By CANDICE MONHOLLAN
WEST GOSHEN — Devon Strachan may claim she stands at 5-foot-1, but West Chester Henderson hockey head coach Scott DiRico thinks otherwise.
"I said, ' You're 5-1 in high heels with skates on and on the bench,'' he said.
The junior goaltender, has proved her worth all season long and it was no different in a 9-2 win against Downingtown East in an Inter County Scholastic Hockey League game Friday night at Ice Line.
"Devon reminds me of my sister,' DiRico said. "Both the same. Small, very fast and not afraid. She's not afraid at all and her the other goalie, Tyler (Bonjo) are equally as good. Everybody plays for both of them. Couldn't ask for better goalies to have.'
If the opposition ever had a problem with her playing, they wouldn't be able to show it without fear of repercussions from her brothers on ice.
"Nobody gives her a hard time and our guys back her up completely,' DiRico said. "Our guys love her and think she's great. I think the other teams are afraid because our team would come after them.'
To add to that, the boys did a great job of showing up in front of Strachan, helping her clearing the puck out of harm's way and back-checking all game long to add to her key saves.
"That was a great game,' Strachan said. "That was our best game in a couple weeks. It was good that we came out like that.'
It was the kind of game Henderson needed after a tough loss against Perkiomen Valley the week before.
"It was one of the smarter games we played where if we made a mistake, we, as a team, helped come back and fix it,' DiRico said. "They're a really good team and they're a tough team. We did a good job of not letting them control the physical play.'
It was clear from the outset that Henderson (9-5-1) wanted to shut down Downingtown East's strong defensemen and became the more physical team, laying out some hard, open-ice hits.
Henderson was close to getting on the board 5:30 into the game when a perfect cross-crease pass from junior forward Matt Carreras to senior forward Kyle Wicka. His shot squeaked under freshman goaltender Jeff Cummings' pads, but slid across the goal line and stayed out.
Henderson pressed on and was able to cash in late in the first as junior forward Sean Miller cashed in on a pileup in front of Cummings.
Senior forward Eric Carreras followed up 34 seconds later when he was left all alone in the slot to give Henderson a 2-0 lead.
The lead was preserved by Strachan shortly after with a big save off a rocket in close, leaving the door open for Henderson to add to its lead, which they did, this time from junior forward Matt Carreras.
Cummings made the initial save on Eric Carreras, but left the rebound sitting on the doorstep for an easy tap in for his brother.
Downingtown East had its chances, including when senior forward Trevor Cohn clanked one off the post early into the second, but Henderson continued its dominating play in the second, and converted even while down two skaters.
While killing off a 5-on-3 power play late in the second, a bad turnover in the defensive end led to a 2-on-1 rush by Henderson with Eric Carreras potting a short-handed goal to give his team a 4-0 lead with 17.6 seconds left.
Wicka kept the goals coming in the third at 1:26. Freshman forward Dylan Teeter scored two back-to-back goals for a commanding 7-0 lead after sophomore goaltender Benjamin Silver bobbled the puck on the first goal and saw it bounce over him for Teeter's second.
Downingtown East (9-8-0) was able to get on the board thanks to a power-play goal from junior forward Ben Robertson after he chipped it over Strachan while she was on her back at 8:43.
Wicka added his second of the night before Downingtown West and Henderson traded goals from senior forward Ryan Knight and Wicka again for a hat trick.
It was the sixth win of the season for Strachan and a big boost for the team as the regular season is quickly coming to a close.
"This is a big win for us,' she said. "We need to get our rankings up for the playoffs and Flyers Cup so that was a big help tonight.'
W.C. Henderson 9, Downingtown East 2
W.C. Henderson 3-1-5 — 9
Dowingtown East 0-0-2 — 2
W.C. Henderson goals: Miller, E Carreras 2, M Carreras, Wicka 3, Teeter 2.
Downingtown East goals: Robertson, Knight.
Goalie saves: Strachan (WCH) 25; Cummings (DE) 24, Silver (DE) 0.