By Rick Woelfel
HATFIELD TOWNSHIP—Neshaminy picked up a big win Thursday night, and made a statement in the process. Rob Seewagen scored two goals and added an assist as Neshaminy bested Central Bucks West 4-2 in a Suburban High School Hockey League Class AA encounter at Hatfield Ice.
The win lifted Neshaminy to 5-3-2 in the SHSHL’s Class AA standings (7-4-3 overall) and tied it for fourth place in the standings with one league game remaining for both teams, Neshaminy would own the tiebreaker over the Bucks (8-7, 6-4) if the teams end the season tied.
‘”It’s good to get a win against a quality team like this heading right into the playoffs,” said Neshaminy coach Matt DeMatteo.
Neshaminy made it clear from the opening faceoff that it meant business. Seewagen set up Joey DeMatteo for the evening’s first goal 7:25. Seewagen made a move down the middle of the ice and circled behind the Bucks’ net before sending a pass out front to DeMatteo, who beat Jeremy Kennard with a backhander. Seewagen made it 2-0 at the 12:40 mark when he scored on a shot from the left wing.
“We needed to send a message right away,” Seewagen said. “We needed them to realize this wasn’t going to be a cakewalk for them.”
Jake Lang got West on the board just 15 seconds into the second period before tying the game on a power play at the 6:01 mark while Brian McGrady was in the box serving a tripping minor.
In the midst of it it all, Neshaminy goaltender Steve Glik was holding his ground; after two periods he had made 31 saves. He finished with 44.
Thomas Gallagher scored what proved to be the winning goal on a shot from the deep right wing 2:12 into the third period. Seewagen extended his team’s lead with a power-play goal at the 10:50 mark. Lang was in the box for holding at the time, one of four penalties West took in the final period. Reese Dalzell and Joey DeYoung drew simultaneous penalties with 3:21 left, leaving West two men short for two minutes and thwarting its comeback effort.
“I thought we played a good game,” said West coach Dave Baun. “A few of our youthful mistakes were obvious early on; we gave the puck away a few times and they scored because they have good finishers on that team. But when the game settled down, five on five, I was very happy with the way that we played.”
Seewagen, who transferred to Neshaminy from Holy Ghost Prep, feels he and his teammates are primed for postseason success. “I wasn’t here last year,” he said, “but they made a big step and got in the playoffs. Now, were not just going to the playoffs because we’re going to the playoffs. We’re going to the playoffs to win. It feels good when you’re playing with your brothers and having a good time out there.”
Notes: Neshaminy will finish the regular season against Truman next Wednesday while the Bucks close against North Penn the same evening …West finished with a 48-26 advantage in shots.
Neshaminy 2 0 2—4
C.B. West 0 2 0—2
First-period goals: Joey DeMatteo (N) from Rob Seewagen, 7:25; Seewagen (N) from BRian McGrady, 12:40.
Second-period goals: Jake Lang (CBW) from Chris Trefz, :15; Lang (CBW) from Pavel Serhiayenka, 6:01 (pp).
Third-period goals: Thomas Gallagher (N) from Phillip Oseredzuk and Joey Buddy, 2:12; Seewagen (N) unassisted, 10:50.
Shots: Neshaminy 28, C.B. West 46; Saves Steve Glik (N) 44, Jeremy Kennard (CBW) 24