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Henderson blanks Conestoga behind Scebelo’s 21 saves

WEST GOSHEN >> The West Chester Henderson girls ice hockey team had a dream season last year, winning the Ches-Mont Natonal and knocking off perennial power Unionville to capture the Flyers Cup.

This season, the Warriors had to replace a number of parts from that team, but they still find themselves in the middle of a playoff battle.

Buoyed by a 21-save shutout performance by Samantha Scebelo on Senior Night, Meredith Gill notched a pair of goals and Kayla Czukoski added a goal and an assist to lead Henderson to a 3-0 victory over Conestoga Thursday night at Ice Line.

“It was a pretty good game,” said Henderson coach Ron Sochacki. “We just had to be patient and we couldn’t just skate end-to-end. We had to get back to basics and pass the puck.”

The Pioneers went step for step with Henderson in a first period that went scoreless. Conestoga had the better of the chances for the early part of the period. Eliana Schiff had a good chance from in close, forcing Scebelo into a good save. Her best stop of the stanza came with a glove save off Sofia Kaiser following a giveaway.

“Our third line — Lauren Yucha, Eliana Schiff and Sofia Kaiser — had a great game,” said Conestoga coach Tony Parisi. “They stayed with them for a good part of the game.”

Henderson (8-2-1) peppered freshman goalie Charlotte Friel with 18 shots in the first period, but could not break through. Friel faced 50 shots overall.

“We have two new goalies,” added Parisi. “Charlotte is just a freshman, but she is talented and confident.”

The Warriors finally got the opening goal with 2:26 left in the second. Czukoski’s intial shot was stopped by Friel, but Gill was alone in front and on the second swat at it, slipped the puck underneath Friel into the net.

Czukoski made it 2-0 in the third as she corralled a face off in the Henderson end and went the length of the ice, past a defender, and beat Friel on the backhand side.

“I missed a breakaway earlier,” said Czukoski. “I wanted a second chance and made sure I didn’t miss. The first goal, I shot the puck and Meredith was in front and she put it in.”

Gill made it 3-0 on the power play with her sixth goal of the season.

Scebelo faced a significantly reduced workload after the first period, facing only nine shots in the next two periods.

“She was out for a few games,” Sochacki said of Scebelo. “It’s good to have her back and for her to get the win on Senior Night.”

For Conestoga (4-9), it has been a struggle the last couple of years, but Parisi feels his club is making strides.

“We don’t get a lot players who have been on club teams,” he said. “We had 29 players come out this year. The girls have been great. They play hard, practice hard and they have fun learning the game. I’m proud of the way they’ve played this year.”

WC Henderson 3, Conestoga 0
WC Henderson 0 2 1 – 3
Conestoga 0 0 0 – 0
WC Henderson goals: Gill 2, Czukoski.
Goalie saves: Scebelo (WCH) 21; Friel (C) 47.

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