Souderton 5, North Penn 3

HATFIELD—Call it a Souderton Surge. Trailing North Penn 2-0 early in the second period of Wednesday’s SHSHL Class AA matchup, the Big Red erupted for three goals in a 10-miute span and went on to record a 5-3 decision over the Knights at Hatfield Ice.

The win lifted Souderton to 3-2 overall (1-1) in divisional play. After an abbreviated 2021 campaign that saw them win just twice, the Big Red is making some major strides.

“We’re trying to play Souderton hockey,” said Head Coach Ryan Uchniat. “We’re trying to establish something here and I told the boys ‘It’s not where you start, it’s where you finish.’”

Uchniat’s players took that advice to heart Wednesday night.

Jack Bates and Ryan Kaufhold scored first-period goals to give the Knights (1-4, 0-1) the lead.
Rex Grossman got Souderton on the board 4:20 into the middle period with a wrister from in front of the net.

By the midway point of the period the pace of the game had picked up and that worked to Souderton’s advantage.

Grossman tied the game at the 13:37 mark during a power play after stationing himself to the left of the Knights’ crease. Just 26 seconds later, Nick Smith gave Souderton a 3-2 lead.

Justin Yothers tied the game for North Penn 3:27 into the final period but Smith put the game winner behind North Penn netminder Nick Ebbinghaus with 7:34 left in regulation.

Tim Alexander scored an empty-net goal with 23 seconds remaining.

“Their intensity rose in the second period and we didn’t match it, in the second,” said North Penn coach Kevin Vaitis. “I thought we played a great first period. We’re up 2-0 and outshooting them 15-7. They stepped it up a little bit in the second period. We didn’t capitalize on it, and then we couldn’t get the puck out of our zone and had too many turnovers.

“Unfortunately, if you have too many turnovers, one is going to end up in the back of your net.”

Grossman finished the evening with two goals and two assists. He’s played in three of Souderton’s five games and has produced four goals and three assists. He said the second-period flurry was a matter of willpower.

“I think we just wanted to win,” he said, “and we didn’t want to lose against one of our biggest rivals. I think everybody just wanted to go out there and do what they could to get the win.”

Grossman, a sophomore, says the fact that last year’s young team is now collectively a year older has helped spur its improvement.

“To me, the biggest thing is everybody has gotten older, everybody has gotten better, he said. “We’ve all bonded I think as a team. We’re all starting to playa s one team, passing the puck better, shooting the puck better. (Goaltender Noah Connor) has played big all year and I think that people have stepped up when they need to step up.”

Ice Chips— Smith has six goals in four games. The Big Red outshot the Knights 36-30.

Souderton 0 3 2—5

North Penn 2 0 1—3

First-period goals: Jack Bates(NP) from Julian Ma, 1:48; Ryan Kaufhold (NP) unassisted, 11:30

Second-period goals: Seth Grossman(S) from Jaime Avaria and Liam O’ Neill, 4:20; Grossman (S) from Tim Alexander, 13:37 (pp); Nick Smith (S) from Grossman, 14:03

Third-period goals: Justin Yothers (NP) from Nolan O’ Toole, 3:27; Smith (S) from Carter Potvazan and Grossman, 9:26, Alexander (S) unassisted, 16:37 (en)

Shots: Souderton 36, North Penn 30; Saves: Noah Connor (S) 27, Nick Ebbinghaus (NP) 31

Jeff Mauro has written a book on the history of the Pennsylvania state high school hockey championship. It would make a great gift for the hockey fan on your list. To find out more and order a copy CLICK HERE

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