TRENTON, N.J.—The Pennridge Rams took the ice Wednesday night looking to make a statement. And they did. Andrew Savona’s goal with 1:26 remaining in overtime gave the Rams a 3-2 non-league victory over Holy Ghost Prep.
The win was Pennridge’s eighth this season without a blemish and it came on a night when the Rams were without veteran forwards Aidan Boyle and Andrew David. And while only a sparse crowd was on hand to witness the encounter inside the cavernous Cure Insurance Arena, the result is sure to reverberate within the area hockey community.
“These guys really wanted to play this game,” said Pennridge coach Jeff Montagna. “They wanted this game. “And (when it was scheduled) they were really excited. Because, they wanted a chance to show that they were as good as anybody and that they could play with anybody.
Montagna was proud of the way his team battled the Firebirds.
“They didn’t back down,” he said. “They went toe to toe with them and they deserved everything they got tonight. I don’t know if it’s making a statement but I hope it showed them they can play with anybody of they do what they’re supposed to do.”
Holy Ghost Prep (9-3) had the better of the in a scoreless period but was the Rams who struck first, 4:50 into the second frame finished off a play that originated deep in the Pennridge defensive zone.
The goal seemed to wake up the Firebirds and Landon Stout tied the game at the 6:25 mark.
His teammate Brady Baehser gave Holy Prep a 2-1 lead 6:43 into the third period when he scored during a four-on-four situation.
The game seemed to be flowing the Firebirds way at that point but Shane Dachowski tied the game for Pennridge when he beat Holy Ghost Prep goaltender Jason Soule from close range at the 10:42 mark.
Soule and Pennridge’s Ryan Pico each made one big save in overtime before Savona’s game winner.
Holy Ghost Prep coach Gump Whiteside said his team needs to make some changes.
“(Changes in) how we approach the game,” he said. “How we approach each shift, how we approach each other.
“I thought we were a little two individualistic tonight but they’re high-school kids. And talking to these guys after the game, I know they have each other’s backs.”
• There was a scary moment when Pennridge forward Aeryk Lehrhaupt was taken into the wall with 3:52 left in the second period. Lehrhaupt was down on the ice for several minutes but left the ice surface under how own power … The Rams enjoyed a 35-25 edge in shots.
Pennridge 0 1 1 1—3
Holy Ghost Prep 0 1 1 0—2
Second-period goals: Jack Lowery (P) from Aeryk Lehrhaupt, 4:50; Landon Stout (HG) from Brian Butler and Kieran Mulholland, 6:25
Third-period goals: Brady Baehser (HGP) from Colin Moore and Sean Marshall, 6:43; Shane Dachowski (P) from Ryan Shuler, 10:42
Overtime goal: Andrew Savona (P) from Colin Dachowski and Shane Dachowski, 3:34
Shots: Pennridge 35, Holy Ghost Prep 25; Saves: Ryan Pico (P) 23, Jason Soule (HGP) 32
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