BRISTOL— A month into the Suburban High School Hockey League season, a lot of knowledgeable observers are looking at Council Rock South as the team to beat.
Nothing the Golden Hawks did Wednesday night would discourage that sentiment.
Jake Weiner scored two goals and Sam Reiter and Chase Tovsky added one goal each as South remained unbeaten with a 4-1 decision over Neshaminy at Grundy Arena.
The win was the fifth without defeat for the Golden Hawks, who were runners up in the SHSHL’s National Division and the Class AA Flyers Cup tournament last season.
The loss was the first for Neshaminy after three season-opening wins.
The Golden Hawks didn’t create any highlight videos Wednesday night but they moved the puck effectively and did all the little things well.
“Little things make a difference in whether you win or lose,” said South coach Joe Houk. “I thought our backcheck was pretty good tonight. I thought (goaltender Carson Lopez) was rock solid.”
Lopez, whose GAA now stands at 1.29 points out that hockey games are not decided by style points.
“A goal is a goal, a save is a save,” he said. “I think our goal this season is to score three and let me do the rest.”
The Hawks won a battle for a loose puck in their offensive left-wing corner set up the first goal of the evening. It came off Weiner’s stick with 8:34 left in the opening period.
Reiter made it 2-0 1:37 into the second frame off a feed from Evan Mostoller who was set up in the high slot at the time.
Nolan Geria answered for Neshaminy at the 5:45 mark and with Cory Hemberger matching Lopez with his effort in the ‘Skins net, the game was still very much for grabs.
Tovsky’s goal, which came with 3:35 left in the second period, gave the Golden Hawks some breathing room.
“The third goal was a big one before the end of the second period,” Houk said.
The Golden Hawks went on to dominate the period. The period featured just one goal, from Weiner with 3:35 left in the game, but South outshot Neshaminy 16-3 in the final period.
With four varsity players missing because of injuries and illness, the ‘Skins simply ran out of gas.
“They’re a very good team,” Neshaminy coach Matt DeMatteo said of the Hawks. “There were some things we could have done better. I thought our transition game wasn’t great and I thought our defensive zone was a little shaky. But, tired legs hurt you in the end.”
Ice chips—While Wednesday’s result won’t factor into the SHSHL National Division standings since the teams will play again in February, it will be part of Flyers Cup seedings calculations at year’s end.
Neshaminy 0 1 0—1
C.R. South 1 2 1—4
First-period goal: Jake Weiner (CRS) from Jeremy Rayher and Illia Mukhin, 8:26
Second-period goals: Sam Reiter (CRS) from Evan Mostoller and Blaize Pepe, 1:37; Nolan Geria (N) from David McColligan and Michael Rago, 5:45; Chase Tovsky (CRS) from Bobby Gilbert, 13:25
Third-period goal: Weiner (CRS) unassisted, 4:28
Shots: Neshaminy 26, Council Rock South 39; Saves: Cory Hemberger (N) 35, Carson Lopez (CRS) 25