HATFELD TOWNSHIP— One of the mantras of postseason hockey is ‘Don’t take bad penalties.’ Failing to adhere to that axiom cost Pennsbury dearly Wednesday night.
Pennridge scored four goals in the third period and went on to a 6-3 win over the Falcons in an SHSHL National Division semifinal at Hatfield Ice. The second-seeded Rams, still unbeaten at 16-0-1, will take on Council Rock South Thursday night at 7:10 in the same rink for the National Division title. Third-seeded Pennsbury (11-4-1-0), which was defending the division title it won last year, will await the start of the Class AA Flyers Cup tournament next Tuesday.
As the third period commenced, it was anyone’s game with the teams deadlocked at 2-2. Tyler Manto and Kevin Pico produced first-period goals for Pennridge. Brendan Macainsh, who scored for the Falcons just 35 seconds into the opening session, set up his teammate Shane Siegmound 77 seconds into the second.
But not quite a third of the way into the final period, the flow of the game shifted dramatically. At the 5:06 mark, the Falcons drew a bench penalty for too many men on the ice. It took Aeryk Lehrhaupt just 11 seconds to score the goal that put his team ahead for good.
But there was more to come. At the 6:06 mark Lehrhaupt was flagged for hooking. Fifty-three seconds later Pennsbury’s Andrew Falkenstein knocked a Pennridge player off stride with his knee and was called for tripping, leaving teams skating four on four. Colin Dachowski scored for Pennridge at 7:51 to make it a 4-2 game and for the remainder of the period, play flowed in Pennridge’s direction, like a river flowing downhill.
Andrew Lizak added a goal at 10:49 to give the Rams a three-goal lead. Macainsh brought his team closer when he scored his second goal of the game at 12:27 but that was all the Falcons could muster.
Shane Dachowski finished the scoring with an empty net goal with seven seconds remaining.
There was an ice cut before the start of the third period, which Lehrhaupt said allowed the Rams to regroup.
“We didn’t feel like we played like we were in a tie game,” he said. “As soon as we came out buzzing (in the third period) and got that goal, it made a whole world of a difference.”
Pennridge coach Jeff Montagna used his time out prior to his team’s third-period power play to tell his troops to pick up the pace. “I thought we were going a little too much trying to play defense,” he said. ‘I thought their next five minutes was their best five minutes of the year.”
The game featured 12 minor penalties, six against each team. Pennsbury coach Ryan Daley voiced his displeasure with the work of the officials.
“I don’t want to talk about penalties too much,” he said, “but in my opinion, that was one of the worst officiated games I’ve ever been in.
“The penalties we took, we took, it doesn’t help at all. But it also doesn’t help when the referees are (inattentive) to what’s going on the ice.”
Both goaltenders were sharp. Aaron McDaniel stopped 37 shots for the Falcons. His Pennridge counterpart Ryan Pico was credited with 32 saves.
“Our goalie was keeping us in it,” Daley said, “with some spectacular saves, especially right at the end of the second, and Pico was doing his thing. He stole a few from us as expected.
“We really played great the first two periods. It was just a five-minute span of going brain dead that killed us in the third.”
Pennsbury 1 1 1—3
Pennridge 2 0 4—6
First-period goal: Brendan Macainsh (Pb) from Shane Siegmund, :35; Tyler Manto (Pr) from Kevin Pico and Colin Dachowski, 9:40; Pico (Pr) from Aidan Boyle, 13:25
Second-period goal: Siegmund (P) from Macainsh, 1:17 (pp)
Third-period goals: Aeryk Lehrhaupt (P) from Jack Lowery, 5:17; Colin Dachowski (Pr) unassisted, 7:51; Andrew Lizak (Pr) from Boyle, 10:49; Macainsh (Pb) from Siegmund, 12:27; Shane Dachowski (Pr) from Manto, 16:53 (en)
Shots: Pennsbury 35, Pennridge 43; Saves: Aaron McDaniel (Pb) 37, Ryan Pico (Pr) 32
The Grundy Skate Shop is a full-service hockey pro shop inside the Grundy Arena, offering a great selection of equipment, brands and various services. We do a full range of repairs as well as offer custom hockey jerseys. Owner Bill Keyser, has over 25 years experience in the industry and specializes in skate sharpening, including profiling. Please visit our Facebook page or stop in and check us out!