Souderton 6 C.B. West 1

HATFIELD TOWNSHIP— Souderton found out a lot about itself Thursday night. Coming off an emotional last-second loss 24 hours earlier, the Big Red responded with a solid effort in a 6-1 SHSHL National win over Central Bucks West at Hatfield Ice Arena.

It was Souderton’s first win in four tries while the Bucks dropped to 1-2. The result will not factor into the divisional standings as the two teams are scheduled to play again on January 25th.

But that mattered little to Souderton coach Ryan Uchniat, whose team came into the game thirsting for a win.

“I think they showed a lot of resiliency, he said. “They showed a lot of resiliency  last night coming back in the third period.

“This team has a real positive attitude, they’ve a little bit of a giddy up. It’s fun to see, it’s fun to be a part of as well.”

Souderton’s top line had a big night. Nick Smith delivered a three-goal hat trick. Seth Grossman scored two goals and assisted on three others while Maxwell Ryon provided a goal and an assist.

Smith noted the win was especially satisfying after 4-3 loss to Council Rock North on Wednesday that saw the Big Red surrender the winning goal with 2.4 seconds remaining in regulation.

“It felt good,” he said. “After a tough loss like that with two seconds left, it felt good to finally win.”

Smith made his presence felt early on, scoring twice to put his team up 2-0 just 7:45 into the opening period.

The Bucks got closer when Adam Ricci won a goal-mouth scramble to put the puck behind Big Red netminder Noah Connor during a power play at the 8:21 mark of the second period.

But Souderton put its resiliency on display when Ryon answered back at 10:26 before Smith completed his hat trick with exactly four minutes left in the period.

Grossman scored his two goals in the third frame.

The Big Red enjoyed a 42-21 advantage in shots. West goalkeeper Liam Rogers did some quality work between the pipes to keep his team in the game for most of the way.

Smith spoke to the speed and skill of the Big Red’s number-one line.”I think that’s our strong point,” he said. “The first line has a lot of skill.”

Smith believes that Thursday’s performance is a sign of things to come. Souderton has scored nine goals in its last two games after scoring just three in its first two games combined.

“I think we can win some games finally,” Smith said. “We’re starting to finally score and not scoring one goal a game. I think we can finally capitalize on some opportunities.”


C.B. West 0 1 0—1

Souderton 2 2 2—6

First-period goals: Nick Smith (S) from Seth Grossman and Caden O’Neill, 2:50; Smith from Maxwell Ryon, 7:45

Second-period goals: Adam Ricci (CBW) from Luke Tremmel, 8:21 (pp); Ryon (S) from Grossman, 10:26; Smith (S) from Grossman and Matt Malanga, 13:00

Third-period goals: Grossman (S) unassisted, 3:31; Grossman (S) unassisted, 8:00

Shots: C.B. West 21, Souderton 42; Saves: Liam Rogers (CBW) 36, Noah Connor (S) 20

C.R. North 4 Souderton 3

BRISTOL—The conclusion was dramatic, to say the least. Karson Grainey’s power-play goal with 2.4 seconds remaining in the third period was the decisive blow as Council Rock North edged Souderton 4-3 Wednesday night at Grundy Arena in a Suburban High School Hockey League National Division matchup.

The winning goal capped a late flurry that the Big Red (0-3, 0-1 in divisional play) score three times in the third period, including twice in a span of 14 seconds to tie the game with 50 seconds left in regulation, only to yield Grainey’s game winner, which came while Souderton’s Seth Grossman was sitting in the penalty box after drawing an elbowing penalty with 23 seconds remaining before overtime. 

The win was the first for the Indians in four starts (1-1 in the division). 

“I think it gives us a big energy boost,” Grainey said. “Especially going into our rivalry game next week (against Council Rock South next Wednesday). I think we’re moe confident.

“It wasn’t the most pretty win, but we’re more confident now, and we’ve just got to keep it rolling from here.”

Goals from Lucas Simmons and Michael Booth gave North a 2-0 lead before Jackson Accardi extended his team’s lead to 3-0 with 1:02 left in the second frame.

Grossman ended Ina Goldberg’s bid for a shutout 2:43 into the final period but North still looked to be in control as the clock wound  down. When Maxwell Ryon scored to make it a one-goal game some eyebrows were raised but North still had time on its side with just 1:04 remaining in regulation. Grossman’s second goal of the night altered the landscape significantly but just 27 seconds later he was flagged for a no-doubt-about-it elbowing penalty to give North a power play.

Grainey’s goal came on a rebound off Simos’s original shot. The junior found the top right quadrant of the net after Souderton netminder Noah Connor made an initial save.

“I think what’s really fortunate is that is was a good learning opportunity for the kids about playing three periods 17 minutes all the way through” said North coach Greg McDonald. “They’re lucky to come out on top. So, hopefully it helps us down the road.

Meanwhile, Souderton coach Ryan Uchniat had a forum to address his team about the importance of killing penalties.

“I think that’s two weeks in a row where our penalty kill has come up short,” he said. “With (23) seconds left, we needed to really execute.”

Uchniat also spoke to the importance of staying out of the box altogether. “We’ve really got to be more disciplined as a team in general,” he said. “It starts with me, making sure we stay focused. That means focused on the simple things, playing solid hockey and playing within the whistles.”

Souderton 0 0 3—3

C.R. North 2 1 1—4

Pennridge 6 C.B. South 5

HATFIELD—A lot went on at Hatfield Ice Thursday night. Much of it in the realm of the unexpected.

Pennridge rallied from deficits of 3-0 and 5-1 to post a 6-5 overtime win over Central Bucks South in a Suburban High School Hockey League National Division non-league matchup.

Kevin Pico delivered the game winner for the Rams 34 seconds into overtime after the last period was shortened to nine minutes from the usual 17 after a combination of 10 goals and an abundance of penalties consumed the bulk of the allocated ice slot.

Six different players scored for the Rams (1-1). Andrew Savona, Dane Fichte, James Rush, Shane Dachowski, and Josh Kelly found the back of the net before Kevin Pico pocketed the game winner. South netminder Dom Varacallo stopped Savona’s initial shot before Pico put in the rebound.

“We needed something to wake us up,” said Pennridge coach Jeff Montagna, who team squared its record at 1-1. “We needed to find that edge that we’ve been lacking in practice. Early in this season, we haven’t had it. And, I think getting down tonight against a rival with as much emotion as there was going in here, woke us up.”

The Titans (1-1) jumped to a 3-0 lead before the first period was seven minutes old. Aydin Thierolf scored twice with a goal from D.J. Lindenmuth in between.

Colin Mendham and Michael Nemec added goals to give South a 5-1 lead 5:46 into the second frame.

Dane Fitchett drew the Rams a bit closer with 5:55 left in the period. Pico had a chance to bring his team closer when the Rams were awarded a penalty shot with 15.8 seconds left in the second period but was denied by Varacallo.

Both teams saw there efforts hampered by repeated trips to the penalty box. The officials whistled a total of 19 infractions, 12 of them to the Titans.

The number of stoppages and altercations resulted in the final period being shortened to nine minutes at the direction of rink management. Faced with a three-goal deficit, the Rams wasted no time.

 Rush made it a 5-3 game 1:20 into the final session. Dachowski followed at 5:54 and Kelly tied the game at 6:58.

 The five-minute, three-on-three overtime was allowed to go forward and it took Pico and Savona just moments to end matters.

“Our guys let off the gas,” said South coach Shaun McGinty, “and they’re a good team. A good team is going to find a way to win. We allowed them a little bit of momentum and momentum is a big part of the game in a team sport.”

Ice chips—The decision to shorten the the third period was part of a joint effort between the SHSHL and area rinks to complete scheduled games within their allocated 90-minute ice slots. The C.B. South-Pennridge contest was followed by a game between North Penn and Central Bucks West which was succeeded by an adult league game.

C.B. South 3 2 0 0—5

Pennridge 1 1 3 1—6

First-period goals: Aydin Thierolf (CBS) from Sean Cutter, 3:06; D.J. Lindenmuth (CBS) from Matt Crouch, 4:14; Thierolf (CBS) unassisted 6:57 (pp); Andrew Savona (P) unassisted, 16:34

Second-period goals: Colin Mendam (CBS) unassisted, :38; Michael Nemec (CBS) from Justin Keilman, 5:46; Dane Fitchett (P) from Trey Mikulich, 11:05

Third-period goals: James Rush (P) from Mitchell Mothersbaugh, 1:20; Shane Dachowski (P) from Savona, 5:54; Josh Kelly (P) from Andrew Lizak and Tyler Manto

Overtime goal: Kevin Peco (P) from Savona, :34

Shots: Pennridge 35, C.B. South 28; Saves: Dom Varacallo (CBS) 29, Jacob Winton (P) 23

C.B. East 3 North Penn 1

HATFIELD—Any hockey team wants to make an impression at the start of a season. Central Bucks East did just that Wednesday night, scoring a 3-1 decision over North Penn at Hatfield Ice to help the Suburban High School Hockey League open its 50th season.

Corey Kosick scored two goals to help East start off its season on a winning note. Kosick, a junior, noted that this year’s edition of the Patriots runs the gambit when it comes to experience and that getting used to the style of play at the high-school level takes time.

“It’s all about being used to our level of play,” he said. “It’s all about hard work. Hard work is alway going to beat talent in the end and that’s why we came out on top today.”

Ethan Cenci gave the Patriots the early lead on a power-play goal 5:46 into the opening session and the two teams battled on even terms through the first two periods.

The  officials kept a tight rein on the proceedings during that span, whistling 11 penalties for a total of 39 minutes. 

With 15 seconds left in the second frame an engagement involving North Penn’s Sam Mostochuck and East’s Carter Keiser resulted in a major penalty and a game misconduct to Keiser and a three-minute power play for North Penn. The Knights however were unable to capitalize on their advantage.

“I think that sort of sums up our night,” said North Penn coach Kevin Vaitis. “We had aa bunch of power plays early in the game and couldn’t really get any momentum going in the zone, had trouble getting out of our own zone, getting set up in there and working the puck around.

“Their first goal was a power play. It was 1-0 through two periods If you capitalize on one of those (power plays), you’ve got a 1-1 game going into the third.”

Kosick extended the Patriots’ lead with a goal 6:43 into the third frame. John Stinson made it a one-goal game when he scored for the Knights at the 9:09 mark but Kosick answered back just eight seconds later.

The final period featured six additional penalties, three to each side. East coach Jeff Mitchell stressed the importance of his team staying out of the box.

“The first goal definitely got the energy started in the right direction,” he said. “I think the penalties really killed us at the start of this game I think the refs did a great job moderating between both teams. But we’ve got to be able to stay out of the box and be able to keep five men on the ice and keep pucks in the net.”

C.B.East 1 0 2—3

North Penn 0 0 1—1

First-period goal

Ethan Cenci (CBE) from Patrick O’Brien and Charlie Keiser, 5:46 (pp)

Third-period goals

Corey Kosick (CBE) from Keiser and Cenci, 6:43; John Stinson (NP) unassisted, 9:09; Kosick (CBE) from Keiser, 9:17

Shots: C.B. East 33, North Penn 26; Saves: Matt Mangiacapre (CBE) 25, Nick Crist (NP) 30

Pennridge 4 Thomas Jefferson 3 2OT

WEST GOSHEN TOWNSHIP—Pennridge and Thomas Jefferson matched each other stride for stride and shift for shift Saturday afternoon. At day’s end, it was the Rams who prevailed.

Kevin Pico’s goal 12:01 into the second overtime gave his team a 4-3 win over the Jaguars in the Pennsylvania Class AA state championship game in front of a full house at Ice Line.

The victory was well earned.

“That was a fabulous hockey game,” said Pennridge coach Montagna. “It was just a great game.”

Andrew Savona, Jack Lowery, and Tyler Manto scored regulation goals for Pennridge, which completed its season at 22-0-1.

The Rams enjoyed a 2-1 lead going into the third period but soon found themselves back on their heels.  Colby Bilski scored his second goal of the game off a turnover 3:43 into the period to draw Thomas Jefferson (21-2) even before setting up Nick Stock during a power play to put the Jaguars up 3-2 at 7:31.

Lowery noted and his teammates stayed on an emotional even keel at that point, despite being behind.

“There was not an ounce of panic on our bench,” he said. “We were calm. “We knew that we’ve come back in multiple games before. Every championship game we’ve been in (In the SHSHL and Flyers Cup finals) we’ve been down and come back and won. And there wasn’t a doubt in our minds that we were going to come out in this game on top.”

Indeed, the Rams responded. Tyler Manto tied the game with 5:22 left in the regulation to leave the two teams searching for whatever they might have left for overtime.

“We did not have a lot left in overtime,” Montagna said. 

In the end Pico scored the most significant goal of his career, after Manto and Savona worked the pick down low. The goal came off a rebound of Savona’s original shot

“That’s probably the biggest goal I’m ever going to score my whole hockey career,” Pico said.

Had it not been for Ryan Pico’s work in the Pennridge net, the drama might have ended differently. The senior goaltender faced 65 shots and turned 62 of them aside against an opponent Montagna called the best his team faced all season (the Rams were outshot 62-49).

“He was unbelievable,” Kevin Pico said of his brother. I’ve never seen him play that good in my whole life.”

Montagna echoed those sentiments. “Ryan Pico was absolutely incredible,” he said. “He kept us in there”

The postgame awards pentation and celebration was an emotional time for Lowery, one of the Pennridge captains.

“I feel like I’m top of the world right now,” he said. “No one can take me from that. We said all year, ‘Until this game is over, the job is not finished.’ And it feels great. The job is finally finished for us. 

“That’s a hell of a hockey team we played today. It really could have gone either way. But we came out, played our game and came out on top. That’s just all we could do.”

Thomas Jefferson 0 1 2 0 0—3

Pennridge 2 0 1 0 1—4

First-period goals: Andrew Savona (P) from Tyler Manto, 1:13; Jack Lowery from Aeryk Lehrhaupt, 9:41 (pp)

Second-period goal: Colby Biski (TJ) from Lance Smith, 10:10 (pp)

Third-period goals: Bilski (TJ) from Brett Smith, 3:43; Lance Smith (TJ) from Nick Stock and Bilski, 7:31 (pp); Manto (P) from Colin Dachowski, 11:38

Second-overtime goal: Kevin Pico (P) from Manto and Savona, 12:01

Shots: Thomas Jefferson 65, Pennridge 49; Saves: Billy Siemon (TJ) 45, Ryan Pico (P) 62

Pennridge Wins Flyers Cup Over Council Rock South

HATFIELD TOWNSHIP— If a single word were used to describe Pennridge’s performance Tuesday night, ‘relentless’ would be fitting. The Rams gradually wore down Council Rock South en route to a 5-1 win over the Golden Hawks in the Class AA Flyers Cup championship game in front of an overflow crowd at Hatfield Ice.

Shane Dachowski and Kevin Pico each scored two goals as Pennridge (21-0-1), the tournament’s top seed, claimed the first Flyers Cup in school history.

The Rams will conclude their journey by facing Penguins Cup champion Thomas Jefferson for the state title Saturday at 2:00 at Ice Line.

Pico was the recipient of the Bobby Clarke Award as the tournament’s Most Valuable Player while Dachowski, with six goals and three assists, led the tournament in scoring.

It was an emotional evening for Jeff Montagna, the Rams’ head coach. “Words can’t describe how satisfying this is,” he said. “I think what I’m most satisfied with is the way they did it. The way they did it and the ability to deal with expectation (of winning the Flyer Cup) all year.

“I really don’t know how you do that and play as well as they did.”

The third-seeded Golden Hawks (16-2-2-1) scored first. Blaise Pepe beat Ryan Pico in the Pennridge net 9:23 into the opening period. But that was all that South could manage, despite having a 46-36 advantage in shots.

Kevin Pico tied the game for the Rams from close range at the 13:16 mark when he bested South netminder Carson Lopez, then put his team in front for good 2:26 into the second frame. Shane Dachowski added back-to-back goals in the second period and Colin Dachowski provided one more in the third.

South coach Joe Houk was without forward Matt Constantini, who was out of the lineup with an injury. He noted his team couldn’t build on its early goal.

“We didn’t show up for all three periods,” he said. “We showed up for the first (nine) minutes and then just stopped working. (Pennridge) outworked us.”

Kevin Pico noted the Rams’ overcame a slow start. “We were a bit hesitant at first,” he said. “Nervous. But then, after that, we were just fine.”

The Rams’ defensive effort was particularly noteworthy since Aidan Boyle, arguably their premier blueliner, was serving a suspension due to his actions in the Rams’ Cup semifinal win over Avon Grove. With Boyle not available (he will also miss the state championship game), Montagna was forced to reposition his troops.

“Credit to Trey Mikulich and Jacob Lizak,” he said. “They logged a lot more ice time tonight then they have been. They were really good back there. They only thing we tweaked a little bit, we put (Tyler) Manto back there some and I thought we didn’t take as many chances.”

Ryan Pico lauded the collective efforts of his defense corps. “It was amazing,” he said. “We were down one of our best defensemen and to have everybody else play the way they did means a lot to our team.”

Notes: The Rams lost the Flyers Cup championship game to Conestoga in 2008. They fell to eventual champion Haverford in last year’s semifinals.

 The all-tournament team included forwards Kevin Pico, Andrew Savona, and Shane Dachowski, all from Pennridge, along with defensemen Colin Dachowski (Pennridge) and Kevin Koles (Council Rock South), plus Lopez in goal. 

Saturday’s game will be part of a tripleheader. West Chester East and Norwin will meet in the Class A final at 11:00 while Malvern Prep and Peters Township will play for the Class AAA title at 5:00

Council Rock South 1 0 0—1

Pennridge 1 3 1—5

First-period goals: Blaise Pepe (CRS) from Julian Wagenmann and David Vergules, 9:23; Kevin Pico (P) from Colin Dachowski, 13:16

Second-period goals: Pico (P) from Andrew Savona, 2:26; Shane Dachowski (P) from Aeryk Lehrhaupt and Jack Lowery, 4:00; Shane Dachowski (P) from Lehrhaupt, 15:05

Third-periods goal; Colin Dachowski (P) from Shane Dachowski and Lehrhaupt, 12:52

Shots: Council Rock South 46 Pennnridge 36; Saves: Carson Lopez (CRS) 31, Ryan Peco (P) 45

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Pennridge 8 Avon Grove 1

HATFIELD TOWNSHIP— It was hockey’s equivalent of a first-round knockout. Pennridge scored three times before the contest was nine minutes old and went on to an 8-1 win over Avon Grove Wednesday night at Hatfield Ice Arena.

The top-seeded Rams (20-0-1) will face third-seeded Council Rock South in an all-SHSHL final at this same venue, likely next Monday or Tuesday. Fifth-seeded Avon Grove closed at 14-8-0-1.

As impressive as Pennridge has been this season coach, Jeff Montagna felt his team reached a new level on this night.

“I thought was by far the best game they’ve played all year,” he said. “On the biggest stage. And in the biggest game of their lives up until that moment.”

Andrew Savona the Rams off to a fast start when he beat Justin Mackey in the Red Devils’ net 4:16 into the opening period off a feed from Kevin Pico. Shane Dachowski followed at 8:09 and Pico extended the Rams’ lead just 30 seconds later.

Jack Lowery, who assisted on two of the Rams goals, said the Rams were energized by the fast start. “The past few games we’ve been coming out a little slow,” he said, “and going down early. “We talked in the locker room before this game; the biggest thing is to come out here, score a couple goals fast.

“(Avon Grove is looking up to us. We’re the one seed. We want them chasing us, playing our game and get them off theirs. That’s exactly what we did tonight.”

Savona and Dachowski finished the evening with two goals each. Pico had two assists to go with his goal. A total of six players had multi-point games.

Lowery pointed out that the Rams’ fast-paced style is easier to implement with veteran Ryan Pico in goal.

“We can rely on Ryan every game,” he said. “Every game, no matter what, he’s back there making good saves for us. When you have a goalie like that, you can take some chances.”

Avon Grove’s only goal was a power-play effort off the stick of Brendan Chandler 6:33 into the third period.

The Flyers Cup final and possibly a state championship game are still ahead but Lowery, a senior knows his time with the Rams is drawing to a close. That realization has sharpened his focus.

“These are the last games I’m going to be playing competitively in youth hockey,” he said. “All I want to do is win, that’s all we want to do.”

Avon Grove 0 0 1—1

Pennridge 3 1 1 3—8

First-period goals: Andrew Savona (P) from Kevin Pico, 4:16; Shane Dachowski (P) from Aidan Boyle and Jack Lowery, 8:09; Pico (P) from Tyler Manto, 8:39

Second-period goals: Manto (P) from Dachowski, 11:49 (sh)

Third-period goals: Savona (P) from Pico, 1:32; Brendan Chandler (AG) from Will Gorman, 6:33 (pp); Aeryk Lehrhaupt (P) unassisted, 10:57 (pp); Ryan Schuler (PP) from David, 14:22; Dachowski (P) from Lowery and Schuler,16:24

Shots: Avon Grove 26, Pennridge 39; Saves: Justin Mackley (AG) 31, Ryan Pico (Pr) 25

Pennridge 7 Downingtown East 5

On Pennsylvania scholastic hockey’s biggest stage, and with the game in the balance Aidan Boyle came up big. The Pennridge senior delivered two assists and scored the winning goal, all in the third period as Pennridge scored four times in the final stanza to score a 7-5 win over Downingtown East Thursday night in a Flyers Cup Class AA quarterfinal at Hatfield Ice.

The top-seeded Rams (19-0-1) will face Avon Grove in a semifinal game next Wednesday at 8:40 at Hatfield Ice.

The fans that filled the rink Thursday night got their money’s worth. There was little to choose between the Cougars and Rams who went into the tied at 3-3.

Jack Wolf’s third goal of the game gave eighth-seeded Downingtown East a 4-3 lead at the 2:37 mark but goals from Colin Dachowski and Andrew Savona put Pennridge up 5-4 with 6:41 left in regulation. Boyle assisted on both goals.

Parker Nassour tied the game for the Cougars with 5:13 left on a shot from between the circles that Pennridge goaltender Ryan Pico couldn’t handle.

The deciding sequence was set up when the Cougars’ Sean Woods was called for tripping with 3:08 remaining, one of 16 penalties called in the game, all minors. During the subsequent power play, Boyle played the puck to Kevin Pico behind the net who in turn moved to the side of the net and tried to tuck the disk inside the right post before sliding the disk across to Boyle who put it behind Downingtown East goaltender Ian Warter with 1:36 remaining in regulation.

“We know the third period is our best period of hockey that we always play,” Boyle said. “We always come out hot in the third period and we knew we had it. We just had to work hard.”

Pennridge coach Jeff Montagna credited his team for stepping up when Ryan Pico, one of the area’s best goaltenders, was at less than peak form.

“Pico has been our rock for three years,” he said. “He wasn’t on top of his game, we picked him up.

“You watch the NCAA basketball tournament, the team that wins always has one game where they’re on the ropes. The words I like to use are facing their mortality. And they did that, and like they have all year they responded. They do that every game.”

The teams were never separated by more than a goal until Shane Dachowski scored into an empty net in the final minute. But Boyle was confident the Rams would prevail.

“We all knew that we weren’t losing this game,” he said. “We just went out there and said ‘We’re playing next week, we’re not going home tonight.’”

Downingtown East 2 1 2—5

Pennridge 2 1 4—7

First-period goals: Jacob McCallion (DE) from Matthew Sano and Carter Vela, 2:01; Kevin Pico (P) from Tyler Manto, 3:36; Jack Wolf (DE) from Vela and Aaron Harclerode, 7:38; Shane Dachowski (P) from Jack Lowery, 14:06 (pp)

Second-period goals: Aeryk Lehrhaupt (P) from Lowery and Colin Dachowski, 4:55; Wolf (DE) unassisted, 6:16 (sh)

Third-period goals: Wolf (DE) from Parker Nassour and Sean Woods,  2:37; Colin Dachowski (P) from Aidan Boyle, 6:17; Andrew Savona (P) from Boyle, 10:19; Nassour (DE) from Wolf and Brody Matthews, 11:47; Boyle (P) from Pico, 15:34 (pp); Shane Dachowski (P) from Lehrhaupt, 16:05 (en)

Shots: Downingtown East 32, Pennridge 46; Saves: Ian Warter (DE) 39, Ryan Pico (Pr) 27

Flyers Cup Schedule for Thursday, March 10

Class A Quarterfinals

West Chester East 11 Radnor 1

Hershey 3 vs 5 Council Rock North 0

Palmyra 3 West Chester Bayard Rustin 1

Springfield Delco 4 West Chester Henderson 1

Class AAA First Round

4 Holy Ghost Prep 7 Father Judge 2

3 St. Joseph’s Prep 6 Cardinal O’Hara 1

Class AA Quarterfinals

 Pennridge 7 Downingtown East 5

Avon Grove 6 Pennsbury 2

Council Rock South 4 Downingtown West 1

Haverford 6 Neshaminy 5

Council Rock South 5 Abington 1

HATFIELD TOWNSHIP—Council Rock South had reason to be a bit frustrated Tuesday night. The Golden Hawks spent two periods firing shots at the Abington net and had nothing to show for it. 

Ben Panella made 32 saves and he and his teammates took a 1-0 lead into the post-second period ice cut, on the strength of Griffin Carpenter’s goal in the first period.

But when Chase Tovsky scored for South 3:20 into the third frame it seemingly energized his teammates. The Golden Hawks went on to score five goals in the final period and record a 5-1 win in a Class AA Flyers Cup first-round encounter at Hatfield Ice.

The third-seeded Golden Hawks (14-1-2-1) will see action in Thursday’s quarterfinals against sixth-seeded Downingtown West (site and time TBD).  Abington, the 14th seed, closes the season at 15-2.

South’s goals came in a  span 9 minutes, 29 seconds. Tovsky’s initial effort was followed by goals from Sam Chekassky, David Vergules, Tovsky again, and Julian Wagenmann.

“I thought we were the better team,” said South coach Joe Houk, “but they played well. They played really well, but they were running out of gas.

“I said ‘All it’s going to take is one goal guys and that’s going to open the floodgates.’”

Vergules said he and his teammates  were a bit miffed after Panella stymied them for the game’s first 34 minutes (Panella finished with 50 saves).

“The guys were definitely frustrated,” he said. We knew we were the better team, that we would come out on top. It just took a little more effort and moe guts and grit.”

Carpenter’s goal came 10:47 into the first frame during an Abington power play. But Carson Lopez in the South net was impregnable after that; he finished with 13 saves. He did his best work  when he denied Abington;s Matt Cholaj twice from close range midway through the second period.”

Abington coach Ken Brzozowski praised his team’s effort. “They came out (In the third period) and just played at a little bit of a different level we had a hard time matching,” he said. “They got a couple lucky bounces in the defensive end and found the back of the net.”

Even after Tovsky’s first goal, Brzozowski’s felt his team was still in the game. “We still kind of felt okay,” he said. “It was really when I’d say the third one went in, that’s kind of when we felt ‘We’re definitely back on our heels a little bit.”

Abington 1 0 0—1

C.R. South 0 0 5—5

First-period goals: Griffin Carpenter (A) from Joe Stelacio, 10:47 (pp)

Third-period goals: Chase Tovsky (CRS) from Blaise Pepe and Kevin Koles, 3:20; Sam Cherkassky (CRS) from Julian Sarne and Kyle Boss, 4:56; David Vergules (CRS) fron Koles and  Matt Constantino, 6:56; Tovsky (CRS) from Daniel Filippov, 11:15; Julian Wagenmann (CRS) from Vergules and Boss, 12:49

Shots: Abington 14, C.R. South 55; Saves: Ben Panella (A) 50, Carson Lopez (CRS) 13