WEST GOSHEN — It was a night which couldn't be better scripted for the seniors of the West Chester Henderson High School boys ice hockey team (8-4-1) as they celebrated the graduating teammates before the game and after a big 15-5 win over Bishop Shanahan (2-14-0) in an Inter County Scholastic Hockey League game.
Brothers Eric and Matt Carreras, a senior and junior respectively, were invaluable to the team as they combined for 10 points in the game, with Matt notching the first hat trick of his high school career.
"It was a good relief to get it off [my back],' Matt Carreras said. "Junior year is a little late, but I've been playing defense lately. It was pretty good to get it on senior night and help out the team for a win.'
Despite the high-scoring game, Henderson didn't get off to the start needed or the way the coach wanted in the first period
"For some reason, when they play games like that, they want to do it all on their own,' said Henderson head coach Scott DiRico. "They stopped playing the way they should and you get that result. The assistant coach took over [in the second] because I wasn't too thrilled.'
A tough break for sophomore goaltender Alex DeGarmo led to the first goal when senior defenseman Drew Wallace's shot from the point hit one or two bodies in front of the night, changing direction on DeGarmo at 6:36 of the first.
DeGarmo made a couple more saves, including one point-blank from senior forward Kyle Wicka, but was beat stick-side for a 2-0 Henderson lead.
The second goal opened the door for Henderson to send wave after wave into Bishop Shanahan's end, but the Eagles were able to withstand and created a chance of their own. Senior forward Ryan McGinty took a shot and hit a stick in front, causing the puck to bounce in the air and over junior goaltender Devon Strachan's shoulder at 12:13 of the first.
Hard work by Wicka put Henderson's lead back up by two after getting his own rebound twice and finally depositing it in the net with the goaltender on his back.
But Bishop Shanahan answered back 29 seconds later before the period was over when freshman forward Keegan Hughes sent senior forward Patrick Folan in on a breakaway from the blue line and with one deke, beat Strachan to pull back within one.
Once Henderson settled in and found its game in the second, the puck ended up in the back of the net seven times to give the Warriors a commanding lead.
A quick start from the Warriors in the middle period deflated any confidence Bishop Shanahan may have gained from the late goal when Matt Carreras stickhandled one by DeGarmo 35 seconds in.
The lead was extended off a shorthanded goal from Carreras once again, followed up by another 1:07 later by junior forward Sean Miller to give Henderson a backbreaking 6-2 lead over Bishop Shanahan.
Folan attempted to keep Bishop Shanahan's hopes alive with his chip in over Strachan's shoulder from the behind the net and shortly after, DeGarmo getting just enough to keep the puck out of the net on a breakaway by Miller.
Unfortunately for Bishop Shanahan, Henderson continued to pile on the goals Wallace picked his spot top shelf and forced the Eagles to take a timeout at 7:36 of the second.
But the effort was futile against the potent offense of Henderson as they scored three more times before the period ended from Eric and Matt Carreras and Miller for a 10-3 lead.
Despite the goal differential, Bishop Shanahan continued to play its hardest, scoring two more goals off of junior forward Brandon Fonticoba and freshman forward Keegan Hughes, but Henderson countered with five more goals, the which caused a controversy amongst the crowd and coaches.
Bishop Shanahan head coach Wm. James McHugh was upset with DiRico over him putting some of the top players in the league out on the ice at the end of the game, but DiRico felt it was unfair to sit his seniors on senior night.
W.C. Henderson 15, Bishop Shanahan 5
W.C. Henderson 3 7 5 — 15
Bishop Shanahan 2 1 2 — 5
W.C. Henderson goals: Wallace 3, Knox, Wicka 2, M Carreras 3, Miller 2, E Carreras, Applebee, McCarthy, Kerslake.
Bishop Shanahan goals: McGinty, Folan 2, Fonticoba, Hughes.
Goalie saves: Strachan (WCH) 7; DeGarmo (BS) 37.