By Rick Woelfel
BRISTOL— the combatants battled to the final bell. At the end, it was Parkland that was left standing.
Eric Dennis scored his third goal of the game with 4:24 remaining in the third period and that proved to be the game winner as the Trojans downed Neshaminy 6-4 Wednesday night in the opening round of the Class AA Flyers Cup tournament at Grundy Arena.
The ninth-seeded Trojans (18-3-1) will face top-seeded Downingtown East in Monday’s quarterfinals. Eighth-seeded Neshaminy closed at 7-6-4.
Neshaminy’s Charlie Potash (in white) and Parkland’s Tom Boyer (in red) face off during Wednesday’s Flyers Cup game. Parkland won 6-4. Photo by Jesse Garber
The winning goal came on Dennis’s shot from the high slot. Neshaminy goaltender Steve Glick could not be faulted on the play.
The teams traded goals twice through the first period and change with Neshaminy getting tallies from Joey DeMatto and Thomas Gallagher while Joshua Bower and Dennis scored from Parkland.
Both goaltenders, Parkland’s Vincent Byelick and Neshaminy’s Steve Glick, were sharp early on and had to be to keep their respective teams in the game.
Neshaminy coach Matt DeMatteo said his team was hurt by some early mistakes. “We had some problems with turnovers early on that coast us a couple goals,” he said. “I’d like to have those back but I couldn’t be more proud of the boys.”
Dennis scored his second goal of the game at the 9:34 mark of the second period on a rebound of Matt Zager’s original shot to give Parkland a 3-2 lead. Jason Dratch scored just 29 seconds later off a turnover to give the Trojans a two-goal advantage.
Neshaminy looked to have an opportunity when back-to-back tripping penalties gave it a two-man advantage for 1:31. But it managed just one shot on goal during that span and the deficit remained until Matthew Duke scored from the slot midway between the faceoff circles to make it a one-goal game with 1:38 left in the period.
Joey DeMatteo tied the game with his second goal of the night just 36 seconds into the final period.
From that moment on, Glick kept his team in the game; he made 12 saves in the third period. he finished the game with 30. Parkland had a 36-16 advantage in shots.
“I thought it was a good offensive battle back and forth,” Matt DeMatteo said. “I thought the boys played really hard. I couldn’t be more proud of the effort.”
Parkland 1 3 2—6
Neshaminy 1 2 1—4
First-period goals: Joey DeMatteo (M) from Josh Haines and Rob Seewagen, 6:02 (pp) Joshua Bower (P) from Koby Staivecki and Eric Dennis, 10:04.
Second-period goals: Dennis (P) from Staivecki and Gus Schwartz, :35; Thomas Gallagher (N) from Matthew Duke, 2:29; Dennis (P) from Matt Zager and Jason Dratch 9:343; Dratch (P) from Dennis and Zager, 10:03; Duke (N) unassisted, 14:22.
Third-period goals: DeMatteo (N) from Charlie Potash, :36; Dennis (P) unassisted, 10:36; Zager (P) from Dratch, 15:49.
Shots: Parkland 36, Neshamony 16; Saves: Vincent Byelick (P) 12, Steve Glick (N) 30.