Wins have been tough to come by for the New Hope-Solebury hockey team this season. The Lions took the ice against Plymouth Whitemarsh Wednesday night having won just twice in six starts (1-4 in the SHSHL’s Class A Division).
They had just 10 skaters in uniform plus goaltender Devin Brock. And once again they came out on the short end. Dean Keller’s hat trick propelled the Colonials to an 8-6 win at Hatfield Ice.
“The challenge for us is that we’re a small school,” says New Hope-Solebury coach Jeff Garvin. “We have a limited amount of players, a small roster. In my mind, for us to really compete you need three full lines and in a lot of games we’re playing with 10 players. By the third period, our team usually runs out of gas.
But our kids always put in a good effort and play hard, and at the end of the day, I’m glad they’re having fun.”
Garvin’s coaching background includes a stint as an assistant at LaSalle High. About half his players play club hockey. Brock is a virtual novice and had never played in goal prior to this fall.
“Without him, we wouldn’t have a team,” Garvin says.
Brock played a bit of hockey when he was in elementary school but essentially gave up the game at age 10. Today his primary sport is lacrosse; he’s an attackman.
But he grew up idolizing Hall of Famer goaltender3 Martin Brodeur and one thing led to another.
“I loved (Brodeur),” Brock says. “I loved the Devils and watching him growing up was really awesome.”
When he stepped on the ice for the Lions this season, Brock found that his expectations of what his job entailed didn’t always match reality. “(Playing in goal) is so much harder than I thought,” he says “It’s really hard to get used to moving around, but I’m not scared of the puck. It’s not as scary as you think. A lot of people are scared. But it’s a really difficult position to play.”
New Hope-Solebury’s future on the ice is uncertain. There are five seniors on this year’s squad, including Brock and while at one time there was a middle-school team, there were no replacements available when the middle schoolers (who are now freshmen and sophomores) stepped up to the varsity level.
But the players on this year’s roster, 14 in all, have made history.
“I don’t know if we’re going to have enough guys to replace them,” Garvin says. “I’d love to see us have a team next year, but it might be one and done for now.”
The Colonials scored three times on their first six shots and led 4-1 after the first period. Chris Braun and Michael Janora scored twice each for the Lions.
Keller has scored 23 goals for the Colonials this season. He was tied for third in the Class A Division in goals heading into Wednesday night.
Plymouth Whitemarsh is now 2-8 and 2-7 in the division.
New Hope-Solebury 1 2 3—6
Plymouth Whitemarsh 4 2 2—8
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