third place in the Ches-Mont with just one game remaining in the regular season.

And that game will be a marquee match-up between the Warriors and West Chester Rustin, who is battle for first in the conference.

“Odds are we have a good chance of seeing (Rustin) down the road in the Flyers Cup or playoffs,” DiRico said. “It’s a good way to end the season and it’s good for the fact that it gives us hard games and games we know we’re going to be in in the playoffs. It’s going to be a good, mini-playoff game.”


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