HATFIELD Township—With two of its leading scorers idled by injury, Abington needed a big game from its goaltender Thursday night, and it got it. Sam Nemec came up big as the Galloping Ghosts remained unbeaten with a 6-3 decision over Wissahickon in a SHSHL American Division encounter at Hatfield Ice.
Abington stands a perfect 8-0 on the season heading into the Christmas break and 7-0 in divisional play. The Galloping Ghosts’ last loss came to Council Rock South last March in the opening round of the Class AA Flyers Cup tournament.
On Thursday, they were without Pat Stelacio, the SHSHL’s leading scorer, and Matt Kramer, who between them have combined for 26 goals and 17 assists this season. That scenario raised expectations for Nemec and the senior delivered. Officially, he was credited with 37 saves against a Wissahickon team that came in averaging better than seven goals a game.
“It was definitely one of my busier games this year,” Nemec said, “and I felt I had it locked in as soon as the puck dropped. I felt good in warmups tonight.”
Like many goaltenders, Nemec prefers a lot of work.
“I would much rather be busy, rather than stay cold and face a couple shots a period,” he said. “I enjoy being busy down there.”
Abington coach Ken Brzozowski called Nemec’s effort the best game of his Abington career.
“I told him that was the best game I’d ever seen him play,” Brzozowski said. “I’ve been watching him play for four years and we asked him before the game; we said ‘We need one, we need a good game.’ And that’s what he did tonight, he gave us a great game.”
Jordan Heydt gave Abington a 1-0 lead 4:58 into the first period. Danny Hussa answered for Wissahickon (4-4, 4-3 in the division) five-and-a-half minutes later.
The Trojans took the lead when Hudson Honeycutt scored of a setup from Jack Raebiger 3:04 into the second period on a play that started when Raebiger made a rush up the left wing. But Sam Paulik tied the game for Abington with a power-play goal less than two minutes later before Heydt scored his second goal of the night to put the Galloping Ghosts back in front with 3:52 remaining in the period.
Ian Heydt extended Abington’s lead to 4-2 1:29 in to the third period but the Trojans weren’t finished. Will Hussa scored off a setup from Danny Hussa and it was a one-goal game once more with 5:14 still left in regulation. But Ian Heydt responded for Abington just 19 seconds later.
Devin Bates added an empty-net goal just before the final buzzer.
Wissahickon coach Ken Harrington said his team ran out of energy in the late going.
“We were gassed,” he said. “We had a short bench tonight. They were (fatigued) on the bench
“But, we just couldn’t get the puck over the goalie.”
Wissahickon 1 1 1—3
Abington 1 2 3—6
First-period goals: Jordan Heydt (A) unassisted, 4:58; Danny Hussa from Nolan Pounds and Griffin Lynch, 10:31
Second-period goals: Hudson Honeycutt from Lynch, 3:04; Sam Paulik (A) from Sean Doyle 4:56 (pp); Jordan Heydt (A) unassisted, 12:08
Third-period goals: Ian Heydt (A) from Sam Abramson, 1:29; Will Hussa from Danny Hussa, 11:46; Ian Heydt (A) from Abramsom and Brian Murdoch, 12:05; De vin Bates (A) unassisted, 16:59 (en)
Shots: Wissahickon 39, Abington 18; Saves: Fletcher Lynch 12, Sam Nemec (A) 36