HATFIELD TOWNSHIP—Council Rock South had reason to be a bit frustrated Tuesday night. The Golden Hawks spent two periods firing shots at the Abington net and had nothing to show for it.
Ben Panella made 32 saves and he and his teammates took a 1-0 lead into the post-second period ice cut, on the strength of Griffin Carpenter’s goal in the first period.
But when Chase Tovsky scored for South 3:20 into the third frame it seemingly energized his teammates. The Golden Hawks went on to score five goals in the final period and record a 5-1 win in a Class AA Flyers Cup first-round encounter at Hatfield Ice.
The third-seeded Golden Hawks (14-1-2-1) will see action in Thursday’s quarterfinals against sixth-seeded Downingtown West (site and time TBD). Abington, the 14th seed, closes the season at 15-2.
South’s goals came in a span 9 minutes, 29 seconds. Tovsky’s initial effort was followed by goals from Sam Chekassky, David Vergules, Tovsky again, and Julian Wagenmann.
“I thought we were the better team,” said South coach Joe Houk, “but they played well. They played really well, but they were running out of gas.
“I said ‘All it’s going to take is one goal guys and that’s going to open the floodgates.’”
Vergules said he and his teammates were a bit miffed after Panella stymied them for the game’s first 34 minutes (Panella finished with 50 saves).
“The guys were definitely frustrated,” he said. We knew we were the better team, that we would come out on top. It just took a little more effort and moe guts and grit.”
Carpenter’s goal came 10:47 into the first frame during an Abington power play. But Carson Lopez in the South net was impregnable after that; he finished with 13 saves. He did his best work when he denied Abington;s Matt Cholaj twice from close range midway through the second period.”
Abington coach Ken Brzozowski praised his team’s effort. “They came out (In the third period) and just played at a little bit of a different level we had a hard time matching,” he said. “They got a couple lucky bounces in the defensive end and found the back of the net.”
Even after Tovsky’s first goal, Brzozowski’s felt his team was still in the game. “We still kind of felt okay,” he said. “It was really when I’d say the third one went in, that’s kind of when we felt ‘We’re definitely back on our heels a little bit.”
Abington 1 0 0—1
C.R. South 0 0 5—5
First-period goals: Griffin Carpenter (A) from Joe Stelacio, 10:47 (pp)
Third-period goals: Chase Tovsky (CRS) from Blaise Pepe and Kevin Koles, 3:20; Sam Cherkassky (CRS) from Julian Sarne and Kyle Boss, 4:56; David Vergules (CRS) fron Koles and Matt Constantino, 6:56; Tovsky (CRS) from Daniel Filippov, 11:15; Julian Wagenmann (CRS) from Vergules and Boss, 12:49
Shots: Abington 14, C.R. South 55; Saves: Ben Panella (A) 50, Carson Lopez (CRS) 13