BRISTOL— It’s something that occurs around this time in every hockey season. Council Rock South finds another gear.
The Golden Hawks played one of their best games of the season Thursday night a 6-1 SHSHL Class AA win over Neshaminy at Grundy Arena.
Evan Mostoller scored two goals and four other players scored one goal each as South improved to 9-1-1 overall and stayed unbeaten in divisional play with a 7-0 mark.
The margin of victory might have been greater had it not been for the play of Neshaminy goaltender Brian Nelson who made 41 saves. From the opening faceoff to the final buzzer, the Golden Hawks dominated.
Sophomore Kevin Koles contributed a goal and two assists.
“We’ve got playoffs soon,” he said. “We’re trying to (play) more like a team. We got the job done.”
South is one of the most balanced teams offensively in the SHSHL. Entering play Thursday night, four different players had scored 11 points or more this season.
Veteran coach Joe Houk says that balance is one of the keys to his team’s success this season.
“I think it’s most important,” he said. “We’ve always talked over the years about how your top guys always (contribute). “I think the second and third liners are the guys that are the most important. And now I have a couple D-men this year that are putting points up on the board also.
“So, at any given time during the game, I don’t have to rely on one or two guys. I can rely on a lot of other people too.”
Thanks in part to Nelson’s 18 saves, the Golden Hawks led just 1-0 after one period; Blaise Pepe put his team in front at the 1:38 mark.
Julian Wagenmann made it a 2-0 game 1:14 into the second frame before South broke the game open late in the period. Jeremy Rahyer, Koles, and Mostoller scored in a span of five-and-a-half minutes to build a 5-0 lead by period’s end.
It marked the first time this year Neshaminy (8-2-1, 5-2 in the division) had surrendered more than three goals in a game this season.
Neshaminy coach Matt DeMatteo was disappointed in his team’s effort.
“(South) is a very good team,” he said. “They played a very disciplined game. They clearly had a game plan and they executed it. We did not. That’s what it looks like when two good teams play and one doesn’t show up.”
Emotions boiled over at the 3:35 mark of the third period. South’ Matt Constantini and Neshaminy’s Nolan Geria were the antagonists. Constantini drew a minor for cross checking plus a 10-minute misconduct. Geria, who had been flagged three times to that point, was called for a minor penalty for a check from behind, and the automatic misconduct penalty that went with it, plus a double game misconduct.
J.J. Hathaway scored for Neshaminy 8:27 into the final period before Mostoller completed the scoring at 13:20.
Council Rock South 1 4 1—6
Neshaminy 0 0 1—1
First-period goals: Blaise Pepe (CRS) from Alec Pepe and Chase Trovsky, 1:38
Second-period goals: Julian Wagenmann (CRS) from Matt Constantini and Nolan O’Brien, 1:14; Jeremy Rayher (CRS) from Julian Sarne and Kyle Boss, 11:11; Kevin Koles (CRS) unassisted, 12:44; Evan Mostoller (CRS) from Koles and David Vergules, 16:41
Third-period goals: J.J. Hathaway (N) unassisted, 8:27; Mostoller (CRS) from Trovsky and Koles, 13:20
Shots: Council Rock South 47, Neshaminy 19; Saves: Carson Lopez (CRS) 18, Brian Nelson (N) 41