Hockey Happenings 12-30-17

It’s Almost Time for Hockey

It’s almost time for the Suburban High School Hockey League to awaken from its holiday slumber. The league season is set to resume on Wednesday. Here’s how the standings would look if the 12 Class 2A teams were all in one division.

W-L-T    Pts

C.B. South         5-0-0     10

C.R. South         4-0-1        9

Pennridge         4-0-0      8

North Penn      3-1-0       6

CR North           2-3-1       5

Souderton        2-2-0       4

Wm. Tennent   1-3-2       4

CB East               2-3-0      4

Neshaminy        1-3-1      3

CB West             1-2-0      2

Truman              0-2-1      1

Pennsbury       0-6-0        0


Keep in mind, the official league season in Class 2A this season consists of 11 games; each team will play the others once.

Wissahickon continues to lead the Class A Division with a perfect 8-0-0 league mark. Hatboro-Horsham is next at 6-1-0 followed by Abington at 4-2-0 and Upper Dublin at 4-4-0.


Winter Classic

While the New York Rangers and Buffalo Sabres are squaring off in the Winter Classic on Monday, two local teams will also be taking the ice. Archbishop Wood and Lansdale Catholic will face off at Junge Pavilion at The Academy of the New Church in what has become a New Year’s Day tradition. Game time will be 2 p.m. weather permitting.


It Starts With a Handshake

I’ve heard criticism of the new SHSHL protocol which mandates teams shake hands before the opening faceoff than after the game, but I personally like the idea. It sends the right message and gets the evening off to a positive start.

The custom is not unique to hockey. It’s common in professional soccer re; the Premier League and in the World Cup. We also saw that protocol on display recently at a college basketball game; the teams shook hands after the national anthem prior to player introductions.


Safety First Part I

In years past it was rare for SHSHL games to be postponed because of bad weather and games would often be played when other high-school events were called off. But coaches now have a protocol to request a postponement from the league in the wake of unfavorable road/travel conditions.

Several games were called off earlier this month in the wake of storm. They will be made up at some point, inserted into the designated home team’s practice ice slot.


Safety Part II

A scary moment occurred in the second period of the North-Penn-C.B. South game on December when the Knights’ George Boyle was taken into the boards from behind by the Titans’ Reis Braccio, who received a major penalty plus a game misconduct on the play and deservedly so. Boyle was down on the ice for the better part of three minutes.

Some would consider hockey a dangerous game. The view from here is that it is a game that has certain inherent risks. Every player, regardless of age, experience, or level of play, has an inherent responsibility to play the game safely.

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SHSHL Scoring Leaders as of 12-30-17

Class 2A

G-A     PTS

Zac Herman, CRN                  13-11—24

Eric Slater, PR                         12-12—24

Michael Walker, PR               12-11—23

Matt Stoll, CBS                         12-7—19

Matt Melli, CRS                        14-3—17

Daniel Guest, CRN                     9-8—17

Reis Braccio, CBS                     4-12—16

Nathan Oh, NP                         5-10—15

Brandon Simmonds, CRN       4-11—15

Joe DeLaurentis, CBS               13-1—14

Andrew Galetta, NP                    9-5—14

Jared Albano, NP                        5-9—14


Class A                                         G-A   PTS

Brian Gary, Wiss                    30-18—48

Sean Gary, Wiss                       23-16—39

Ari Nordinger, UD                   20-7—27

Dean Keller, PW                     20-5—25

Perry Carpenter, Ab.             12-10—22


C.B. South 9, North Penn 5 12-20-17

WARWICK— It took Central Bucks South some time to get going against North Penn Wednesday night. The Titans made up for lost time however, by scoring five goals in the second period to post a 9-5 win over the nights in a Suburban High School Hockey League matchup at Revolution Ice Gardens.

It was the second victory for South over North Penn in just under a month; the Titans scored a 7-0 shutout on Thanksgiving Eve, but this one counted in the Continental Division standings. South improved to 7-1 overall and 5-0 in the division while the Knights slipped to 4-3 and 3-1.

Matt Stoll paced the Titans with four goals and an assist. “We beat North Penn 7-0 the last game we played them,” he said. “We came into this game ‘Okay, maybe this should be an easy game but you never really should think that.”

The Knights jumped in front just 36 seconds the first period when John Kaufhold  scored on a. forehanded from theft circle on the first shot of the game. When Jared Alebano scored on the Knights’ fourth shot at the 7:13 mark, South goaltender Tim White departed in favor of Oscar Levin.

South coach Shaun McGinty was perplexed with his team’s slow start. “We can’t do it,” he said. “We had a slow start tonight and gave them an opportunity to put in two on us. But it’s good  for these boys to have the adversity and push through and come together as a team.”

The Titans finally erupted in the second frame when Evan King, Reis Braccio, Colin Abbonizio, and Tyler Boylan scored goals in a  span of  7 minutes, 27 seconds to give their side a 4-2 advantage.

We came out and played the way we wanted to in the first period,” said North Penn coach Kevin Vaitis. “But it’s tough to keep that team off the scoreboard.

Brian Leinheiser scored for North Penn to make it a one-goal game again with 3:19 left in the middle period With 1:18 left in the period, the Titans lost Braccio, who drew a five-minute penalty for a check from behind plus a game misconduct for taking the Knights’ George Boyle into the boards directly in front of the North Penn bench. Boyle lay face down on the ice  for more than two minutes before being helped to the dressing room.

“There’s no place in the game for a hit like that,” Vaitis said. “I thought it was not needed.”

Vaitis indicated that Boyle was not seriously injured on the play.

South extended its lead when Stoll scored his first goal, a shorthanded effort that came with 36 seconds  left in the period.

Jared Albano scored fro North Penn 2:53 into the third period to bring his team within a goal at 5-4 but Alex Glushek answered for the Titans 59 seconds later. North Penn’s last goal came off the stick of Jake Nelson at the 5:08 mark but Stoll scored three consecutive goals to finish the scoring.

The Titans outshot the Knights 35-34. Levin finished with 25 saves in 40:43 of action.


North Penn 2 1 2—5

C.B. South 0 5 4—9


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Hockey Happenings Update 12-18-17


The weather forced some postponements in the SHSHL last Friday. Those games will be made up after the start of the new year. With one week remaining before the holiday break, here’s how things are shaping up.

Wissahickon is the only unbeaten team in the league. The Trojans are 8-0 in Class A in the wake of an 11-4 win over Plymouth Whitemarsh last Wednesday night. The Trojans are averaging better than 10 goals per game and have reached double figures six times.

Bryan Gary leads the team in scoring with 30 goals and 18 assists for 48 points. Sean Garry has 23 goals and 16 assists for 39 points.

The Trojans’ scheduled meeting with Council Rock North last Friday was postponed; Wissahickon is now off until January 3.

In Class 2A, the best records belong to Central Bucks South and Pennridge, both of whom are 7-1. The Rams and the Titans are both 4-0 in divisional play.

The Titans are paced by Joe DeLaurentis (13 goals, 1 assist) and Matt Stoll (8g/6a) with 14 points each. Their biggest win was a 1-0 decision over defending state champion Downingtown East back on November 30.

Eric Slater leads the Rams in scoring with 12 goals and12 assists for 24 points. Michael Walker has 12 goals and 11 assists for 23.

The two teams will meet each other on January 17th


Two of scholastic hockey’s most influential figures were behind the benches last Wednesday night when Council Rock South and Hoy Ghost Prep squared off. Joe Houk (Council Rock South) and Gump Whiteside (Holy Ghost Prep) have seen a lot of jockey in their time.

On this occasion, the Firebirds prevailed 9-1 over the Golden Hawks, who were minus six regulars but Houk took a pragmatic view of the occasion, looking at it as learning experience for a team that is young in places.

‘I should have four guys back by the first of the year,” he said.

Houk only has 11 players on his varsity roster; he compensates by utilizing JV call ups to fill out the roster. He noted that fatigue, mental as well as physical, was a factor against the Firebirds after the Golden Hawks fell behind 7-1 after two periods

“I told them, ‘In a case like this your body may be tired but your mind is not,’’ he said, “you’ve got to keep going for another 16 minutes.”


Houk has won three Flyers Cup titles and a state title in his tenure with the Golden Hawks. Joe is a great guy,” Whiteside said. “He’s a friend and a great coach and I just have a lot of respect for him and his program, any team that he’s ever coached. He’s just a quality guy. He’s what high-school hockey is all about. That’s why guys play for him because he’s a great guy. He’s a quality coach, and a good friend.”


Downingtown East is off to a 7-1 start in the Ches-Mont Division of the Intercounty Scholastic Hockey League. The loss to Central Bucks South has been the cougars’ only setback of the season. They’re 2-0 in the Ches-Mont which technically puts them in fourth place because they’ve played so few league games.

Downingtown West is officially on top at 4-2-1-0 in the Ches-Mont (5-2-1 overall) followed by West Chester Bayard Rustin (3-0-1-1) and West Chester East (2-2-1-0).


Lower Merion leads the Central League Northern Division with a 5-0-1-0 mark (7-0-1-0 overall) while Conestoga is next at 5-1 and 7-1. Springfield-Delco leads the Southern Division with a perfect 8-0 mark.

Note that the Intercounty League uses overtime during the regular season.


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Holy Ghost Prep 9, CR South 1 12-13-17

Two of the most respected figured in Philadelphia area scholastic hockey circles were behind the benches Wednesday night when Holy Ghost Prep and Council Rock South squared off at Grundy Arena.

The Firebirds’ Gump Whiteside and the Golden Hawks’ Joe Houk have seen an abundance of high-quality hockey over the years and the teams they’ve coached have had considerable success; including collecting four Flyers Cup titles between them.

On this night, the Firebirds, the defending Class 3A Flyers Cup champions, dominated, scoring six goals in the second period and going on to a 9-1 win over a depleted South squad in a Suburban High School Hockey League non-league matchup. Max Massari scored twice for the winners (7-3) while seven other players scored one goal each.

Houk was without six of his regulars, including Dylan Feoli and Matt Owens, who have been out all season with injuries, and Matt Meli, who is leading the team in scoring.

“We’re a short bench to begin with,” Houk said. “we’ve only got 11 rostered guys, we bring up five guys from (the junior varsity) every game).”

The Firebirds led just 1-0 after the first period on a goal by Shane Stevens at the 10:53 mark. South goaltender Mason Procz kept his team in the game by making 15 saves in the opening period.

It was a 3-0 game with five minutes left in the session when the Firebirds broke the game open by exploding for four goals, including two by Massari, in a span of 3:37.

South avoided the shutout when Jared Wagenmann scored with 56 seconds left in the game off Sean Joyce, the Firebirds’ backup goaltender who came on in the third period to spell Tristan Devine who had little to do; his team outshot the Golden Hawks (4-2-1) 57-10.

Whiteside was concerned about his team’s slow start. “We had a really slow start,” he said, “just a lack of focus. We responded really well in the second and third periods.

“We still have a lot of work to do. This is a veteran team but we still have lot of work to do. I wasn’t happy with their focus in the first period at all.”


Council Rock South 0 0 1 —1

Holy Ghost Prep 1 6 2—9

First-period goal: Shane Stevens (HGP) from Andrew Serafin, 10:53.

Second-period goals: Evan Midrick (HGP) from Eric Pohl and Beau Brusius 1:15; Luke Aquaro (HGP) from Byran Hartley, 6:34; Max Massari (HGP) from Thomas McNulty, 10:53; Colin Costello (HGP) assist unavailable, 13:18; Massari (HGP) from Casey Buck, 13;53 (sh); Alex D’Angelo (HGP) unassisted, 14:30 (sh).

Third-period goals: Serafin (HGP) from Hartley, 8:47; Pohl (HGP) from D’Angelo, 11;59; Jared Wagenmann (CRS) unassisted, 15:04.

Shots: Council Rock South 10, Holy Ghost Prep 57.

Records: Council Rock South (4-2-1); Holy Ghost Prep (7-3)



Leading Scorers

Here are the top scorers in the Suburban High School Hockey League  through games of Friday, December 8

Class A

Player School Goals Assists Points
Bryan Garry Wissahickon 25 16 41
Sean Garry Wissahickon 21 13 34
Dean Keller PW 16 4 20
Ari Nordlinger U Dublin 14 5 19
Jacob Mueller HH 11 6 17
Perry Carpenter Abington 11 6 17
Daniel Glazer Wissahckon 6 10 16
Chris Braun NHS 13 3 16
Adam Bostok L Moreland 8 7 15
Colin Franzoni PW 5 10 15



Class AA

Player School Goals Assists Points
Eric Slater Pennridge 12 12 24
Michael Walker Pennridge 12 11 23
Zac Herman CR North 11 11 22
Daniel Guest CR North 7 15 22
Matt Meli CR South 14 3 17
Joe DeLaurentis CB South 13 0 13
Brandon Simmonds CR North 4 9 13
Cavan Tully CR North 4 9 13
Nathan Oh North Penn 5 7 12
Jared Wagenman CR South 5 7 12
Matt Stoll CB South 6 5 11
Andrew Galetta North Penn 8 3 11
Logan Hurwitz CR South 3 8 11
John Vanni CR North 6 5 11
Jake Nelson North Penn 7 3 10
Jeff Manto Pennridge 4 6 10

Hockey Happenings Update 12-10-17

Longtime followers of the Suburban High School Hockey League may have noticed the scheduling format for the league’s two Class 2A Division, the Continental, has changed this season. In years past, teams played divisional opponents twice and crossover opponents once, for a 16-game league schedule.

This year, teams will play every league opponent once (11 games) and fill out their schedules with five games against what be described as ‘mutually agreeable opponents.’

In some cases, teams have elected to play one another twice; Central Bucks South and Council Rock South for instance. In that scenario, the second meeting will be the one that counts in the division standings.


Council Rock South (National) and Central Bucks South (Continental) are leading their respective divisions. The Golden Hawks are 4-1-1 overall and 4-0-1 in the division heading in to this week, despite being without big guns Matt Owens and Dylan Feoli because of injuries. Sophomore Matt Meli has picked up much of the scoring load, with 14 goals and three assists for 17 points. Jared Wagenmann, a senior, has contributed five goals and seven assists.

The Titans are carrying a 5-1 mark (3-0 in the division) that includes a 1-0 win over defending Class 2A Flyers Cup and state champion Downingtown East. Senior Joe DeLaurentis has scored 13 goals while Matt Stoll has collected six goals and added five assists.

The Titans and the Golden Hawks have already met once; the Titans prevailed 3-1 on November 29. They’ll meet again on January 25th.


Former Holy Ghost Prep goaltender Peyton Jones is continuing to shine at Penn State. Jones, a sophomore, is carrying a 3.08 goals-against average and a save percentage of .895 in 17 starts.

The Nittany Lions are 11-7-2 and unbeaten in their last seven games after sweeping a two-game series from Robert Morris this weekend. They’re 4-4-2 in the Big Ten, which has expanded to seven hockey-playing schools this season with the addition of Notre Dame. They’re off now until after the New Year.

Unfortunately, Jones and his teammates will not be appearing in Philadelphia this year; there is no Philadelphia College Hockey Faceoff on the schedule this season.



The Flyers Cup brawl involving Ridley and Central Bucks West during their Flyers Cup quarterfinal last March is back in the news.

Five former Ridley players face misdemeanor assault charges stemming from the incident. Jake Tyler Cross, 19, of Secane; Ryan Anthony Gricco, 18, of Swarthmore; Thomas Joseph Plotts, 19, of Woodlyn; and Anderson Brock, 18, of Morton saw their charges held for court following a preliminary hearing on November 28 in Montgomery County Court. Nathan Dunning, 19, of Morton waived his hearing. The next step in the process is arraignment on January 17.

This information was reported in the Intelligencer newspaper on November 28-29. Kudos to reporter James O’Malley for his efforts.


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I co-wrote this how-to- guide with teaching professional Kim Verrecchio, who did an outstanding job with it. Check it out at Create Space by clicking HERE.




North Penn 8 CR North 4

By Rick Woelfel

North Penn scored three goals in a 21-second span midway through the second period and went on to beat Council Rock North 8-4 Friday night in a Suburban High School Hockey League Class 2A crossover game at Hatfield Ice.

Jake Nelson scored three goals and added an assist for the Knights, who improved to 4-2 overall and 2-2 in the Continental Division, Andrew Galetta and Nathan Oh scored two goals each.

North Penn coach Kevin Vaitis shuffled his lines Friday night and the juggling paid off. “We mixed it up to try to get a little bit more offense up front,” he said. “Andrew Galetta is a special player and then Nate Oh and Jake Nelson, we’ve had them together a few games now and they’ve really clicked together.”

The Knights built a 3-0 first-period lead on two goals from Nelson with a talley from Galetta in between. The last two goals came on power plays. The margin could have been greater but Rex Goldberg made 14 saves in the period to keep the Indians (3-3-1, 1-2-1 SHSHL National Division) in the game.

“I thought the goaltending held up very well in the first period,” said North coach Chris Gallagher. “If it weren’t for (Goldberg) it could have been 6-0 in the first period. He stood on his head; he played a great game for us.”

William Sohn got the Indians on the scoreboard at the 7:35 mark of the middle period but the Knights Brooke the game open less than a minute later. Galetta scored his second goal of the game at the 8:09 mark before Oh scored back-to-back goals at 8:18 and 8:30 to give North Penn a 6-1 lead.

The Indians kept battling however and got back in the game before the period ended on goals from Cavan Tully, Brandon Simonides, and Harrison Treiman, the latter on a power play.

North had a two-man advantage to start the third period but Zac Herman drew a boarding penalty just 28 seconds into the third session to reduce that advantage. The teams traded minor penalties after that before George Boyle scored for North Penn during a four-on-three power play at the 2:23 mark. Nelson completed his hat trick with 5:41 left in the game.

“We had new lines,” he said. “I had new players out there with me. We did what we had to do, and we got it done.”


Council Rock North 0 4 0—4
North Penn 3 3 2—8
First-period goals: Jake Nelson (NP) from Tyler Greenstein and Nathan Oh, 5:36; Andrew Galetta (NP) from Nelson, 14:29 (pp); Nelson (NP) from Jared Albano, 15:58 (pp).
Second-period goals: William Sohn (CRN) from Brandon Simmonds and Ian Rice, 7:35; Galetta (NP) assist unavailable, 8:09; Nathan Oh (N) from George Boyle, 8:18; Oh (NP) from Thomas Boyle, 8:30; Cavan Tully (CRN) from Dan Guest, 9:09; Simmonds (CRN) from Tully, 10:10; Harrison Treiman (CRN) from Simmonds, 14:54 (pp).
Third-period goals: George Boyle (NP) from Thomas Boyle and Josh Kaufhold, 2:23 (pp); Nelson (NP) from Oh, 10:19.
Shots: Council Rock North 34, North Penn 48; Saves: Rex Goldberg (CRN) 40, Andrew Zanoni (N)) 30.
Records: Council Rock North (3-3-1, 1-2-1 SHSHL National Division); North Penn (4-2, 2-2 Continental Division)



Welcome to Hockey Happenings. We’re looking to establish a portal for high-school hockey coverage in Bucks and Montgomery Counties and perhaps beyond.

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Rick Woelfel