HATFIELD TOWNSHIP—The goaltenders were the stars at Hatfield Ice Thursday night. Goaltending duels are rare in the SHSH’s American Division, a division best known for offensive accomplishments.
On this occasion, Wissahickon’s Fletcher Lynch and Quakertown’ Matt Krem came up big. Lynch, a freshman, playing in goal for just the fourth time in his life, stopped 22 shots in his team’s 3-1 win while Krem, an experienced senior netminder, made 37 saves.
Wissahickon coach Ken Harrington, who saw his team advance to 3-1 on the year both overall and in the division, had expected to see more than four goals scored but credited both goaltenders.
“They were going head to head,” he said. “I’d pay money to watch it,”
John Kufner gave the Trojans the lead 6:33 into the first period on a shot off an offensive left-circle faceoff. It took Brandon McNally just 50 seconds to respond for the Panthers (3-1, 2-1 in the division).
For most of the rest of the evening, Lynch and Krem were in charge with Krem was particularly busy in the Panther net.
“We’ve had a good stretch of goaltending here at Quakertown said Krem’s coach and father, Keith Krem. “It’s kind of been the one thing we’ve always had to rely on in games.
“Their guy, I give him a lot of credit. I know he’s new to the position. For him to play over the 90 percent (save percentage) is a huge stride for him.”
By the start of the third period both teams were starting to feel the impact of having just nine skaters each available.
The Trojans took the lead for good when Will Hussa beat Krem off a setup from Griffin Lynch 5:33 into the final session. The goal came just five seconds after the Panthers’ Cole Stemmer was sent to the box for slashing.
Like his coach, Hussa expected more scoring over the course of the evening.
“It definitely surprised us,” he said. “We’re used to scoring a lot of goals but you’ve just got to do what you have to do to win.”
Danny Hussa gave his team insurance with a goal with 3:44 remaining in regulation.
“Our failure just came down to, we had a game plan and we didn’t execute it,” Krem said. More so, we failed to manage the puck. They spent a lot more time in our zone we did in theirs.”
The Trojans have now faced every and Will Hussa says he and his teammates like where they stand.
“Now that we’ve seen everybody we know we can beat everybody,” he said. “We had a close game against Abington (a 12-10 loss). We lost that game but we know we can get them next time.”
Quakertown 1 0 0—1
Wissahickon 1 0 2—3
First-period goals: John Kufner from Danny Hussa 6:33; Brandon McNally (Q) from Connor Elmore, 7:23
Third-period goals: Will Hussa from Griffin Lynch and Hudson Honrycutt, 5:33 (pp); Danny Hussa from Nolan Pounds, 13:16 (sh)
Shots: Quakertown 23, Wissahickon 40; Saves: Fletcher Lynch 22, Matt Krem (Q) 37