WILLOW GROVE— Stepping up can be hard to do. After competing in the Class A American Division of the Suburban High School Hockey League a year ago, Abington, which helped found the SHSHL four-and-a-half decades ago, has stepped up to Class 2A this year.
The Galloping Ghosts went through some growing pains at the start of the season but put all the pieces together Thursday night in the course of a 9-1 win over Souderton at Wintersport Arena.
Thursday marked the official league opener for Abington, which stands at 1-2-1 overall.
Captain Perry Carpenter led the way for the victors, delivering a hat trick plus three assists. Ryan Gosselin added two goals and two assists.
“We worked really well as a team,” Carpenter said, “which we’ve been struggling to do in the past games. But we really picked up our game this game.”
Abington coach Ken Brzozowski was pleased with the way the pieces fit. “When I look at a score sheet, whether it’s Perry or anybody else, I looing to see who got the assists,” he said. “Not necessarily who’s putting the puck in the net and Perry is one of those players who is a leader in putting assists on the scoresheet.
Souderton (0-5, 0-3 in league play) was without several key players who had club responsibilities and had just 12 skaters available.
The Galloping Ghosts jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first period. Perry had a hand in all four goals, scoring once himself and providing three assists. But Souderton goaltender Amanda Kaminsky kept things from getting out of hand by making 15 saves in the 16-minute period.
“She cuts down the angles,” Carpenter said. “She makes herself big in net and that’s all the world to a goalie.”
Abington extended its lead by scoring four additional goals in the second frame. Carpenter scored twice to complete his hat trick.
Things got chippy over the course of a third period that featured nine penalties. The Big Red’s Luke Bowman scored a power-play goal off a deflection at the 4:25 mark to spoil Jacob Snellenberg’s shutout bid.
Souderton coach Ryan Uchniat noted that his team played Abington on even terms over the second half of the game thanks in large part to Kaminsky’s efforts. “She did a very good job,” he said. “She locked down the back half of the game.
“It was 1-1 the second half of the game (minus eight seconds). There were too many defensive errors in the beginning.”
Souderton 0 0 1—1
Abington 4 4 1—9
First-period goals: Ryan Gosselin (A) from Colin Bruton and Perry Carpenter, :43; Carpenter (A) from Gavin O’ Donnell and Nathan Broskey, 11:39; O’ Donnell (A) from Carpenter, 14;47; Shawn Lombardo (A) from Carpenter, 15:24.
Second-period goals: Bruton (A) from Gosselin, 4:27; Carpenter (A) from Gosselin, 6:30; Carpenter (A) from O’ Donnell, 7:39; David Staley (A) from Broskey and Bruton, 7:53.
Third-period goals: Luke Bowman (S) from Carter Povazon, 4:25 (pp); Gosselin (A) from O’ Donnell, 8:08.
Shots: Souderton 25, Abington 36; Saves: Amanda Kaminsky (S) 27, Jacob Snellenberg (A) 24.