BRISTOL—A hockey team trying to find its way took a big leap forward Thursday night. Aidan Gaffney scored two goals as Central Bucks South surprised previously unbeaten Neshaminy 3-2 Thursday night at Grundy Arena.
It was the first win for the Titans in seven starts this season (1-5-1 overall, 1-1 in Class AA divisional play.
Assistant coach Tyler Skroski noted it was a team win in the truest sense of the term.
“We relied on our older guys, our seniors were coming through,” he said. “Our top players were coming through. That’s a full team win.”
The Titans also got a big contribution from a younger guy; freshman goaltender Jason Magaruh, who was credited with 50 saves.
Dan Kvechner gave South the first lead of the night just 2:28 into the opening period. Jacob Adami responded for the ‘Skins (4-1-1 overall 1-1 in the division) at the 12:50 mark on a shot from the right circle on which Magaruh was screened and it seemed the hosts were getting a handle on things.
But Gaffney put South ahead for the second time just 1:32 into the second period.
“The mindset was just north-and-south hockey,” he said. “We wanted to get pucks in deep and shoot everything we possibly could.”
The Titans skated themselves into a corner at the start of the third period. Kvechner was set off for tripping after 43 seconds. When Justin Montagna was flagged for the same offense at 1:25 South found itself skating two men short. When J.J. Hathaway tied the game for Neshaminy at the 2:22 mark the ‘Skins still had a full minute of power-play time left.
But Magaruh bolstered by his defense corps, held form.
“He’s a young goalie,” Gaffney said. “We’ll always support our goalie no matter what.
Gaffney’s game-winning goal came with 2:20 left in the game off a faceoff.
The ‘Skins enjoyed a 52-36 edge in shots on goal. Neshaminy coach Matt DeMatteo lamented the fact that an abundance of his team’s shot attempts never got to the net.
“I think that their defense stepped up,” he said. “Not that their goalie didn’t play well. We had trouble getting pucks through to him. We got some shots on, but they blocked a ton of shots.
“I think that was their game plan going in to load up the middle and block shots. We just had trouble getting the pucks through to the goalie.”
Gaffney believes the win will be a springboard for the Titans and give them momentum.
“Definitely,” he said. “It’s definitely a turnaround. “We’re looking to turn it around for the rest of the games and I definitely think we can.”
C.B. South 1 1 1—3
Neshaminy 1 0 1—2
First-period goals: Dan Kvechner (CBS) from Matt Crouch, 2:28; Jacob Adami (N) from J.H. Hathaway, 12:50
Second-period goals: Aidan Gaffney (CBS) from Justin Keilman and Aydin Theirolf, 1:32
Third-period goals: Hathaway (N) from Max Gallagher, 2:26 (pp); Gaffney (CBS) from Adam Cusick, 12:40
Shots: C.B. South 36, Neshaminy 52; Saves: Jason Magaruh (CBS) 50, Brian Nelson (N) 33