Another Look at Hockey History—The SHSHL

The 2019 Suburban High School Hockey League season is set to resume the day after New Year’s.

It was 46 years ago that high-school hockey was introduced to Eastern Montgomery County.

Sometime around the midway point of the 1972-73 season, hockey impresario Walter Jewell withdrew a team that he ran from a league that played  at the original Grundy rink in Bristol and moved it to the Wintersport rink on York Road in Willow Grove, which had recently opened, and where a league for high-school age players had been organized.

Jewell’s team, which featured primarily, though not exclusively, Abington players, was actually called the Wintersports. The team won the league championship that first season, defeating a team called the Northeast Sabres 3-2 in the varsity championship game.

The following season, 1973-74, saw the league take a major step forward when most teams began playing under the names of various high schools. Research indicates there were eight teams in the league that year; Abington, Hatboro-Horsham, North Penn, Plymouth Whitemarsh, Lower Moreland, Upper Moreland/Willow Grove, Philmont, and Northeast (the section of Philadelphia, not necessarily the school).

High-school hockey has been a fixture in the area ever since.


Our thanks to Steve Schorr and the Abington hockey alumni for their help and providing much of the information contained in this post.

Hawks Go 1-2 on DC Trip

St. Joseph’s Prep has split its first two games at the National Capital Hockey Tournament; the Purple Pucks Tournament in Washington, D.C.

The Hawks best Archbishop Spalding from suburban Baltimore, 5-0 on Friday and lost a Saturday morning game to St. Ignatius from Chicago, 2-0.

They lost to Bishop O’ Connell of Arlington, Va. 6-2 in their second game Saturday to finish the tournament with a 1-2 record.


Combing the Annals of History

Hockey Happenings and the Suburban High School Hockey League are engaged in an ongoing effort to document the history of the league.

We are reaching out to coaches, club officers, and anyone who have have historical material such as newspaper clippings, photographs, game programs, or even receipts for such things as purchasing ice time.

We’re concentrating on the following areas

What year each club was organized/  joined the SHSHL and, if it left the league at any point, when did it return?

What teams were part of the SHSHL each season

What teams won the SHSHL championship each season

We welcome input from all those who share our interest in and passion for high-school hockey.

Thank you all.


Rick Woelfel


Hockey Happenings







Intercounty League Sets All-Star Games

The InterCounty Scholastic Hockey League has the schedule for its traditional All-Star games. All four games will be played at Ice Line in West Goshen Township on New Year’s Day

The varsity all-star games schedule is:

Game 1: 1pm Girls
Game 2: 3pm Liberty North vs Liberty South
Game 3: 5pm Chesmont vs Central
Game 4: 7pm PCL

All four games will be streamed live via HockeyTV.

LaSalle Hitting The Road


The LaSalle hockey team is heading to Rhode Island after Christmas. The Explorers will be making their annual post-Christmas trek to Woonsocket, Rhode Island to compete in the annual Mount St. Charles Academy tournament.

The eight-team tournament gets underway on Thursday, December 27 and runs through Saturday the 29th. The single-elimination tournament features a consolation bracket

I think it comes at a great time every year for guys to get closer together as teammates,” said LaSalle coach Wally Muehlbronner. It’s our only time when we travel and spend time as a team throughout the season.

“The way the tournament is set up, we play three games, one game a day which is great. there is a lot of downtime where the guys can really get together and grow as a team.”

The tournament features an elite field. “The same eight teams have been going there a long time, Meuhlbronner said.

LaSalle’s first-round opponent will be Bishop Hendricken of Rhode Island Thursday night.


LaSalle Edges Holy Ghost Prep 3-2 in OT

HATFIELD TOWNSHIP—It was a hockey game that featured a bit of everything, including a dramatic finish and an outstanding effort in goal; from the losing goaltender.

Jan Olenginski scored off a faceoff 2:23 into overtime to give LaSalle a 3-2 win over Holy Ghost Prep Friday night at Hatfield Ice in an Atlantic Prep Athletic Conference matchup between the two longtime rivals.

The goal came off a draw in the circle to the left of Holy Ghost Prep goaltender Sean Joyce. Sam Lipkin drew the puck back to the top of the circle where Olenginski was waiting to launch a shot that beat Firebird netminder Sean Joyce.

“I didn’t really have to do too much,” Olenginski said. “He went right to me and I just shot it.”

LaSalle (10-2, 6-0 in the APAC) dominated the bulk of the last two periods. That the Firebirds were able to take the game to overtime was a testament to Joyce’s efforts in goal. He made 39 saves, two of them on penalty shots.

“He’s a competitor,” said Holy Ghost Prep coach Gump Whiteside. “He comes to play every game, that’s all you can ask for. And that just gets our guys going.”

The Firebirds (4-7, 0-6) essentially started the evening with a one-goal advantage. LaSalle’s Eric Ford drew a cross-checking penalty just 59 seconds after the opening faceoff. Colin Costello put his team in front just 11 seconds after that.

Max Levenberg responded for the Explorers with a shot from the right side off a scramble in front with 17 seconds remaining in the period.

In the second period the game turned from physical to chippy. Ten penalties were called in the period but the most significant of them came with 2:21 remaining when the Explorers were awarded a penalty shot when the Firebirds’ Jake Marek was whistled for closing his hand over the puck in the crease.
Lipkin took the penalty shot but Joyce turned his forehander aside.

Andrew Budzynski gave LaSalle it’s first lead with 8:15 left in the third period on a play that Michael Casey started with a move down the right wing. Casey went cross ice to Lipkin who in turn found Casey who deposited the puck in the lower right-hand corner of the net.

All three players involved in the play, along with Olenginski, are sophomores.

“A lot of those guys that are sophomores now had a year to play together here , to know the way we want them to play when they’re playing for LaSalle,” said Explorer coach Wally Meuhlbronner. “I think the best quality about them is that they’re unselfish and they work hard and play together well.”

Alex D’Angelo tied the game for Holy Ghost Prep with 6:31 remaining off a feed from Jack Kelly.

Before overtime however, the Firebirds to weather another storm. With les than two minutes left in regulation, Lipkin found himself on a breakaway for the Explorers when Kelly threw his stick along the ice at him. This time it was Olenginski who took the penalty shot but again, Joyce proved impenetrable.

LaSalle finished with a 42-22 edge in shots.
Holy Ghost Prep 1 0 1 0—2
LaSalle 1 0 1 1—3
First-period goals: Colin Costello (HGP) from Eric Pohl and Evan Mudrick, 1:10 (pp); Max Levenberg (L), 15:43.
Third-period goals: Andrew Budzynski (L) from Sam Lipkin and Michael Casey, 7:49; Alex D’Angelo (HGP) from Jack Kelly, 9:29.
Overtime goal: Jan Olenginski (L) from Lipkin, 2:23.
Shots: Holy Ghost Prep 22, LaSalle 42; Saves: Sean Joyce (HGP) 39, Aidan McCabe (L) 20

To learn more about LaSalle College High School CLICK HERE

To learn more about Holy Ghost Prep CLICK HERE

St. Joseph’s Prep Preparing For Annual Holiday Trip

The St. Joseph’s Prep Hawks will be spending part of the week between Christmas and New Year’s on the ice, and having an educational experience along with it.

The occasion is the 26th annual Purple Pucks Tournament sponsored by Gonzaga College High School in Washington, DC. The tournament features eight Jesuit schools, including St. John’s from the District of Columbia, St. Ignatius from Chicago,

Loyola Academy from suburban Chicago, the Hun School from New Jersey, Archbishop Spalding from suburban Baltimore and Bishop O’ Connell from Arlington, Virginia in addition to the Hawks and the host Eagles.

The eight teams are divided into two pools of four. Each team will play three games over two days on Friday, December 28 and Saturday the 29th. The semifinals and finals will be played on Sunday, December 30.

St. Joseph’s coach David Giacomin says the tournament is annual fixture for the Haws. “we take two teams down there,” he said, “so our other team gets to play too.

“It’s about them bonding, staying in the hotel together, being able to go eat together, and hopefully this momentum will build throughout the rest of the season.”

There is also an educational/cultural element to the trp. There will be time for sightseeing in our nation’s capital and Giacomin and his players plan to take advantage.

“It’s about education as well as the hockey,” Giacomin said. “So, every year we try to find something to take the boys to do, whether it’s go to Congress, whether it’s go to any of the monuments, or go see the museums. We try to figure out what’s the best thing for them to do and hopefully come up with something creative for them to have a good time and learn something.”

SHSHL Standings

The Suburban High School Hockey  League has concluded varsity competition until January 2.  The standings below include results through December 20, which was the last day of play before the holiday break.

Class 2A

National Division                        W        L    T        Pts

Neshaminy (3-2-1)                       2         2    0         4

Pennsbury (3-3-2)                         2         2    0       4

Council Rock South (4-2-2)        1      1     2         4

Truman (2-2-2)                            1         1     1      3

Abington (2-3-2)                          1          1    1      3

William Tennent (2-6)                 1         4    0      2


Continental Division                  W       L     T      Pts

Central Bucks South (6-2)         5        0     0      10

North Penn (5-2-1)                     4        1     0       8

Pennridge (5-1-1)                       4        1     0       8

Central Bucks East (5-2-1)        2        2      0      4

Central Bucks West (2-5)          0        3      0     0

Souderton (0-9)                          0        6      0     0


Class A American Division        W      L      T      Pts

Wissahickon (5-0-2)                  4      0      2        10

Lower Moreland (4-1-3)          2      1      3         7

Hatboro-Horsham (2-2-1)       2      2      1         5

Plymouth Whitemarsh (3-2)   2      2     0         4

Upper Dublin (3-5)                   0      5     0         0


Through varsity games of 12-20-18



Council Rock North and the co-op team of Upper Moreland/Archbishop Wood are playing independent schedules.