C.B. East 7 C.B. West 1

WARWICK TOWNSHIP—There is a lot of history within the walls of the Bucks County Ice Sports Center. The rink, originally called Face Off Circle, opened its doors in 1975 when the Philadelphia Flyers were the reigning Stanley Cup champions.

It’s the place where Central Bucks East Coach Jeff Mitchell learned to skate. And it’s where Mitchell brought his Patriots Friday night to renew one of the area’s traditional rivalries.

His players met expectations, scoring a 7-1 decision over Central Bucks West, a win that gave the Patriots two vital points in the SHSHL National Division standings. With the playoff field being reduced to six teams this season from the customary eight, the result was especially significant in terms of the standings. 

Perhaps more importantly however the win was the Patriots’ second straight following a four-game losing streak, a losing streak that was especially difficult to endure after East (6-4, 2-1 in divisional play) began the season with four straight wins.

The Patriots displayed an abundance of scoring balance. Stephen DiRugeris scored two goals, while Owen Brackbill, Ethan Cenci, Anthony Dowd, Corey Kosick, and Drew Trask provided one goal each.

 “The last two games have been a little bit of a sigh of relief,” Mitchell said, “that we’re getting back to the right motions that we’re running through when we’re playing our games.

“Were kind of getting back to our core values. Probably the past four or five games have been very subpar, slow, a lack of effort. It’s almost like we had an easy start to the season.”

With a full lineup in uniform, Mitchell was enthused about the balanced scoring.

“Having everybody back in the lineup really helped,” he said. “We spread the puck around, we were able to get four full lines out there. Rotate four lines throughout the game.

“It definitely helps a lot with getting a little pressure off the top two lines.”

After a scoreless first frame, the Patriots took control with goal from Brackbill, DiRugeris, and Cenci to go up 3-0 with 6:46 left in the middle period. Anthony Dowd scored for West (3-7, 1-2) 43 seconds later but by the midpoint of the third period, the Bucks were running on empty. Kosick, DiRugeris, and Gerken scored goals in a span of 2:20.

“On the spectrum of how we play, I think we played pretty well the first half of the game,” said West coach Dave Baun. “In fact, I don’t think we played that badly the entire game for where we are right now.

“East is a little better and they beat us.”

Mitchell noted the importance of every point in the standings in light of the new playoff format.

“I think every team that makes the playoffs is going to be a top-tier team,” he said. “I think seeds one through six are all going to be challenging. So, we’re going to have to do our best to play the games we have left in the season and kind of get a feel for the competition.”

C.B. West  0 1 0—1

C.B. East 0 4 3—7

Second-period goals: Owen Brackbill (CBE) from Kyle McIntyre, :50; Stephen DiRugeris (CBE) from Corey Kosick, 5:06; Ethan Cenci (CBE) from Gavin Widmer, 10:14; Anthony Dowd (CBW) from Zane Sanders, Ryan Gerken (CBE) unassisted, 15:24

Third-period goals: Kosick (CBE) from Jason Young, 9:10; DiRugeris (CBE) from Cenci, 9:52 Drew Trask (CBE) from Brackbill, 11:30.
Shots: C.B. West 27, C.B. East 38; Saves: Kyle Fasolak (CBW) 31, Matt Magiacapre (CBE) 18 and Cole Breen (CBE) 8

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