Ice Hockey: Shorthanded Downingtown West girls start fast, hangs on

This article can be found published on the Daily Local News‘ website.
Lindsay O'Donohoe led Downingtown West to a win with four goals Friday night. (Candice Monhollan)

Lindsay O’Donohoe led Downingtown West to a win with four goals Friday night. (Candice Monhollan)

WEST GOSHEN — With both teams needing a win to boost their fledgling confidence levels, the Downingtown West girls ice hockey team used a four-goal performance from Lindsay O’Donohoe to jump out to a big lead, then they had to dig down deep to withstand a furious Haverford High comeback, to post an 8-6 Inter-County Scholastic Hockey League victory at Ice Line on Friday.

“We were pretty down on ourselves and weren’t very confident,” said O’Donohoe. “When we started warming up we saw (Haverford was) kind of low, too. We just had to put in everything we had because there were so little of us.”

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The Whippets (6-3-1) were shorthanded due to a weekend club tournament. West was reduced to two players on the bench and a backup goalie, who is normally a skater.

“We were just rolling through, trying to get breaks when we could,” said West coach Robert Bebee. “Toward the end, I’m pretty sure the girls were getting tired.”

Because of the shortened bench, it was more important to Bebee to see his team play with safety in their minds rather than a ‘ W.’

“I told them before the game I didn’t want to see any injuries,” he said. “The outcome was less important, but they played well.”

Despite the lack of reserves, the team rallied and now sit a joint fourth place with crosstown rival Downingtown East in the standings.

“I just really tried to push myself the entire game and be there for my teammates,” O’Donohoe said. “I try to be a leader for them and show them we weren’t going to play badly just because we had seven players.

“Tonight was the night I had to start out and get a goal right away and get the team going so we all could be more confident with each other and get us out on top first.”

O’Donohoe took the team upon her shoulders and one minute, 16 seconds in, she beat a Haverford defender and deked around goaltender Jordan Matsinger to score. Junior Emily Diehl added her third goal of the year when Matsinger was unable to cover a loose puck, 1:33 later.

West continued to pile on its lead with another from O’Donohoe on a backhander at 13:02, followed 61 seconds later by a screened shot from Delaney Carle for a commanding 4-0 lead after one.

Carle scored her second of the night to start off the second, but then the ice tilted in favor of Haverford for half the period.

Sophomore defenseman Lauren Vanstone skated through two defenders and slipped the puck five-hole on Anna Diehl at 7:39. Five minutes later, Erin Doherty tallied her third of the year to make it a 5-2 game.

Downingtown West was able to recover enough with the time winding down in the second to notch two more in the final minute from Emily Diehl and O’Donohoe to extend the lead to 7-2.

The tired legs started to become noticeable in the third when Haverford tacked on four goals — all from just one player — senior Alicia Potts.

“They started to get some goals and when they were getting their shots up (on Anna Diehl), it was a little nerve-wracking,” O’Donohoe said. “Our legs were tired and we just had to keep pushing and play for the player next to us.”

Potts came alive and found Anna Diehl’s weak spot in net — up high. She scored her first goal on a wrister from the blue line 2:17 into the final frame, but O’Donohoe answered 62 seconds later.

Potts piled on two more goals, from the blue line again, and the high slot, and topped off her four-goal night with a shot from along the right boards at 12:02.

Downingtown West, clinging to an 8-6 lead, took a timeout in the final two minutes to regroup and get some life back.

“We just decided that we needed to calm down, stay in our positions, talk to each other and stay on (Potts),” O’Donohoe said. “I think we effectively did that at the end of the game.”

O’Donohoe was once again in the forefront when she blocked a shot from Potts with a minute left. Even with Matsinger pulled for the extra attacker in the last 37 seconds, Downingtown West was able to hold on for the confidence-boosting win.


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Categories: High School Sports, Ice Hockey, Sports

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