Sun. Jan 16th, 2022

Coming off an 11-3 victory on Thursday night against Rutgers in New Jersey, The Rams faced off against the Scarlet Knights once again Saturday night at Ice Line. West Chester looked like a confident bunch upon hitting the ice for warm ups, perhaps knowing that they were, by far, the better team. West Chester spent the majority of the first period in Rutgers ʼ zone, pelting their goalie with shots and using their size and speed to frequently elude the checks of opposing players. Almost nine minutes into the first, WCU opened up the scoring on a goal by Dave Schrantz with an assist from Josh Leachey. Just five minutes later, freshman winger Chris Wallin made it 2 – 0 in favor of the Rams. He was assisted by Jim Lazorik. Joel Miller made put the Rams up by 3 with a goal at the 17:37 mark. Todd Zettle was credited with an assist on the play. With 1:14 left in the first period, WCU added one more goal when Dan Andrzejewski slipped yet another puck past Rutgers net minder with the help of Jim Gibson and Steve Binder. The Rams headed into the locker room in good spirits knowing that this game was probably over as long as they showed up for the final two periods.

Beginning the second period with a 4 – 0 lead, the Rams seemed to get complacent and strayed a bit from the physical play, solid skating, and crisp passes that allowed them to build their lead. Rutgers took advantage of this momentary lack of focus and scored on a deflection 4:28 into the period. Upon losing the possibility of a shutout, WCU seemed to regain their swagger and returned to the physical, often dominant play that benefited them earlier in the contest. The rest of the period was spent firing shots frequently at the Scarlet Knights net minder. With 6:50 left in the second, Jim Lazorik gave the Rams a 5 – 1 lead. Chris Wallin added an assist.

WCU came out flying in the third period skating around Scarlet Knight players as if they were construction cones and applying numerous big hits, seeming eager to add to their already insurmountable lead. At the 19:05 mark, Greg Scherbak skated in behind the Rutgers net, applied a check and stole the puck from an unsuspecting Scarlet Knight defensemen setting up a goal by Joel Miller, his second of the contest. Five minutes later, captain Jim Gibson skated across the slot, got the Rutgers goalie moving laterally in the crease and slipped one through the five hole putting WCU up 7 – 1. Dan Andrzejewski and Kevin Brawley assisted on Gibsonʼs tally. With 12:38 remaining in the game, Captain Kevin Underwood added another goal assisted by Dave Schrantz and Bob Kenworthy. Just 20 seconds later, defenseman Bryan Beck found the back of the net for the third time this weekend against Rutgers. Andrew Wert was credited with an assist. Chris Wallin added his second goal of the game with 7:53 left on the clock. Jim Lazorik picked up an assist.

Things got a bit ugly about a minute later when a Rutgers player delivered a cheap shot to Rams goaltender Eric Sotsky, tumbling into him on purpose. Upon knocking Sotsky backward into his own net, he was quickly swarmed by several WCU players and pelted with shots to the back of the head. He was also given a five minute penalty for charging. Several Rams players were also penalized for coming to the aid of their goalie.

WCU added one more goal for good measure with 1:51 left in the contest. Dave Schrantz got his second goal of the game making the final score 11 – 1. He was assisted by Josh Leachey and Keith Schuchardt. The Rams looked impressive this weekend, outscoring Rutgers 22 – 4 in two games and improving their record to 14 wins and 12 losses.

WCU plays at home on Friday and Saturday against West Virginia and Lehigh, their last two games at Ice Line before the ECHA tournament gets underway in a few weeks.

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