WEST GOSHEN — Oxford’s Ryan Snowden has been a goaltender since he was 3 years old and in over that 14-year span, he’s never faced what he did Monday night.
In a game against Radnor Monday night at Ice Line, the senior faced 73 shots.
He stopped 72 of them in a 2-1 win.
“Sixty-nine shots was the highest (total faced) until tonight,” Snowden said. “This is now the highest. That was two or three years ago.”
That game ended in a tie, so now Snowden has even more to brag about this time around.
“He has been a phenomenal goalie for a long time and he is just playing at the top of his game right now,” said Oxford coach Andrew Wehner. “It’s exciting to watch.”
It was pretty evident from the drop of the puck that Snowden needed to be at the top of his game after his team was out-shot 23-0 in the first period alone.
“It was pretty lopsided,” Wehner said. “Ryan stepped up and had a huge game. We asked him to have an All-Star performance tonight and he definitely did.”
It wasn’t until about five minutes into the second when Oxford registered its first shot of the game – and it ended up as a goal by Zackery Mullen, who also scored again on the team’s third shot.
Snowden’s perfect performance was cut short 79 seconds after Mullen’s second goal when Brandon Curtis scored, but that would end up being the only goal Snowden let in.
“I like more shots,” he said. “As a goalie, I feel the more shots you face, the more comfortable you become. When my team keeps them all outside, it makes it easier, too.”
When all was said and done, Oxford was out-shot an astounding 73-11, something the likes of which many people aren’t bound to see again for a long time.
“I think it’s a shock, but it’s great,” Snowden said. “We’re all happy about it and ecstatic. It’s a great way to end Thanksgiving break.”
Wehner said he believes Snowden didn’t have any time in the net to become frustrated at all the shots being thrown his way, though it did take a little bit of a toll.
“I think they kept coming too fast at him for him to get frustrated, but I know it definitely got him tired toward the third period,” he said. “We called a timeout, regrouped and it was enough for us to push on and hold them off for the rest of the game.”
Snowden, who was all smiles after the game, just learned to move on as the time ticked away, something he has learned over the years.
“Over time, you learn to just deal with what happens,” he said. “When good stuff happens, you just move up with it and use it as momentum. It’s fun to be in the net.”
Though the wins have been much tougher to come by for Oxford as it moved from the DSHA into the EPIHA South, it hasn’t stopped the team from working hard and continuing to grow.
“It’s definitely harder for us, but we’re working hard every week in practice,” Snowden said. “Everyone is there skating and trying. We have a young team, so we’ll get there. We lost a lot of kids last year and moving up is hard, but we’ll get there.”