WEST GOSHEN — It was as perfect of a game that Downingtown East head coach Dave Hendricks could have asked for from his players on Tuesday night.
From front to back and to the net, D-East didn’t give a single inch to third-seeded Central Bucks West in a 3-0 shutout in the Flyers Cup AA Semifinals.
“They played great defense through their offense and they played great offense through their defense,” Hendricks said. “It was an absolute team win. All these guys felt it. You could feel the energy on the bench and you could feel the positivity running through each and every player.”
In its quarterfinals game against Council Rock South, the second-seeded Cougars started off well, but faltered in the second period.
Hendricks attributed the break from the game plan to players getting into a ‘club’ mindset – something which didn’t happen Tuesday night as D-East was solid from start to finish.
“None of these kids have any more club games,” he said. “Their playoffs ended over the weekend so their No. 1 focus now is Downingtown. They are reenergized, reinvigorated and ready to go at this point.”
Downingtown East has focused on team defense the last several years and it showed against Central Bucks West.
“They did a great job getting on the puck in their own end and they blocked a whole lot of attempted shots,” said CB West head coach Dave Baun. “It was really impressive with how many shots they blocked. Their goaltender also played very strong and played a great game.”
Even with all the blocked shots, CB West was still able to get 25 through to goaltender Jeff Cummings, but he stopped every one of them for his first shutout in the tournament.
“Usually you figure some of those (shots) will even go in by accident,” Baun said. “(Cummings) deserved the shutout.”
On the other end, CB West goaltender Jonah Brous was putting up just as good of a fight in net.
It wasn’t until the second period when D-East was finally able to crack the junior on a perfect passing play between Collin Harple and Alex Fox.
Justin Cohn put his team up by two on the power play and really dealt a blow to CB West when he netted another just 18 seconds later.
“It was great,” the sophomore said. “Goaltending was awesome, as was the team defense.”
D-East will face the top seed in Central Bucks South for the right to defend its Flyers Cup AA title on Thursday in Hatfield.
Though the Cougars have many players on the team who have experience in the championship game from last season, CB South also has the same.
“You have two experienced teams out there,” Hendricks said. “CB South won the year before (us) and they still have a number of players left with Flyers Cup Finals experience. Yes, we’re the away team, but we’ve been good everywhere we have gone this year. It’s just a matter of rolling over tonight into the next game.
“They know what they have to do and they saw success doing the right things tonight. In terms of the next game, they’re ready and already prepared. The scouting has been done and everything has been done – everybody knows what the game is going to be. They just have to play it and earn it at this point.”
La Salle 8, Malvern Prep 0: Third-seeded Malvern Prep ran into a brick wall when it came to La Salle, the second seed, in the Flyers Cup AAA Semifinals game. Goaltender Matthew Hollingshead faced 45 shots and stopped just 37 of them. Malvern was only able to get 19 shots through to goaltender Harrison Feeney, who stopped them all.