BRISTOL—The result was a disappointment albeit not a totally unexpected one. Bensalem was no match for Pennsbury Thursday night and fell 11-1 in a Suburban High School Hockey League Class AA game at Grundy Arena.
But the result paled in comparison to the reality of the Owls being on the ice, in uniforms that carried their school’s name and its colors of silver and blue.
The team is coached by Jordan Roth, a special education teacher in the district and a man with an affection for the game of hockey.
“Hockey has always been a passion of mine,” he said, “as well as coaching. I’m excited to grow this program to the best of ability.”
The Owls who now stand at 3-9 overall and 1-7 in divisional play, have one of the youngest teams in the SHSHL.
Sophomore goaltender Rickey Gonzalez stood tall for his team Wednesday night despite the score line He allowed 11 goals but also made 39 saves before the contest was terminated via the 10-goal mercy rule 8:11 into the third period.
Gonzalez found himself drawn to playing in goal early on. “When I was little I always had a thing for weird positions,” he said. “When I played football, I always wanted to be a ref.
“So, I guess I ended up picking goalie. But after a while, you see the other guys having all the fun out there and I kind of feel left out. I want to be a (skater) sometimes.”
Gonzalez enjoys the opportunity to step on the ice with the student-athletes he sees in school each day. “I find it a little bit more fun and exciting to play with them,” he said. I get to show off my skills a little bit for my friends and the people who come to our games.”
Alex Hood scored the Owls’ only goal Wednesday night. Hood, who is also a sophomore has collected 12 goals and five assists for 17 points this season.
Hood was elated when he learned Bensalem would field a hockey team this season. “I was really excited,” he said, because I could play with my friends here and it’s something new to do.”
Like Gonzalez, Hood is savoring the chance to play alongside his friends. “I’ve always loved playing with (Gonzalez),” he said. “He’s one of my best friends off the ice. It’s just something I’ve always wanted to do.”
Roth tells his squad to appreciate the opportunity they have to skate for their school. “I tell the guys in the locker room that it’s a privilege to play this game every day,” he said. “Finding ice, being in enclosed arenas. Hockey is a very expensive sport. I’m very thankful to be a part of the program. I like to instill that importance of respect, respect the game and respect the officials on and off the ice.”
The Falcons (7-3-1, 5-2 in the division) took command by scoring six goals in the first period. Brendan MacAinsh, Reece Milkman and Jake McCaw each scored two goals
Bensalem 0 1 0—1
Pennsbury 6 2 3—11
First-period goals: Brendan Macainsh (P) from Colin Michalak and Shane Siegmund, :22; Jake McCaw (P) from Chris Sarver 5:23; Logan Doyle (P) from Connor Coyne, 8:50 (sh); Reece Millman (P) from Macainsh, 11:17; McCaw (P) from Sarver and Millman, 14:02; Sarver (P) from Millman and Duyle, 14:51;
Second-period goals: Alex Hood (B) from Matt Rowan and Alex Bazylevich, 11:31; Millman (P) unassisted, 12:59 (pp); Doyle (P) from Macainsh and Conor Kane, 13:15
Third-period goals: McCaw (P) Doyle, 1:01 (sh); Macainsh (P) from Siegmund and Stephen Grossup, 3:02; McCaw (P) from Siegmound, 8:11
Shots: Bensalem 8, Pennsbury 50; Saves: Ricky Gonzalez (B) 39, Aaron McDaniel (P) 7
Game terminated at 8:11 of the third period