WARWICK TOWNSHIP—The evening’s recipe featured hockey with an ample helping of tradition. After a year’s hiatus, Council Rock North and Council Rock South resumed their Thanksgiving Eve series Wednesday night.
The teams did not meet last year because North did field a varsity hockey team last season and because the SHSHL schedule did not begin until January. Thus, Wednesday’s meeting was something of a reunion, for the players, and for the fans who packed Revolution Ice Gardens for the occasion.
The more-experienced Golden Hawks had control of the game by late in the first period and rolled to an 11-4 win to claim the Rock Cup. But the fact that the two teams were sharing a sheet of ice was cause for celebration.
“It’s great,” said South captain Matt Constantini. “I missed it a lot. The fans were amazing. It’s just great to be out here for my senior year and Covid is somewhat gone.”
The flow of the game resembled that of a boxing match in which the champion has to work hard to dispatch the underdog but is not at serious risk of defeat.
The Indians (1-2, 0-1 in divisional play) actually took an early lead with a shorthanded goal. Wilton Pasch was in the box serving an interference penalty when his teammate Lucas Siomos sent the puck the length of the ice toward the Golden Hawks’ crease. South goaltender Carson Lopez muffed the puck and North’s Karson Grainey was on hand to put it behind him just 1:43 into the opening period.
The Golden Hawks (3-0-1, 1-0 in the division) soon returned fire with four goals in a span of 10 minutes, 22 seconds. David Vergules scored twice in between goals from Julian Wagenmann and Gavin Nisenzon.
South extended its lead in the second frame. Julian Sarne, and Nisenzon scored goals to give the Hawks a 6-1 advantage 4:50 into the period.
Zach Weisman scored for North at the 8:39 mark, but Vergules, Constantini, Kevin Koles, and Chase Trovsky rattled off four goals in a span of span of less than four minutes before Grainey scored for the Indians with 30 seconds remaining in the period.
“I think what you saw was a team that was established,” said North coach Greg McDonald, “and a team (North) that was throwing haymakers and trying to find it. But we weren’t organized, they were, and they outlasted us.”
North’s Nick Hahn and Vergules traded goals in the third period.
Vergules left the building with four goals and an assist. NIsenzon and Grainey also finished with two goals.
The Golden Hawks enjoyed a 54-28 advantage in shots. Ian Goldberg stood tall in the North net, making 43 saves.
South coach Joe Houk praised the Indians’ effort. “They got that first goal,” he said, “And then we kind of knuckled down. I think it kind of caught the guys off guard. They had a system as to what they were going to do, but they had a short bench so they kind of ran out of juice after we scored the second or third goal.”
C.R. North 1 2 1—4
C.R. South 4 6 1—11
First-period goals: Karson Grainey (CRN) unassisted, from Lucas Siomos, 1:43 (sh); Julian Wagenmann (CRS) from Sam Cherkassky, 4:07 (pp); David Vergules (CRS) from Nolan O’Brien, 9:39; Vergules (CBS) from Wagenmann and Evan Mostoller, 12:30; Gavin Nisenzon (CRS) from Matt Constantitni, 14:29
Second-period goals: Julian Sarne (CRS) unassisted, 1:08; Nisenzon (CRS) from Chase Trovsky, 4:50; Zach Weissman (CRN) from Grainey, 8:39; Vergules (CRS) from Wagenmann and Constanrini, 9:06; Constantitni (CRS) from Nisenzon and Vergules, 9:54; Kevin Koles (CRS) from Phillip Mayo and Sarne, 11:38; Trovsky (CRS) from Cherkassky and Blaize Pepe, 12:57; Grainey (CRN) unassisted, 16:30
Third-period goals: Nick Hahn (CRN) from Grainey and Jackson Mosley, 3:51; Vergules (CRS) from Wagenmann and Constantini, 9:46
Shots: Council Rock North 28, Council Rock South 54; Saves: Ian Goldberg (CRN) 43, Carson Lopez (CRS) 24
In other games on Wednesday:
Neshaminy 6, Pennsbury 3
Holy Ghost Prep 9, Father Judge 2
Central Bucks East 2, Central Bucks West 1
North Penn vs. Central Bucks South
Pennridge vs. Souderton
Hatboro-Horsham vs. Upper Moreland
William Tennent vs. Archbishop Wood
Malvern Prep vs. Cardinal O’Hara cancelled