Abington 11 Hatboro-Horsham 0

WARWICK TOWNSHIP—Abington took the ice this season with something to prove. A loss in the SHSHL Class A final a year ago (and being left out of the Flyers Cup field) has served as a motivating force and the Galloping Ghosts are off to a 3-1 start (2-0 in divisional play) in the wake of their 11-0 two-period win over Hatboro-Horsham Friday night at Revolution Ice Gardens, a win that set a message to the rest of the SHSHL’s American Division, and anyone else who may be interested.

“We definitely have that loss in the back of our minds, said senior forward Pat Stelacio, “every practice and every game. Just trying to get back to where we were last year and win it all instead of losing in the finals.”

Senior Ben Panella is one of the SHSHL’s most experienced goaltenders. “I think the loss in the finals last year was al kick in the butt,” he said. “This year, we are coming out with something prove. We are hoping that we can take it all this year. We have a deeper lineup and we just want the league to know what we can do.”

Junior Matt Kramer led the scoring barrage for the Galloping Ghosts, scoring five goals and assisting on two others. Three of his goals and both his assists came in the first period as Abington took a 7-0 lead.

“A good start is what we need,” Kramer said.

At that point, Abington coach Ken Brzozowski had his troops ease up against the Hatters (1-3, 0-2) who had just 10 skaters dressed, and focused his attention on finding ice time for some of his second-line athletes. In addition to Kramer, four different players scored goals. Matt Cholaj finished with two while Jordan Heydt, Ton Rourke, and Jonathan Walker added one each.

Brzozowski noted he has a deeper lineup than is typical in the SHSHL’s Class A sector. “We’re lucky that we’ve progressed here over the last couple of years,” he said. ”We’ve got some juniors and seniors on the team. But the biggest thing is, we’ve got a couple new players on our team that really have some skill. Between the first, second, and third lines, we’ve got some players who can put the puck in the net.”

First-year Hatboro-Horsham coach Shane Smith praised his team’s effort despite being shorthanded. “The team came out and fought hard,” he said. “They battled hard. I saw a lot of things from players that they reached down in and pulled out some stuff they didn’t think they had.
“Obviously the score didn’t go the way we wanted it to but I think there were a lot of good thigs out on the ice. I think there was a lot of good, hard, forechecking and we had a few good opportunities that were there.”

Abington 7 4 x—11

Hatboro-Horsham 0 0 x—0

First-period goals: Mathew Cholaj (A) from Matt Kramer, :43; Kramer (A) unassisted, 1:24; Jordan Heydt (A) unassisted, 7:38, Kramer (A) from Sean Doyle, 9:43; Tom Rourke (A) from Seamus Donofry, 11:13; Kramer A) from Joe Stelacio, 13:00 Cholaj (A) from Kramer, 13:42
Second-period goals: Kramer (A) from Stelacio, 2:59; Ryan Portner (A) from Ian Heydt 3:08; Jonathan Walker (A) from Heydt, 10:54; Kramer (A) from Vinny Menniti, 13:36

Shots: Hatboro-Horsham 16, Abington 43; Saves: Mason Rush (HH) 32; Ben Panella (A) 16

Jeff Mauro has written a book on the history of the Pennsylvania state high school hockey championship. To find out more and order a copy CLICK HERE

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