By David Fong
On a night in which just about every one on the Troy hockey team got in on the action, it was the six seniors who did much of the heavy lifting Sunday evening at Hobart Arena.
On Senior Night, all six Trojan seniors — Nate Uhlenbrock, John Wehrkamp, Graham Harvey, Brendan Benge, Michael Hess and Enrique Alejandre — all had at least one goal and on assist in Troy’s 13-1 route over a winless Cincinnati LaSalle team.
Leading the way for the Trojan seniors was Uhlenbrock, who finished the night with two goals and three assists. Hess finished with two goals and an assist. Wehrkamp added a goal and two assists. Harvey also had a goal and two assists. Benge and Alejandre each had one goal and one assist.
“We’ve got a good group of seniors,” Troy coach Phill Noll said. “It was nice to see them all be able to score, especially tonight. We had a good crowd with a lot of parents, a lot of fans and a lot of their classmates. It was good to see them be able to have a home game like this.”
Troy scored early and often, jumping out to a 6-0 lead in the first period and never looking back against an inexperienced LaSalle squad.
The Trojans jumped out to a 1-0 lead less than two minutes into the game when freshman Caden Lombardo scored off an assist from Uhlenbrock. A minute later, Benge extended the lead to 2-0 with his goal. Wehrkamp came out of the penalty box to put the Trojans up 3-0 off an assist from freshman Garrett Paff. Lombardo added his second goal of the night off an assist from junior Grant Gariety. Troy went up 5-0 when Alejandre scored off an assist from Wehrkamp and Harvey.
With just three second left to play in the period, Troy scored its sixth goal when junior Austin Strong knocked in a goal off an assist from Wehrkamp. That goal was significant in that it came with three Trojans in the penalty box. Noll said it was the first time in his life he’s ever seen a team score a short-handed goal while down three players.
“That’s the first time I’ve ever seen that in my coach career,” he said. “I’ve been coaching for 18 years now and I can’t ever remember seeing that. LaSalle has good kids — they just don’t have the same experience as our kids. They try hard. Things just haven’t worked out for them this year. They’ll get better.”
Troy continued to pour it on in the second period, adding four more goals. The first two featured the Uhlenbrock brother act. Sophomore Zak Uhlenbrock scored off an assist from brother Nate to put the Trojans up 7-0, then Zak returned the favor when he had an assist on Nate’s goal to give the Trojans a 9-0 lead. Troy would go up 10-0 when the elder Uhlenbrock added his second goal, this time off an assist from Strong. Hess finished off the second-period scoring when he punched in his goal off an assist from Harvey and junior Jack McGuirk.
“We tried to spread things around as much as we could,” Noll said. “We were able to get a lot of different kids involved.”
Troy would add its 11th goal just seconds into the third period when Harvery scored off an assist from Wehrkamp and Hess. LaSalle would score its lone goal of the night to cut Troy’s lead to 11-1. Troy would quickly get that goal back when Gariety scored off an assist from Alejandre and Nate Uhlenbrock. Troy finished off the scoring assault when Hess scored off an assist from Alejandre and Benge.
The Trojans outshot the Lancers 39-8. Junior goalie Scott Riedel picked up the win between the pipes.
“We’ll miss this group of seniors,” Noll said. “I’ve coached them all through junior hockey and then all four years in high school. They are a good group of kids.”
Contact David Fong at firstname.lastname@example.org; follow him on Twitter @thefong