HATFIELD—It was business as usual for Pennridge Wednesday night. The Rams scored three times in the first period and rolled to a 6-1 win over Neshaminy in a SHSHL Class AA matchup at Hatfield Ice.
Pennridge remains perfect with a 14-0 overall record (9-0 in divisional play) heading into its regular-season finale with Council Rock South next Wednesday. It’s last lost came to Haverford in the Flyers Cup semifinals last April.
The game was essentially decided in the first 13:55 of the opening period. Pierce McGinley, Andrew Savong, and Tyler Manto scored goals in that stretch, and Rams were never threatened thereafter.
“We got off to a rough start,” said Neshaminy coach Matt DeMatteo. “The one rebound came right out to (McGinley) who buried it. Then we had (a tip-in) and then we had the second or third goal the guy dangled through us and nobody stepped up to play physical. So, I feel like we kind of put ourselves in that hole. It’s tough to battle back against a really good team like that.”
Max Gallagher scored a power-play goal for Neshaminy (9-3-1, 5-4 in the division) 9:49 into the second period but Kevin Pico and Aeryk Lehrhaupt responded for the Rams (Lehrhaupt’s goal came while his team was shorthanded) before Shane Dachowski added a goal in the third period.
The final margin would doubtless have been wider had it not been for the work of Brian Nelson in the Neshaminy net. Nelson was credited with 46 saves while his Pennridge counterpart Ryan Pico was given credit for 41.
Pennridge coach Jeff Montagna said his team got a big boost from its quick start. “Especially after our last game (a 5-3 win over Central Bucks South) where we didn’t,” he said. “We talked about it. I thought it was our best first period of the year. I thought we started the game better than we have all year and it set the tone for the rest of the night.”
After next week, the Rams will cross the threshold into the postseason. Expectations are high in light of last year’s Flyers Cup effort. So, in a very real sense, Wednesday night’s first period was about setting the tone for something beyond a regular-season game in February.
- Neshaminy’s. A.J. Dougherty was injured in the second period when Pennridge’s Andrew David delivered a shoulder check while Dougherty was standing with his back to the boards in the Pennridge offensive left wing corner. No penalty was called on the play. Dougherty was helped off the ice. According to DeMatteo, he will enter concussion protocol.
•The regular season will conclude next week. The SHSHL playoffs will commence on February 23 and 24 so the results of the Class AA quarterfinals will factor into the Flyers Cup seedings.
Neshaminy 0 1 0
Pennridge 3 2 1—6
First-period goals: Pierce McGinley (P) from Josh Kelly, 2:59; Andrew Savong (P) unassisted, 9:09; Tyler Manto (P) from Ryan Schuler, 13:55
Second-period goals: Max Gallagher (N) from Dan McColgan and J.J. Hathaway, 9:49 (pp); Kevin Pico, from Manto and Boyle, 13:44; Aeryk Lehrhaupt (P) unassisted, 15:51 (sh)
Third-period goals: Shane Dachowski (P) from Aidan Boyle Jack Lowery, 9:58 (pp)
Shots: Neshaminy 42, Pennridge 52; Saves: Brian Nelson (N) 46, Ryan Pico P) 41