HATFIELD—At a time when familiarity is difficult to come by, there was something reassuring about Wednesday’s Suburban High School Hockey League season opener between Central Bucks South and Council Rock South.
There were no spectators in the stands and the players came to the rink dressed instead of utilizing the locker rooms at Hatfield. But it was business as usual once the teams hit the ice.
Kevin Koles’s long-range goal with 4:58 left in regulation proved to be the game winner as the Golden Hawks scored a 5-3 decision.
Jeremy Purcell put the puck in an empty net with six seconds left to complete the scoring; it was his second goal of the game.
Purcell was happy to get back on the ice with his teammates. “It feels good,” he said. “It’s been a long time, especially with that month off (break in the preseason). But it felt good, it felt good to be out there.”
The Golden Hawks were awarded the only power play of the game just 56 seconds into the opening period. They didn’t score during the man advantage but Doug Lopez put in a rebound at the 3:17 mark to give his team a 1-0 lead, beating Titan netminder Dominic Varacallo. Varacallo drew the assignment in goal in place of veteran Mason Moyer who was not dressed.
Aydin Thierolf tied the game for the Titans at the 8:38 mark before Daniel Kvecher finished a dash down the right wing by putting the puck behind Golden Hawk goaltender Carson Lopez to give the Titans the lead just 36 seconds later.
That lead was short lived. Julian Wagenmann tied the game with 32 seconds when he tipped in Kyle Boss’s original shot.
At period’s end, the Golden Hawks changed goaltenders Lopez left the game because of illness and veteran Jimmy Sweeney took over.
The Golden Hawks took the lead for the second time when Purcell scored just seven seconds into the period but the Titans tied the game at the 4:53 mark and had the better of the play for much of the rest of the period, but never got the lead back.
“We had a slow start,” said Titan coach Shaun McGinty. “We had our chances. We need to capitalize on them.”
The third period was scoreless until Koles’s late-game heroics. For a young Golden Hawks team, it was a good beginning.
“It was okay, they did well,” said Council Rock South coach Joe Houk. ”I told them ‘Keep it simple, don’t over pursue things.’”
Council Rock South 2 1 2—5
Central Bucks South 2 1 0—3
Shots: C.R. South 17, C.B. South 23; Saves: Carson Lopez (CRS) 7 and Jimmy Sweeney (CRS) 13; Dominic Varacallo (CBS) 12