HATFIELD TOWNSHIP—Officially, Wednesday’s matchup between Quakertown was the regular-season finale for both teams. In reality, it might as well have been a playoff game.
It was the Panthers who prevailed 7-2 in a SHSHL American Division encounter at Hatfield Ice.
The win assures Quakertown (10-4-1-1, 6-4-1-1 in the division) of a playoff spot. Wissahickon (10-6, 6-6 in the division) comes up short if, as expected, Plymouth Whitemarsh defeats Springfield on Thursday night. Both teams remain eligible for the Flyers Cup tournament.
Kiera Shaw played a huge role in Quakertown’s success. The junior scored two goals, including the game winner.
The first period belonged to Quakertown goaltender Matt Krem, who turned aside 17 of the 18 shots he saw in the opening session. Largely as the result of Krem’s efforts, the teams ended the first frame tied at 1-1. The Trojans’ Danny Hussa and the Panthers’ William Shaw were the goal scorers.
“We’re just so thankful that Matt is great in net,” Kiera Shaw said. “They were beating up on us in the first period so we took it to them in the second and third and got it back.”
The Panthers did just that, albeit with some from the Trojans
Defensive zone breakdowns led to three Quakertown goals in a span of 1 minute, 25 seconds. Cole Slemmer (on a shorthanded effort), Kiera Shaw, and Jack Diliberto were the goal scorers.
“In the second period they got more aggressive,” said Wissahickon coach Ken Harrington. “They would chip it down below the goal line. That’s bread and butter for them.”
Trailing 4-2 at the 4:01 mark of the third period, the Trojans got a huge opportunity when Slemmer and his teammate Corbin Cassel drew minor penalties simultaneously, giving the Trojans a two-man advantage for two minutes. Slemmer went on to draw a game misconduct penalty for a verbal outburst; as he left the ice he hurled his stick over the glass behind the Quakertown net.
Instead of capitalizing on the advantage however, the Trojans floundered. Kiera Shaw scored a shorthanded goal at the 5:43 mark and the Panthers maintained control to the wire.
Quakertown’s Lucas Cunnane scored the final two goals of the evening; his second goal came with 3:23 remaining and was scored into an empty net.
“We’ve talked all year about zone time,” said Quakertown coach Keith Krem. “We didn’t win that battle at all in the first period. We got some big saves on the back side and kind of got through the storm.
“They were only running two lines on the other side … we thought they were going to gas out and if we stopped turning pucks over on our exits and started getting pucks in our zone, we’d get our opportunities.”
Shaw credited the Quakertown rooting section for the energy in the building.
“They just really made the atmosphere great tonight,” she said. “Everyone was ready for the game. Everyone really loves the team and wants to keep playing.”
Quakertown 1 3 3—7
Wissahickon 1 10—2
First-period goals: Danny Hussa from Aiden Brooks, 11:04; William Shaw (Q) unassisted, 14:01
Second-period goals: Danny Hussa unassisted, 4:23 (pp); Cole Slemmer (Q) from Jack Diliberto, 11:48 (sh); Kiera Shaw (Q) from Lucas Cunnane 12;52; Diliberto (Q) unassisted, 13:13
Third-period goals: Kiera Shaw (Q) unassisted 5:43 (sh); Cunnane (Q) from William Shaw, 10:42; Cunnane (Q) unassisted, 13:37
Shots: Quakertown 25, Wissahickon 38
Saves: Matt Krem (Q) 23, Fletcher Lynch 31