North Penn 4 Pennsbury 2

By Rick Woelfel

HATFIELD TOWNSHIP—Prior to taking the ice Monday night in their Suburban High School Hockey League quarterfinal, Pennsbury and North Penn were fully aware they are scheduled to face each other next Wednesday in the opening round of the Flyers Cup tournament. With that fact in mind, the Falcons and the Knights would have been forgiven for playing things close to the vest, since the results of the SHSHL playoffs have no bearing on the Flyers Cup seedings.

Instead, they chose to go another way. Both teams stepped up their games Monday night, the Falcons, who were seeded sixth in the SHSHL tournament, especially so.

It took a third-period goals from Josh Kaufhold and Nathan Oh to give the Knights a 4-2 win in an entertaining affair at Hatfield Ice. North Penn (11-3-3) will face second-seeded Pennridge on Wednesday at 7:00 in the semifinals while Pennsbury (7-8-3) will wait for next Wednesday’s rematch in the Flyers Cup.

Oh, who assisted on Kaufhold’s winning goal, was quick to point out that winning a SHSHL title would mean a lot to the Knights.

“Winning the league would mean so much for us,” he said. “Obviously, (Central Bucks South) has been on top forever and for us to get some hardware, that would be awesome. It would be great for me and the rest of the seniors.”

Jake Nelson gave the Knights an early lead when he scored just 2:02 into the first period but Ben Dous scored twice for the sixth-seeded Falcons (7-7-3) to give them a 2-1 lead after one frame.

Tyler Greenstein tied the game for North Penn with 5:51 left in the second period on the most picturesque play of the night; he skated up the middle of the ice and split the two Pennsbury defensemen before beating Falcon netminder Topher Seiler with a forehander.

At the start of the third period it was anyone’s hockey game.

The teams hadn’t played each other since November 29 and North Penn coach Kevin Vaitis noted that both had evolved since then. “Obviously both teams have changed a lot over the last three months,” he said. “Hats off to them. They came out really ready to play and they kind of went toe-to-toe with us for two periods.”
Kaufhold scored the winning goal on a power play with 9:09 left in the third period. The goal came while the Falcons Beau Yedman was in the box serving a hooking penalty.

Oh added an empty net goal with four seconds remaining.

Despite the loss, and his team’s elimination from the SHSHL playoffs, Pennsbury coach Ryan Daley feels his team has taken some big steps forward of late. The Falcons were 4-1-1 in their last six games prior to Monday night.

“The kids have been on fire,” he said. “I was telling the guys before the game that we’re a dangerous team. We’re an underdog playing extremely good hockey and I knew we had good shot. A couple bounces didn’t go our way, but it’s hockey.”

Notes: Both goaltenders came up with some big saves. Seiler and North Penn’s Nick Ebbinghaus combined to stop 52 shots.

Pennsbury 2 0 0—2

North Penn 1 1 2—4

First-period goals: Jake Nelson (NP) from Tyler Greenstein, 2:02; Ben Dous (P) from Jake Sieger, 11:34; Dous (P) from Sieger and Erik Eisler, 12:51.

Second-period goal: Greenstein (NP) from Jared Albano and Luke Van Why, 10:09.

Third-period goals: Josh Kaufhold (NP) from Nathan Oh, 6:51 (pp); Oh (NP) from Albano, 15:56 (en).

Shots; Pennsbury 25, North Penn 33; Saves: Topher Seiler (P) 29, Nick Ebbinghaus (NP) 23



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s