HATFIELD— What played out at Hatfield Ice Thursday night was a splendid advertisement for high-school hockey. Abington and Souderton feature two of the youngest lineups in the Suburban High School Hockey League and both have been going through some early season growing pains.
But they battled hard against each other before Colin Bruton’s goal with 52 seconds remaining in overtime gave Abington a 5-4 win.
The result allowed the Galloping Ghosts to square their league mark at 1-1 (2-3 overall) and they had to climb out of a hole to do it. Tom Rourke drew a tripping penalty with 1:36 left in regulation so Souderton (0-6, 0-4) started the three-on-three overtime session with a 24-second four skaters to three advantage. The Indians had the better of the play for much of the extra period but got caught in a change, allowing Bruton to find open space up the middle of the ice and beat Souderton goaltender Noah Connor.
After giving up 31 goals in their previous four games, three of them losses, Thursday’s effort was a step forward for a young Abington team finding its way.
“We’ve got 15 freshmen and sophomores on the team,” said Abington coach Ken Brzozowski. “We have no seniors. So, as I was just saying to them now in the locker room, this is a character builder for us, and hopefully we can take, and build, a little momentum with it and see what it does for us as the season goes on.”
Outside the other dressing room, Souderton coach Ryan Uchniat was expressing many of the same positive sentiments despite the defeat. “I was very happy with the game out there,” he said. “It was back and forth, it was competitive. I thought both teams skated well, they skated hard. And neither team gave up until the very end.”
The Indians didn’t have a lot of experience with three-on-three overtime, which is being used in club hockey this season as well as the SHSHL. “There was a little bit of a mixup with a change at the end of the game,” Uchniat said, and they capitalized on it. I’ve got to give it up that team, I think they’ve got nine or 10 freshmen on that team and they’ve got a good program moving forward.”
Tyler MacPhee delivered a hat trick for Souderton in the loss. He and Rourke traded early goals before Sean Faye gave the Galloping Ghosts a 2-1 lead with 2:51 left in the first period. Liam O’ Neill tied the game for Souderton with a shorthanded goal 6:22 into the second session before Joe Stelacio and Griffin Carpenter scored goals 56 second apart to give Abington a 4-2 lead with 6:22 left in the period. MacPhee scored his second goal with 2:28 left the second period and completed his hat trick with a shorthanded effort 1:34 into the third.
Abington 2 2 0 1—5
Souderton 1 2 1 0—4
First-period goals: Tom Rourke (A) from Joe Stelacio and Griffin Carpenter, 5:08; Tyler McPhee (S) unassisted, 6:33; Sean Faye (A) from Sam Paulik and Carpenter, 13:09.
Second-period goals: Liam O’ Neill (S) from McPhee, 6:22 (sh); Stelacio (A) unassisted, 7:32; Carpenter (A) from Stelacio and Rourke, 9:38; MacPhee (S) unassisted, 13:32.
Third-period goals: MacPhee (S) unassisted, 1:34.
Overtime goal: Colin Bruton (A) unassisted, 4:08
Shots: Abington 35, Souderton 35; Saves: Ben Panella (A) 31, Noah Connor (S) 30
Other Scores from 12-5
C.B. West 11, William Tennent 3—Daniel Police had a hat trick for the Bucks
North Penn 8, Pennsbury 3—Tony Tuozzo had a hat trick for the Knights, who put the game away with four goals in the third period. Josh Kaufhold scored twice. Tuozzo, Kaufhold, Tyler Greenstein, and Luke Van Why all had four-point nights.
Lower Moreland vs. Wissahckon