If the Golden Rams are looking for legitimacy and respect, they are doing a hell of a job.For the second time in a week, senior captain Rob Troxell combined his solid effort with freshman Corey Hackney’s stingy goaltending, to lead the scorching Golden Rams to a win. they took down the nationally ranked No. 10 Delaware Blue Hens, 3-2 on Saturday at Ice Line Arena in West Chester.
Five minutes into the first period, the Golden Rams set the tone for the game, by capitalizing on a passing mistake by a Delaware defender. It resulted in speedy Rob Troxell picking up the loose puck and exploding into the Delaware zone on a short handed break away.
Troxell deeked to Delaware goalie Jimmy Depfer’s glove side, but dragged the puck across the front of the crease to his backhand. This forced Depfer down on the ice to be only a spectator ,as Troxell patiently raised the backhand shot into the open net. Troxell’s early goal made it clear to the Blue Hens that they were going to have to have their head in the game to leave Pennsylvania with a win.
By the end of the second period, goals by freshman Pat Johnson and sophomore Robert Bushman, extended the Golden Ram’s overwhelming lead to three, in what appeared to be a sealed affair.
In a tough fought game that centered around keeping Delaware’s offense out of sync, West Chester began to show the slowing effects of playing a late game less than 24 hours the night before in Princeton, New Jersey.
Delaware could smell blood and took advantage of West Chester’s lagging legs by putting growing amounts of pressure on West Chester goaltender Corey Hackney. Hackney, who was pitching an excellent looking shutout against a top tier team, was suddenly brought down to earth at 14:40 in the third period by Delaware’s Justin Wehrenberg, making the game 3-1.
Delaware’s first goal of the game was followed up by another goal two minutes later, again by Wehrenberg, putting the tie in reach for the Blue Hens, who controlled all the momentum.
Yet good penalty killing, mixed with Rob Troxell’s clutch face off win with seconds left in the game, preserved the victory for West Chester.
With this win, West Chester improved their winning streak to four, including 16 wins in their last 18 games. Matched with their 6-0 win Friday night against Rutgers University, this weekend puts the Golden Ram’s record to a very respectable 19-7, and biting at first place in the division.
Next up for the Golden Rams is an away game against the Navy Midshipmen on Friday, February 2. It will be followed up by the final home game of the year against the West Virginia Mountaineers on Saturday, February 3 at 4:45 pm at the Ice Line Arena in West Chester.