Drexel Catches Fire in Snow Squall; Shafer Nets Hat Trick
Saturday night the Drexel Dragons (1-4) played the first of two games this weekend. First up was the Bryant Bulldogs (3-4). Drexel picked up their first win of the season 7-5.
Earlier in the day Mother Nature would put a bump in the road. That bump would be about three inches of snow, but excellent work by the Drexel ground crew got the field ready on time. Immediately after the national anthem, however, a large snow squall came through the area covering the field completely. The squall was so large you could not see the fans in attendance on the other side of the field. This did not dampen the players spirits; if anything it pumped them up even more. And as quick as it came, the squall left just as fast.
The first quarter was scoreless as each team had to battle the elements, a slippery field and tracking the ball in the heavy squall.
“I was just glad the snow was blowing at my back in that quarter,” said Drexel netminder Jimmy Joe Granito.
The first goal of the contest finally came with 5:58 remaining in the first half as Cole Shafer received a pass from Reid Bowering and fired a low shot to the left of netminder James Werner. Prior to the goal Werner came up big on a two-on-one break. Bowering would score his first of the game with 1:23 to go and the Dragons would lead 2-0 at the half.
Drexel’s defense was very strong in the first half, limiting the number of second chances and picking up loose balls. The same can be said about the Bryant defense and goaltender James Werner.
As the third quarter started, Drexel would extend their lead as Shafer would pick up a loose ball as the pass was tipped from behind the net. He went five-hole for a three goal lead with 11:10 to go in the third. Chris Friedman and Shafer would then score 14 seconds apart to increase the lead to five.
Bryant would finally find the back of the net with 8:31 remaining in the third as Tom Kennedy skipped one past Granito. Bowering and Robert Frazee would each score for Drexel and put what would seem to be a stronghold at 7-1.
Bryant would make a game out of it as they would score three times in 2:21 to cut the lead in half. For the next nine minutes the Drexel defense held strong to put a tighter grip on the lead. Meanwhile, the Bryant defense was doing the same by limiting Drexel’s chances while giving their offense plenty of chances. Bryant out shot Drexel 16-3 in the final quarter.
When asked about the win, Granito said, “I have to give most of the credit to my defense, without them this could have been a different outcome. This was the type of win we needed going into Sunday’s game versus St. Joe’s.”
Bowering (2G/2A) and Shafer (3G) led the offense. Shafer is only three goals away from 100 in his Drexel career. That will place Shafer 7th all time, and with eight games remaining in the regular season he will reach that and even more.
Drexel hosts St. Joe’s Hawks Sunday at 1pm.
Former Philadelphia Wings defenseman Taylor Wray is the Head Coach of St. Joes.
Last season Drexel tied the game in the final seconds before winning it in overtime.
City rivals will clash…..Market St. vs City Line Avenue.