Abington 5 Plymouth Whitemarsh 1

HATFIELD TWNSHIP— With their halo of invincibility having disintegrated, Abington took the ice Thursday night with a renewed sense of purpose.

And it showed. Three goals in four-and-a-half minute span late in the first period left the Galloping Ghosts in command on the way to a 5-1 SHSHL American Division win over Plymouth Whitemarsh at Hatfield Ice Arena.

It was the first start for Abington (9-0-1, 8-0-1 in the division) since it sustained the only blemish on its record, a 2-2 standoff with Quakertown two days before Christmas. Thursday’s result allowed the Galloping Ghosts to leave that game far behind them.

“It was very important to start fast,” said senior forward Jordan Heydt. “This is arguably the most important game of the season. It solidifies us for a really good chance at first place, taking about the playoff bracket for this year (which will include three teams).

“(The regular-season champion) having a first-round-bye is huge.”

Abington has built its record despite the fact that two of its top scorers, Pat Stelacio and Matt Kramer remain sidelined with injuries. That has led some line juggling and other adjustments.

“We really have to have our players step up,” Heydet said. “We have to have our assistant captain, captain, and even the freshmen, they all have to step up.

“They all have to play their roles. They don’t have to do a lot, but they just have to play the system and play like they know how to play.”

Griffin Carpenter gave Abington a 1-0 lead 10:25 into the first period off a feed from Sam Abramson. Heydt made it a 2-0 game at the 11:53 mark, and Sam Paulik gave his team a three-goal advantage when he scored during a power play with 2:01 left in the period.

Playing their third game in three nights, the Colonials (6-4, 5-3 in the division) found themselves trying to dig out of a deep hole.

“We’ve done it before,” said Plymouth Whitemarsh coach Dave Cox. “But tonight, it just wasn’t there. Our third game in three days, I think started to take its toll.”

The Colonials’ Conlan Carpenter beat Abington netminder Sam Nemec on a power-play effort 1:16 into the middle period. But that was all he and his teammates could manage.

Heydt and Abramson added goals for Abington in the third period.

“We came out with energy tonight,” said Abington coach Ken Brzozowski. “We kind of knew it was a big matchup, they’d been winning some games, they’re right behind us in the standings. 

“We knew if we could come out of here with a win, it would really put us in a good spot for the rest of the year.”

• Ice Chips— The two teams will play again in a non-league game at the Wells Fargo Center on January 18 to celebrate both teams’ Senior Nights. Face-off time is now set for 7 p.m.; the Senior Night celebration will precede the opening faceoff.

Abington 3 0 2—5

Plymouth Whitemarsh 0 1 0—1

First-period goals: Griffin Carpenter (A) from Sam Abramson, 10:25; Jordan Heydt (A) from Sean Doyle and Seamus Donofry, 11:53; Sam Paulik (A) from Donofry and Devin Bates, 14:59 (pp).

Second-period goal: Conlan Carpenter (PW) from Dylan Novitsky, 1:16 (pp)

Third-period goals: Heydt (A) from Paulik. 4:17; Abramson (A) unassisted, 5:37

Shots: Abington 39, PW 20; Saves: Sam Nemec (A) 19, Chris Maslij (PW) 33

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