It’s at this point that you have to ask yourself, is there anything the senior wearing No. 25 on Chaminade can’t do besides play net? Not that he probably wouldn’t try, but that the Flyers already have a superior net minder already there.
“Tonight it was just crazy,” James Henry said, still coming down from an adrenaline high. “It was awesome.”
For the third time this season, the Flyer forward scored 4 goals in a single game, but this time it is in an elimination game that would send Chaminade to the finals.
“I kinda thought it was a mirror image of yesterday’s game,” Flyers head coach Frank Bendl said. “We played well early, we got some goals early, and they came back a little bit but we kind of early on, we were pressing. That’s a great series.”
Up 2-1 in the third period, an Iona defenseman had covered the puck in the crease, causing a penalty shot to be caused for Henry.
“We just looked at each other and said ‘James’,” Bendl said. “My concern was that they were toasted; we only ran the two lines.”
Henry had already slid the puck in twice in the five-hole.
“The penalty shot, I made a couple moves and I slid it through his legs again,” he said. “The second one, I beat the guy to the puck and just lifted up his stick, took it, put it once again through the goalie’s five-hole and he didn’t seem to be covering down there that much.”
About two minutes later the Gaels had pulled their goalie hoping for an extra-man advantage that ended up with a shot from Henry from the blue line for the empty netter.
“We just told him ‘settle down and be direct on the goalie’,” Bendl said of Henry’s shots. “I think as soon as he saw him open that five-hole, he’s dead; he’s got quick hands.”
Settling down the other lines was the orders given to the Chaminade defenders, as the team was again short staffed in terms of missing three of their top forwards.
“Everyone stepped up, rallied around who was here and we came out flying,” Henry said. “I’ve got to put it in the top because it’s putting us in the finals that we didn’t reach last year.”
In 2012 Chaminade got knocked out in overtime of the third semi-final game to end their playoff hopes.
“Last year losing in overtime was really frustrating,” said Chaminade goalie Brandon DeStasio after making three sliding stops.
“The number of times he keeps us in the game, without him we would not be here right now,” Henry said. “The saves he makes just bewilders me.”
“We realized that we weren’t going to be able to walk over a team,” DeStasio said. “I think we were almost a little cocky going into it, then once they beat us we realized we’ve got to really want it if we wanted to win.”
“So it’s a little bit of a payback,” Bendl said, breathing a sigh of relief, allowing a smile to broaden across his face. “It’s 2-1 for most of the part of the game and it’s the same circus it was yesterday. Even when it’s 3-1 it’s close. They woulda given St. Anthony’s a run for their money too.”
Chaminade had used three lines only a handful of times this year before dropping down to two during the stretch but will probably have three to go against the Friars in the finals.
“St Anthony’s is the top team, they’re the champs; it’s tough to knock off the champs, we know that,” Bendl said, noting the Flyers were able to tie in one of their meetings and skated 2-1 with them.
“I think the hockey gods are going to decide this one. Or James Henry.”1 2 3 F Iona Prep 1 0 0 1 Chaminade 2 0 2 4
Chaminade Scoring Statistics Player Goals Assts. James Henry 4 0 Joseph Anile 0 1 Brendan Ekstrom 0 1 Michael Minarczyk 0 1
Chaminade Goalkeeping Goalie Shots Brandon DeStasio 26