Abington 7 Plymouth Whitemarsh 2

HATFIELD TOWNSHIP—The Galloping Ghosts are still rolling along. Pat Stelacio delivered a hat trick that helped Abington overcome a 2-1 first-period deficit and go on to a 7-2 win over Plymouth Whitemarsh Wednesday at Hatfield Ice night to claim its second consecutive SHSHL American Division championship.

The win marks the eighth time Abington (16-0-1-1) has won a SHSHL title of some sort and marks the 50th anniversary of its first. The Galloping Ghosts claimed the first three SHSHL titles from 1974-76 and won another championship in 1978. They won back-to-back National Division titles in 2003-04 before taking the American Division title last season.

The historical significance of Wednesday night’s win was not lost on Abington coach Ken Brzozowski.

“That’s exactly what I talked to the boys about,” he said. “We talked about that with our players before the game. That wasn’t lost on them as well., that they had a chance to really cement themselves as one of the best teams that came out of Abington.

“We’ve won back-to-back championships but we lost the (American Division) championship three years ago by one goal to a very good Wissahickon team. So, these players have been at this level for three years in a row.”

Stelacio transferred to Abington at the urging of an older brother. Those have been the best two years of my life,” he said.

The Colonials (12-7) jumped in front on a goal from Dylan Novitsky 10:04 into the opening period. Jordan Heydt answered for Abington two-and-a-half minutes later before Novitsky scored a power-play goal with 61 seconds remaking in the period.

The goal came just seven seconds after Abington’s Ian Heydt received a two-minute sentence for hooking.

It would prover to be the Colonials’ last hurrah.

Matt Kramer tied the game for Abington 7:28 into the middle period on a shot from the right circle off an offensive zone draw.

Stelacio put Abington in front with a shorthanded effort with 6:11 left in the period in a prelude to a surge that saw Stelacio, Steven Dorn, and Ian Heydt all beat Colonial netminder Chris Maslij in the final 1:59 of the second session. Heydt’s a shot from the left wing hit the back of the net just before the buzzer sounded. At that point, Abington was home free.

“They jumped quick,” Stelacio said. “They got two. It was 2-1 and we bounced back. We just ran from there. That was amazing.”

Stelacio recalls watching his brother play for the Galloping Ghosts before he enrolled at Abington. “I came to the games,” he recalled. “I completely wanted to be part of this experience, all the energy they had. It was great I really wanted a part of that.”

Ice Chips—Abington is seeded 12th for the Class AA Flyers Cup and will face fifth-seeded Pennsbury on Tuesday at 6:15 at Grundy Arena. The Colonials are the ninth seed in Class A and will face eighth-seeded Penncrest Monday at 7:00 at the Skatium.

Plymouth Whitemarsh 2 0 0—2

Abington 1 5 1—7

First-period goals: Dylan Novitsky (PW) from Matt Flynn, 10:04; Jordan Heydt (A) from Ian Heydt and Ryan Portner, 12:42; Novitsky (PW) from. Conlan Carpenter, 15:59

Second-period goals: Matt Kramer (A) from Ian Heydt, 7:28; Pat Stelacio (A) from Ian Heydt, 10:49 (sh); Stelacio (A) from Griffin Carpenter, 15:01; Steven Dorn (A) from Sam Paulik, 15:58; Ian Heydt (A) from Jordan Heydt, 16:59

Third-period goal: Stelacio (A) from Sam Abramson and Carpenter, 9:53 (pp)

Shots: Plymouth Whitemarsh  21, Abington 40; Saves: Chris Maslij (PW) 33, Sam Nemec (A) 19 

Flyers Cup Matchups Unveiled

A total of 50 teams have been selected to compete in the 44th annual Flyers Cup tournament. Competition is scheduled to get underway on Monday and Tuesday, March 6 and 7. Over the course of 16 days champions will be crowned in five different brackets.

The teams in each bracket, 16 in Class AA. 15 in Class A, 7 in Class AAA, 4 in the South Jersey/Delaware bracket and 8 in the Girls division were selected and seeded by the Flyers Cup Competition Committee based on regular-season results and observations by members of the committee.

Flyers Cup Committee President Eric Tye emphasized that the seeding were based exclusively on regular-season performances.

“No playoff games were taken into account,” he said. “ At any level, any league, anything. Once your regular season is done, that’s what the competition committee looks at.

“The playoff games happened between the end of the regular season and the selection show. That’s not fair for teams that maybe didn’t make their league playoffs and didn’t get another chance to play another game.

Tye noted the final score of a game was irrelevant to the seeding process. “If a team wins 7-1 or a team wins 2-1 it doesn’t matter in the competition committee’s eyes,” he said.”

 Here are the first-round matchups

Class A Monday, March 6

  1. West Chester East has a bye

    8 Penncrest vs. 9 Plymouth Whitemarsh 7:00 at   Skatium

    5 Lower Dauphin vs. 12 Unionville       6:30 at   Klick Lewis

    4 Marple Newtown vs. 13 Henderson   6:30 at PNY

    3 Hershey vs. 14 Strath Haven             8:30 at Klick Lewis

    6 Radnor vs. 11 Council Rock North    6:30 at Ice Line

   10 Garnet Valley vs. 10 Springfield-Delco 9:00 at Skatium 

    2 WC Rustin vs. 15 Wissahickon    8:30 at Ice Line

Quarterfinals Thursday, March 9

Semifinals Monday, Match 13

Championship Monday, March 20

Class AA Monday-Tuesday March 6-7

  1. Council Rock South vs. 16 Spring Ford  8:15 at Grundy

    8 Boyertown vs. 9 Downingttown East 6:15 at  Hatfield

  • Pennsbury vs. 12 Abington 6:15  Grundy at   Ice Line

     4 Connestoga vs. 13 Downingtown West 6:45 at Ice Line on 3-6

  • Avon Grove vs. 14 Central Bucks East 6:30 at Ice Line
  • O.J. Roberts vs. 11 Central Bucks South 8:30 at Ice Line

     7 Haverford vs. 10 Neshaminy 7:00 at Skatium

  • Pennridge vs. 15 Lower Merion 8:15 at Hatfield

Quarterfinals Thursday, March 9

Semifinals Tuesday, Match 14

Championship Tuesday, March 21

Class AAA Monday-Tuesday Match 6 and 7

  1. La Salle has a bye
  2.  Malvern Prep vs. 5 Father Judge 8:30 at Ice Line on 3-6

3 St. Joseph’s Prep vs. 6 Perk. Valley 9:00 at Skatium on 3-7

  • Holy Ghost Prep vs 7 Cardinal O’Hara 8:30 at Grundy on 3-6

Semifinals Tuesday, March 14

Championship Tuesday March 21

South Jersey/Delaware Thursday, March 16

1 Salesianum vs. 4 Washington Township 8:00 at Vorhees

2 Cherokee vs. 3 Eastern 6:00 at Vorhees

       Championship Game Monday, March 20

 Girls  Tuesday and Thursday March 7 and 9

  1. Avon Grove vs. 8 Pennridge 7:45 at PNY on 3-7

4 Rustin vs. 5 Kingsway 9:30 at PNY on 3-7

  • Unionville vs 6 Henderson  6:45 at PNY   on 3-9
  • Downibgtown West vs. West Chester East 5:00 at PNY on 3-9

    Championship Game Wednesday 3-22

   Game dates, times, and sites are subject to change

  Class A, AA, and AAA champions advance to state championship games on 3-26

SHSHL Playoff Update

Wednesday, March 1

National Division Semifinals

Council Rock South vs. Neshaminy

7:20 at Grundy Arena

Council Rock South (15-1-0-1)

Coach: Joe Houk

How the Hawks got here: Via a bye in the quarterfinals. Blaize Pepe and Jake Weiner lead the team in scoring, each with 30 points. Pepe has produced 13 goals and 17 assists for while Weiner has scored 21 goals and provided 9 assists. Kevin Koles is next with 12 goals and 16 assists for 28 points. Goaltender Carson Lopez is one of the area’s best.

Neshaminy (12-5-1)

Coach: Matt DeMatteo

How the ‘Skins got here: Defeated Central Bucks South 6-3 in the quarterfinals. Max Gallagher scored three goals and assisted on another. Nolan Geria provided two goals and two assists. Gallagher has 26 goals and 12 assists for 38 points. Geria has contributed 11 goals and 17 assists for 28 points.

This season:

Pennridge vs. Pennsbury

8:30 at Hatfield Ice

Pennridge (13-4)

Coach: Jeff Montagna

How the Rams got here: Via a bye in the quarterfinals. The defending National Division, Class AA Flyers Cup and state champions are paced by Kevin Pico who has collected 24 goals and 25 assists for 49 points. Andrew Savona has added 18 goals and 27 assists for 45 points while Shane Dachowski has contributed 19 goals and 14 assists for 33 points.

Pennsbury (13-5)

Coach Ryan Daley

How the Falcons got here: Defeated Central Bucks East 6-4 in the quarterfinals., Brendan Macainsh delivered a pure hat trick and added two assists; he has 34 goals and 19 assists for 53 points this season, including the quarterfinal. Andrew Falkenstein has provided 6 goals and 26 assists for 32 points while Justin Marlin has contributed 15 goals and 16 assists for 31 points. Falkenstein (4) and Marlin (3) had seven assists between them in the quarterfinal.

This season:

11-3 Pennsbury 6 Pennridge 3

1-12 Pennridge 11 Pennsbury 4

What comes next: Wednesday’s winners play for the National Division title on Thursday. The highest seeded finalist will host. All four semifinalists will compete in the Class AA Flyers Cup tournament.

American Division Championship Game

Abington vs. Plymouth Whitemarsh

7:20 at Hatfield Ice

Abington (15-0-1-1)

Coach: Ken Brzozowski
How the Galloping Ghosts got here: Earned a place in the final as the regular-season division champion. Matt Kramer leads the team in scoring with 26 goals and 19 assists for 45 points, Ian Heydt has added 13 goals and 20 assists for 33 points. Sam Abramson has contributed 14 goals and 19 assists for 33 points while Sam Paulik has provided 18 goals and 14 points for 32 points. Sam Nemec will start in goal.

Plymouth Whitemarsh (12-6)

Coach: Dave Cox

How the Colonials got here: Defeated Quakertown 7-2 in the semifinal. Matt Flynn and Dylan Novitski each scored two goals in the win. Flynn added two assists. Flynn has scored 28 goals this season and added 22 assists for 50 points, David Branigan has added 13 goals and 27 assists for 40 points. Chris Maslij will start in goal.

This season:

11-3 Abington 8 Plymouth Whitemarsh 5

1-5 Abington 5 Plymouth Whitemarsh 1

1-26 Abington 4 Plymouth Whitemarsh 3

What come next: Both finalists will compete in the Flyers Cup tournament, Abington in Class AA, Plymouth Whitemarsh in Clsss A

Hockey Playoff Update

Here’s a look at the remaining SHSHL and APAC playoff schedule

Wednesday, March 1

APAC-Founders Cup Championship Game

La Salle vs. Holy Ghost Prep 4 pm at Hatfield Ice

SHSHL American Division Championship Game

Abington vs. Plymouth Whitemarsh  7:20 Hatfield Ice

SHSHL National Division Semifinals

Council Rick South vs. Neshaminy 7:20 at Grundy

Pennridge vs. Pennsbury 8:30 at Hatfield Ice

Thursday, March 2

SHSHL National Division Championship Game 7:20

Highest seeded finalist will host

SHSHL American Division Semifinal: P-W 7 Quakertown 2

HATFIELD TOWNSHIP—The moment came with dramatic suddenness, like a bolt of lightning across a clear sky. Isaac Mishkin’ s goal was just the first of the night. But it proved to be a jumping off point as Mishkin and his Plymouth Whitemarsh teammates went on to a 7-2 win over Quakertown Wednesday night in the SHSHL American Division semifinal at Hatfield Ice.

The result puts the second-seeded Colonials (12-6) into next Wednesday’s division final against Abington (7:10 at Hatfield Ice). The Colonials will learn Sunday of they have been selected for the Class A Flyers Cup tournament, which begins the week of March 6.

Quakertown (10-5-1-1) remains eligible for the Class AA Flyers Cup.

Mishkin’s goal came on a shot from center ice that eluded Quakertown goaltender Matt Krem just before the buzzer that ended the first period.

From that moment on, the Colonials had the upper hand.

“Playoffs, you just throw the puck at the net,” said Plymouth Whitemarsh coach Dave Cox. “You never know what can happen.

“I couldn’t be prouder of everyone on that team. They’re resilient. We’ve struggled in practices and at other games. But this is a special group of boys.”

Dylan Novitsky and Matt Flynn scored goals to give the Colonials a 3-0 with 6:44 left in the middle period. Will Shaw got the Panthers on the board seven seconds before the period ended but the Colonials broke the game open in the third frame with goals from their big guns.

Flynn (26 goals 46 points coming into Wednesday), David Branigan (12 goals, 37 points, and Dylan Novitsky (15 goals, 27 points) all found the back of the net before Will Shaw beat Chris Maslij in the Quakertown net.
Maslij stopped 35 of the 37 shots he saw.

“We just wanted to go in and work hard and play our game,” he said. “We really just wanted to get to the net, get as many shots as possible, and just really outwork them if we could.”

Quakertown 0 1 1—2

Plymouth Whitemarsh 1 2 4—7

First-period goal: Isaac Mishkin (PW) unassisted, 16:59

Second-period goals: Dylan Novitski (PW) from David Branigan and Charlie Spause, 6:43; Matt Flynn (PW) from Timothy Murphy, 10:16 (sh); Will Shaw (Q) from Keira Shaw and Jack Dilliberto, 16:53

Third-period goals: Flynn (PW) unassisted, :50; Branigan (PW) from Flynn and Sprouse, 8:41; Novitsky (PW) from Flynn, 10:38 (pp); Will Shaw (Q) unassisted, 11:33; Conlan Carpenter (PW) from Branigan, 15:32

Shots: Quakertown 37, Plymouth Whitemarsh 41; Saves: Matt Krem (Q) 34, Chris Maslij (PW) 35

SHSHL National Division Quarterfinals

Pennsbury 6, Central Bucks East 4—Brendan Macainsh scored three goals in a span of 3 minutes, 51 seconds later in the first period and the third-seeded Falcons went on to the win over the sixth-seeded Patriots Wednesday night at Grundy Arena.

Justin Marlin, Shane Gleisner, and Chris Sarver also scored for the Falcons, who will face second-seeded Pennridge in next Wednesday’s semifinals.

Corey Kosick, Carter Keiser, Stephen DiRugeris, and Patrick O’Brien scored goals for the Patriots.

Both teams will learn their Flyers Cup fate on Sunday when the field for the Class AA bracket is announced.

Neshaminy 6, Central Bucks South 3—Max Gallagher delivered a hat trick and assisted on another goal as the fourth-seeded ‘Skins bested the fifth-seeded Titans Wednesday night at Grundy Arena. Nolan Geria had a four-point night for Neshaminy, contributing two goals and two assists, while Jacob Adami also scored a goal for Neshaminy, which at one point in the third period had a 5-0 lead.

Cory Hemberger got the win in goal.

Matt Crouch, Sean Cutter, and Ryan Frey scored for the Titans.

Neshaminy will face top-seeded Council Rock South in next Wednesday’s semifinals

Both teams will learn Sunday night where they will be seeded for the Class AA Flyers Cup.

SHSHL Recap 2-20-23

Final Regular Season Standings

National Division         W      L      T   OTL  Pts

C.R. South (15-1-0-1)   9       0      0      1     19

X Pennridge (13-4)      8      2      0       0      16

Pennsbury (12-5)         7      2      0      0       14

Neshaminy (11-5-1)     6      3      1      0       13

C.B. South (9-7-0-1)    6       4      0      0      12

C.B. East (8-8-1)           4      5      1      0       9

C.R. North (5-10-1-1)    3     5      1     1       8

C.B. West (5-11-0-1)    3      6      0      1      7

Souderton (5-11-0-1)      3    7     0       0    6

Bensalem (3-13)           2       7      0      1      5

North Penn (5-10-1-1)    1     7      1      1     4

X Pennridge finishes second on the basis of having defeated Pennsbury in their second meeting, which was the game that counted in their divisional records

American Division                   W      L      T      OTL    Pts

Abington (15-0-1-1)                10       0     1        1      22

X Plymouth Whitemarsh (11-6) 7        5     0        0      14

Quakertown (10-4-1-1)           6        4    1        1       14

Wissahickon (9-7)                    6       6     0        0        12

Springfield (0-16)                     0      12     0      0           0

Plymouth Whitemarsh finishes second on the basis of having won the season series with Quakertown


National Division                G           A          Pts

Kevin Pico (Pr)                     24         25        49

Brendan Macainsh (Pb)     31         17        48

Andrew Savona (Pr)           16         22        38

Max Gallagher (Nesh)       23         11        34

Seth Grossman (Soud)      19          13        32

John Stinson (NP)               20         11        31

Shane Dachowski (Pr)       17         12         29

Aydin Thierolf (CBS)          15          14        29

Blaise Pepe (CRS)              12          16        28

Corey Kosick (CBE)            18          10        28

Andrew Falkenstein (Pb)   6           22        28

Jake Weiner (CRS)             19           8         27

Kevin Koles (CRS)              11           16        27

Alex Hood (Ben)                 21          6          27

American Division     G            A         Pts

Matthew Flynn (PW)   26          20           46

Matt Kramer (Ab)         26         19           45

David Branigan (PW)   12          25          37

Will Hussa (Wiss)          26         7            33

Ian Heydt (Ab)               13        20          33

Sam Abramson (Ab)       14         19        33

Sam Paulik (Ab)              18          14       32

Branden McNally (Q)     17         15        32

Danny Hussa (Wiss)      18         11         29

Pat Stelacio (Ab)            18        11         29

Dylan Novitski (PW)      15       12          27

Quakertown Primed for SHSHL Postseason

Four years encompasses the span of a high-school hockey player’s career. The past four years also encompass the history of the Quakertown hockey program.

The current edition of the Panthers first took the ice for the 2019-20 season. On Wednesday night, they will face off against Plymouth Whitemarsh in a SHSHL (8:45 at Hatfield Ice). The winner will face defending champion Abington for the division title next Wednesday, March 1.
The upcoming playoff game is a milestone for the program, but coach Keith Krem is happiest for the players.

“There’s guys on this team that have gotten to play four years, Including Krem’s son Matt),” he said. “They got to experience the rougher side of it, now they’re getting to see the success side of it. 

“It’s cool. In the high-school game, the kids transition through some really key years. You get to see them both as hockey players and human beings. That’s cool more than anything.”

Krem spoke to the goals he had when he launched the program.

“I think I wanted the kids to have success and be confident in the team they were on,” he said, “and more than anything, to be able to have fun representing the community. 

“We’re checking off all those boxes. The winning is a cool thing, but more than anything I wanted these guys to be able to represent the school and be proud of it That’s always been the goal and I think obviously, they’re doing that pretty well.”

SHSHL Playoff Pairings Announced

Pairings and game times have been finalized for the first leg of the Suburban High School Hockey League playoffs.

Two first-round National-round National Division games are set for Wednesday, February 22 along with the single American Division semifinal.

 Wednesday 2-22

National Division

 (3) Pennsbury vs (6) C.B. East 7:20 at Grundy

 (4) Neshaminy vs. (5) C.B. South 9:00 at Grundy

(1) Council Rock South and (2) Pennridge have first-round byes
Semifinals March 1

Championship game March 2

American Division

(2) Plymouth Whitemarsh vs. (3) Quakertown 8:45 at Hatfield Ice

(1) Abington has a first-round bye

Championship game March 1

Pennridge 6 C.B. East 4

HATFIELD TOWNSHIP—It was not a good night to be a goaltender. Pennridge and Central Bucks East played 51 minutes of up-and-down hockey Thursday night in a game that a saw saw 83 shots, 10 goals, and two hat tricks before the Rams prevailed 6-4 in at Hatfield Ice.

The win solidified the bulk of the SHSHL National Division playoff bracket. Pennridge (13-4, 8-2 in the division) clinched the second seed and earned a bye into the semifinals.

The Patriots (8-8-1, 4-5-1) will be seeded sixth and will face third seed Pennsbury in a first-round game next Wednesday.  Neshaminy and Central Bucks South will face each other in next Wednesday’s other first round game. 

Pennridge’s Kevin Pico and C.B. East’s Corey Cosick led the way for their respective sides. Pico delivered three goals himself and assisted on a fourth, while Cosick tallied three goals of his own.  Both players had plenty of open ice to work in, albeit at a moderate tempo; there was little physicality on display in part because  many of the Rams and Patriots are club teammates.

“I think we’re better when teams don’t play physical,” Pico said. “(The Patriots) are our friends, so we’re not going to play as physical as usual and they’re not going to play as physical.”

Charlie Keiser and Pico traded goals in the first period. Cosick gave East a 2-1 lead 67 seconds into the second frame and shortly thereafter Pennridge coach Jeff Montagna  used his timeout to deliver a motivational address.

“I didn’t like the way they were playing,” he said. “I thought we looked like a team that played the night before (a 9-1 win over Council Rock North) and like they have for a lot of games this year. They were just going through the motions in the first period.”

Then Rams responded. Pico and Andrew Savona scored goals two-and-a-half minutes apart to give the Rams a 3-2 lead. Cosick tied the game for the Patriots with 7:19 left in the period but James Embert and Pico scored goals 44 seconds apart to give the Rams a two-goal lead.

Cosick completed his hat trick with 1:37 left in the period but Pennridge’s Dane Fitchett scored the only goal of the third period. East’s chances were diminished when D.J. Brown was whistled for a check from behind with 7:20 left in the game.

East goaltender Matt Mangiacapre kept his team in the game, he was credited with 52 saves

“We came out strong and matched their tempo,” said East coach Jeff Mitchell., but we took a couple bad penalties in the third period. (Brown) is our top defenseman that was here tonight. It wasn’t intentional, it was just an ill-timed call and an ill-timed play.

“All in all I thought we played a great game. Our goaltender played on his head again.”

Pennridge 1 4 1—6

C.B. East 1 3 0—4

First-period goals: Charlie Keiser (CBE) from Drew Trask, 1:50; Kevin Pico (P) unassisted, 10:43

Second-period goals: Corey Cosick (CBE) from Keiser, 1:17; Pico (P) unassisted, 4:16; Andrew Savona (P) from Pico and Colin Dachowki, 6:51; Cosick (CBE) from Stephen DiRugeris, 9:41; James Embert (P)) from Colin  Dachowski, 11:25; Pico (P) from Savona and Shane Dachowski, 12:19; Cosick (CBE) unassisted, 15:23

Third-period goals: Dane Fitchett (P) from Savona and Colin Dachowski, 1:59

Shots: Pennridge 58, C.B. East 25; Saves: Jacob Winston (P) 21 Matt Mangiacapre (CBE) 52