Neshaminy 5, Pennsbury 2

BRISTOL— The atmosphere resembled that of a Flyers Cup game, Which was not surprising; any contest between Pennsbury and Neshaminy, whatever the sport, is sure to be crackling with intensity.

It was Neshaminy that had the better of things Thursday night, 5-2 in a SHSHL Class AA Division game before a large and energetic audience at Grundy Arena. Joey DeMatteo scored three goals to help the Skins (9-3, 7-2 in divisional play) avenge a Thanksgiving Eve loss to the Falcons (8-4-1, 4-4-1)

The game was tight for 32 minutes before Neshaminy scored three goals in the third frame.

Neshaminy coach Matt DeMatteo said his team responded to the emotions of the evening without being overwhelmed by those emotions.

“We’re still a bit of a younger team,” he said. “We only have three seniors and part of learning how to win is learning how to play mature, and learning how to play the way the game dictates.”

The first period was played on even terms with the ‘Skins looking for open ice while the Falcons employed a dump-and-chase strategy. Neshaminy’s Robert Seewagen scored the period’s only goal with 40 seconds remaining off a Pennsbury turnover, It was one of a series of miscues that hurt the Falcons’ cause and undermined a solid performance by Topher Seiler, their goaltender.

“Our goalie stood on top of his head,” said Pennsbury coach Ryan Daley. “He couldn’t have played any better.”

Thomas Gallagher extended Neshaminy’s lead 1:40 into the second period when he found open space in the right circle and put the puck in the top right corner of the net. Erik Eisler answered back at 11:46 to make it a one-goal game heading into the third period.

Joey DeMatteo took over from there, scoring twice in a seven-minute span to put his team up 4-1 with 6:44 left in regulation. Eisler scored his second goal of the game on a power play with 4:57 left but DeMatteo fired the puck into an empty net with 37 seconds remaining.

The senior said his team took a different approach to the rematch with the Falcons. “We focused on emotion way too much in that game,” he said, “and we just kind of put all that aside and just played the game and focused on the game.”

Neshaminy came into the game ranked sixth in the Class AA Flyers Cup power rankings. The Falcons were ranked 10th this week.

Pennsbury 0 1 1—2
Neshaminy 1 1 3—5
First-period goal: Robert Seewagen (N) unassisted, 15:20.
Second-period goals: Thomas Gallagher (N) from Trevor Kuhn, 1:40; Erik Eisler (P) from Beau Bruslius and Ben Dous, 11:46.
Third-period goals: Joey DeMatteo (N) unassisted, 2:15; DeMatteo (N) from J.J. Hathaway and Matt Buchinski, 9:16; Eisler (P) unassisted, 11:03 (pp); DeMatteo (N) from Michael Knipple, 15:23 (en).
Shots: Pennsbury 21, Neshaminy 38; Saves: Topher Seiler (P) 33, Brian Nelson (N) 19

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