By CANDICE MONHOLLAN
WEST GOSHEN — It was a hockey showcase showdown between the number 1 and 2 teams in the Ches-Mont division and it could not have been a more thrilling game for the large crowd in attendance.
Ultimately, three goals in less than 30 seconds for West Chester Rustin (14-2-2) in the third period was the deciding factor to beat top-ranked Unionville (15-1-1), 6-3, Friday night in an Inter County
Scholastic Hockey League game at Ice Line.
"It was the two biggest bullies on the block,' said Rustin head coach Nick Russo. "It was a lot of effort and I'm really proud of them.'
Rustin couldn't have asked for a tougher opponent in Unionville to close out the regular season.
"We just had to play hard,' said Rustin junior defenseman Michael Grande. "We knew they were strong and they have good defense. We just had to play our game and do whatever it takes to win.'
It was back-and-forth action in the first period and Unionville's senior goaltender Joshua Seder got things off with a big save three minutes in while on the other side of things, Rustin was blocking shots for its freshman netminder, Jason Grande.
Unionville opened the scoring when sophomore forward Danny Hargadon threw a pass toward the front of the net and senior Quinten Curtis put it in as he was falling to the ice at 6:26.
Sophomore forward Brett Christie answered back for Rustin 27 seconds later off a backdoor pass from senior J.R. Barone.
Unionville had the chance to take the lead back late in the first on a short-handed breakaway by junior Gabe Masters, but was stopped by freshman goaltender Jason Grande.
The second period featured more of the same from the two teams, though the ice seemed tilted slightly in favor of Unionville.
Michael Grande tricked Seder and went five-hole instead of taking a shot up high on the power play 40 seconds into the period to give Rustin a 2-1 lead.
Unionville tied things back up on its own power play on a laser from senior forward Nicholas Ward at the point at 2:32.
The two teams traded scoring chances through the middle of the second until Masters cut to the front of Rustin's net and deposited the puck to put Unionville up 3-2.
Once again, the lead was short lived as Christie tallied his second of the night on a shot which beat Seder, glove side, 29 seconds later.
Neither team seemed able to gain the upper hand until the third period when Rustin stunned Unionville on three goals in quick succession.
Senior forward Armen Asdourian got the puck over Seder's glove and head to retake the lead at 4:58 and Barone followed up 14 seconds later on a shot down low.
Unionville took its timeout to calm his team and regain focus, but as soon as they went back out, Rustin tacked on one more for good measure after 15 seconds on Michael Grande's second of the night.
"They took a timeout and we didn't back down,' Michael Grande said. "We kept on firing and scored another goal.'
From that point on, it was shutdown hockey for Rustin as bodies were sacrificed to block shots and clog up its end. Unionville became visibly frustrated and couldn't break through Rustin's defensive system.