By Josh Brown
TROY — When A.J. Noll broke Troy High School’s career points record, he didn’t truly get the chance to enjoy the moment — the Trojans ended up losing that game.
But Friday night when he broke the school record for most goals in a career Friday night, the final piece of his career scoring hat trick, he left the ice ecstatic.
“Yeah, definitely,” the Troy senior said through an ear-to-ear smile when asked if he got to enjoy this moment. “Senior Night, our last home game, the student section was bumping — it felt great.”
Already owning the school records in career assists and scoring, Noll’s second goal Friday night gave him 94 for his career, breaking Julian Scott’s record and, more importantly to Noll and the Trojans, giving the team a convincing four-goal lead over Sycamore. Noll finished the game with four goals and an assist as the seniors led the way to a 9-3 victory over the Aviators at Hobart Arena.
And that student section definitely helped make the night even more special for all the players. A large horde of students stood lining the glass behind the opposing goal, banging on the glass and cheering loudly — and the Trojans gave them plenty of reason to cheer.
“We hyped the game up today,” Noll said. “We were trying to get people to come tonight, and they did.”
“All the boys did a lot of tweeting today, trying to get kids here. It was great,” Troy hockey coach Phill Noll said. “We had a lot of fans here, a lot of family. The atmosphere was great. I have not been involved in a game with an atmosphere like that since I’ve been here.”
The game didn’t start well for the Trojans, though, as Sycamore scored a breakaway shorthanded goal less than three minutes in to jump out to a 1-0 lead.
“They (Sycamore) haven’t won a league game all year, but they tied Beavercreek and have lost by one at least five times,” Phill Noll said. “They’re a good team that can play with everyone else but has trouble finishing.”
Troy, however, had no such problem.
A.J. Noll and Prestyn Hoeffler got free on a two-on-one break, with Noll dishing to Hoeffler for a game-tying goal with 8:48 left in the first. And after a Troy penalty, senior Tyler Hess scored a shorthanded goal of his own to give Troy the lead at the 5:20 mark — then he took a feed from Hoeffler in front and scored again to make it 3-1 with 3:20 to go in the first.
“We knew we had to score early and take the wind out of their sails,” Phill Noll said. “Once we got them down, they couldn’t get back up.”
And with 31.2 seconds left in the first period, A.J. Noll caught a lucky bounce and scored his first goal of the game. Hoeffler sent a pass from the right side intended to go all the way to the left of the goal, but an Aviator deflected it — right to Noll in the center, where he snapped in a wrister to make it 4-1 Troy at the end of one.
“Once we put our foot on the gas, we kept it there,” A.J. Noll said.
Most of the second period went by without more tallies going up on the board until a Michael Hess pass spring Nate Uhlenbrock on a breakaway, and Uhlenbrock finished to briefly make it a four-goal game until Sycamore added a score 26 seconds later to make it 5-2 going into the final period.
One minute into the third, the Sycamore goalie couldn’t wrap up the rebound on a shot by senior Troy Moore, and Noll collected it and stuffed it home to give Troy a 6-2 lead — and give himself Troy’s career goal-scoring record.
“It felt great,” he said. “Scoring it right in front of my classmates like that? It was very enjoyable.”
“I’m very proud of him,” Phill Noll said. “He’s a good player, and he’s had good teams around him, too.”
A.J. Noll put another rebound home on a shot by Hoeffler with 10:50 to go to complete a hat trick on the night, then he added a fourth goal on a breakaway set up by an Uhlenbrock pass with 4:42 left. And after a Sycamore goal, Moore scored a goal by driving in a rebound off of a Charlie Ryan shot, cementing Troy’s 9-3 win.
“Tyler and Troy both played well, all the seniors scored on Senior Night. This was a good win for us,” Phill Noll said. “A.J. set the career goals record — tonight couldn’t have gone better.”
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.