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 Playoff Preview

Wednesday, February 22

National Division at Grundy Arena

Central Bucks East vs. Pennsbury 7:20


Coach Ryan Daley

Record: 12-5, 8-2 in divisional play seed 3

Key players:

Brendan Macainsh 31 goals, 17 assists 48 points

Andrew Falkenstein 6 goals, 22 assists, 28 points

Justin Marlin 14 goals, 13 assists, 27 points

Central Bucks East

Coach: Jeff Mitchell

Record: 8-8-1-0, 4-5-1-0 in the division seed 6

Key players

Corey Kosick 18 goals, 10 assists, 28 points

Stephen DiRugueris  7 goals, 6 assists, 13 points

Matt Mangiacapre .910 save percentage, 3.40 GAA

This season

12-1 Pennsbury 6 C.B. East 3

12-21 Pennsbury 6 C.B. East 1

Neshaminy vs.  Central Bucks South 9:00


Coach: Matt DeMatteo

Record: 11-5-1-0,6-3-1-0 in the division; seed 4

Key players:

Max Gallagher 23 goals, 11 assists, 34 points

Nolan Geria 9 goals, 15 assists, 24 points

J.J. Hathaway 4 goals, 1 assist, 5 points

Central Bucks South

Coach: Shaun McGinty

Record: 9-7-0-1, 6-4 in the division; seed 5

Key players:

Aydin Thierolf 15 goals, 14 assists, 29 points

D.J.Lindenmuth 9 goals, 11 assists, 20 points

Colin Mendham 8 goals, 10 assists, 18 points

This season

12-1 Neshaminy 6 C.B. South 4

12-21 Neshaminy 2 C.B. South 1

Winners advance to semifinals on February 1 vs. # 1 Council Rock South and #2 Pennridge

American Division at Hatfield Ice

Plymouth Whitemarsh vs. Quakertown 8:45

Plymouth Whitemarsh

Coach : Dave Cox

Record: 11-6, 7-5 in divisional play seed 2

Key players:

Matt Flynn 26 goals, 20 assists 46 points

David Branigan 12 goals, 25 assists, 37 points

Chris Maslij  2.86 GAA


Coach: Keith Krem

Record: 10-4-1-1, 6-4-1-1 in divisional play seed 3

Key players:

Branden McNally 17 goals, 15 assists, 32 points

Will Shaw 12 goals, 12 assists, 24 points

Matt Krem 2.79 GAA

This season

12-7 PW 7 Quakertown 5

12-16 Quakertown 5 PW 2

1-25 PW 3 Quakertown 2

Winner advances to championship game on March 1 vs. #1 Abington

Council Rock South 5 Central Bucks South 2

Council Rock South 5 Central Bucks South 2

BRISTOL— Starting a game with a four-goal advantage is a big edge for a hockey team. Council Rock South was essentially in that situation Thursday night.
The Golden Hawks scored four unanswered goals in the first period and went on to a 5-2 in over Central Bucks South at Grundy Arena.

The win lifted the Golden Hawks to 10-1-0-1 overall and their 5-0-0-1 mark in divisional play kept them in control of their own destiny in the SHSHL National Division chase.

Both teams came to the rink with lineups liberally sprinkled with junior varsity call ups necessitated by injuries and suspensions and it was Council Rock South which found its equilibrium first with its veterans leading the way.

Blaize Pepe scored the Golden Hawks’ first goal with 5:35 left in the opening period. Kevin Koles made it 2-0 just 61 seconds later and Jake Weiner extended his team’s lead 52 seconds after that with his team’s third goal in a span of 1 minute, 53 seconds.

Koles scored his second goal of the game with 47.3 seconds left in the period leaving the Titans (7-6-0-1, 4-3 in the division) in a very deep hole.

The second period was something of a fresh start for Central Bucks South, including a goaltender change; Jason Magaruh replaced Dom Varacallo in goal.

The Titans cut the deficit in half the middle period courtesy of Michael Nemec and Aydon Thierolf but could come no closer.

“(Council Rock South) is a good team,” said Central Bucks South coach Shaun McGinty. “They capitalized in the first period. We lost 4-0 in the first period, won 2-0 in the second period, and we lost 1-0 (on an empty net goal from Gavin Nisenzon) in the third period.

“We were giving chances (In the first period); a good team is going to capitalize and South is a good team.”

Council Rock South coach Joe Houk acknowledged how difficult it was for his team to stay focused after its strong start.

“It’s kind of hard when you get up to 4-0 he said. “You’ve got to find a way to sustain that level of play. When you get up 4-0 you can’t back off.

(Central Bucks South) is a good team. They’ve got some good players on that team and you can’t let them back in the game.”

Golden Hawks forward Bobby Gilbert praised his team’s effort 

“It was a very hard game,” he said. “Everybody was battling hard, the playoffs are coming up. We seemed to dig more deep though, and we got the job done.”

C.B. South 0 2 0—2

C.R. South 4 0 1—5

First-period goals: Blaize Pepe (CRS from Daniel Filippov, 11:25; Kevin Koles (CRS) from Jake Weiner and Jeremy Rayher, 12:26; Weiner (CRS) from Koles and Pepe, 13:18 (pp); Koles (CRS) from Jordan Sarne, 16:13

Second-period goals: Michael Nemec (CBS) from Aydin Thierolf and Justin Keilman, 3:52; Thierolf (CBS) from Colin Mendham, 11:05 (pp)

Third-period goal: Gavin Nisenzon (CRS) from Koles 16:13 (en)

Shots: C.B. South 31, C.R. South 30; Saves: Dom Varacallo (CBS) 7 and Jason Magaruh (CBS) 18, Carson Lopez (CRS) 29

Pennridge 7 C.B. South 2

HATFIELD TOWNSHIP— An evening that began with a lot of buildup evolved into a blowout. 

Pennridge dominated from start to finish Wednesday in the course of a 7-2 win over Central Bucks South in a key SHSHL National Division matchup in front of a full house at Hatfield Ice.

Shane Dachowski fueled the Rams effort, contributing a pure hat trick plus two assists as his team won its fourth straight game and served notice that it is not prepared to surrender its SHSHL, Flyers Cup, and state titles, at least not without first making a vigorous defense of those laurels.

The Rams started the evening in aggressive fashion by jumping to a 2-0, and were never headed.

“That was our plan,” Dachowski said. “We weren’t supposed to let them have space at all. We know how they play. We play them all the time and we have a thing going with them.”

The Rams (9-3, 4-1 in divisional play) got things started 5:06 into the first frame when Tyler Manto scored off a scramble in front of Titan goaltender Dom Varacallo via a setup from Dachowski. It became a 2-0 game with 40 seconds left in the period when Dachowski sent a pass up the center of the ice Andrew Lizak collected the puck and beat Varacallo at the end of a breakaway.

The Titans (7-4-0-1 overall, 4-2 in the division) got on the scoreboard 2:26 into the middle period thanks to a goal from Aydin Thierolf.

But after that it was all Pennridge. Varacallo found himself under heavy fire and his support was lacking. Dachowski scored a power-play goal at the 5:09 mark, then promptly scored his second goal of the night 14 seconds later. He completed a pure hat trick with a shorthanded goal at 9:25. Andrew Savona made it a 6-1 game with 4:56 left in the period. South coach Shuan McGinty eventually rescued Varacallo from the barrage while making it clear the scoreline was not the netminder’s fault.

“Our goalie has been playing well all season,” he said, “we let him hang out to try. I pulled him because it’s just not good for his confidence.

“All in all, they played well, we didn’t.”

The Titans Aidan Linso and Lizak traded goals in the third period.

Pennridge coach Jeff Montagna says his team is playing as well now as it has all season. “That’s three games against good teams with Pennsbury, this game, and Neshaminy,” he said. (The Rams won all three games and scored 23 goals in the process). “We’ve really started to find out who we are. It took some time this year but they’re really starting to click. It’s cool to watch.”

The Titans suffered a major loss with 3:01 left in the game when Matt Crouch was accessed a major penalty plus a game misconduct for a check from behind; he’ll serve as suspension when South faces Council Rock South net Thursday in another game with significant playoff and Flyers Cup implications.

“We’ve got to finish up the season hard here,” McGinty said. “We have (Council Rock South) net and we won’t have our captain because of a selfish play.

“Guys are going to have step up.” and we have Pennsbury still to go.”

Pennridge 2 4 1—7

C.B. South 0 1 1—2

First-period goals: Tyler Manto (P) from Shane Dachowski 5:06; Andrew Lizak (P) from Shane Dachowski, 16:20

Second-period goals: Aydin Thierolf (CBS) from D.J, Lindenmuth and Colin Mendham, 2:26; Shane Dachowski (P) from Colin Dachowki and Kevin Pico, 5:09 (pp); Shane Dachowski (P) from Andrew Savona, 5:23; Shane Dachowski (P) from Pico, 9:25 (sh); Savona (P) from Ian Brouse, 12:04

Third-period goals: Aidan Linso (CBS) from Sean Cutter and Ryan Frey, 6:59 (pp); Lizak (P) unassisted, 9:06

Shots: Pennridge 39, C.B. South 31

Pennsbury 8 C.B. South 2

BRISTOL—It was all systems go for Pennsbury Thursday night. The Falcons lit up the scoreboard at Grundy Arena as if it were a holiday light display in an 8-2 win over Central Bucks South in a SHSHL National Division non-league encounter.

Brendan Macainsh scored four goals and assisted on two others to help Pennsbury to its third straight win and fourth win overall in six starts. Justin Marlin added two goals and two assists. Shane Gleisner and Chris Sarver also scored goals.
The Falcons are averaging five goals a game and have scored 21 times over the course of their last three outings,
Macainsh, a senior and Pennsbury’s captain, says the team’s recent offensive surge stems from aggressive forechecking.

“We weren’t forechecking as much,” he said. “We were just kind of lagging around. We had to pick up our tempo, we had to play the full game, all three periods.”

Justin Marlin put Pennsbury in front just 28 seconds into the first period on a shot from the left point that eluded South netminder Dom Varacallo. Aidan Linso answered for the Titans when he beat Aaron McDaniel with 7:21 left in the opening session, but the Falcons broke the game open in the second frame.

Macainsh, Marlin, Gleisner (with the most picturesque goal of the night off a two-on-one situation), and Macainsh again scored goals in a span of just over six minutes to give Pennsbury a 5-1 lead. 

Sean Cutter ended the streak when he scored for the Titans (3-4 overall during a four-on-four situation but Macainsh completed his hat trick with one minute left in the period.

At period’s end the Falcons led 6-2 although their shot advantage was just 23-21. At that point, South coach Shaun McGinty replaced Varacallo in goal with Jason Magaruth before Sarver and Macainsh added goals for Pennsbury in the final period.

McGinty made it clear afterward that Varacallo did not get the defensive support he deserved.

“They were getting two-on-ones, three-on-ones, they were getting odd-man breaks,” he said. “Our defense struggled, they were subpar, and they were outworked.

“I only pulled Dom because it wasn’t fair to him. He gave up (six goals on 23 shots) but on the two-on-ones and the second chances, I’m not putting that on him. Our defense was subpar, we were losing battles, they outworked us.”

Pennsbury coach Ryan Daley expressed satisfaction with his team’s performance.

“We’ve had some good games this year,” he said, “but I think that was the first time we put three full periods together. It seems like the chemistry is finally kind of getting there.”

C.B. South 1 1 0—2

Pennsbury 1 5 2—8

First-period goals: Justin Marlin (P) unassisted, :28; Aidan Linso (CBS) from Brad Cannon and Justin Montagna, 9:39.

Second-period goals: Brendan Macainsh (P) unassisted, :12 (sh); Marlin (P) from Andrew Falkenstein, 2:02; Shane Gleisner (P) from Logan Doyle, 5:04; Macainsh from Chris Sarver and Connor Kane, 6:14; Sean Cutter (CBS) from Linso, 11:10; Macainsh (P) from Marlin, 16:00 (pp).

Third-period goals: Sarver (P) from Jake McCaw and Macainsh, 6:55; Macainsh (P) from Jake Seiler, 13:20 (pp).

Shots: C.B. South 28, Pennsbury 34; Saves: Dom Varacallo (CBS) 17 and Jason Magaruh (CBS) 9, Aaron McDaniel (P) 26

Council Rock South 5, Central Bucks South 3

Council Rock South stepped up at a key moment Thursday night. The result was a 5-3 win over Central Bucks South in a SHSHL Class AA game at Hatfield Ice Arena.

Gavin Nisenzon provided two goals and an assist and Kevin Koles also scored two goals to help his team to its second straight win.

But it was the Golden Hawks’ effort in the third period that made the difference.

The game featured two distinct segments. For two periods and change the teams battled on essentially even terms to a 2-2 standoff. 

Nisenzon and Julian Sarne registered goals for the Golden Hawks while D.J. Bray and Matt Crouch found the back of the net for the Titans.

 But 3:45 into the third period, emotions boiled over in the form of a fight that resulted in four players being accessed a total of 51 penalty minutes. Three players, the Golden Hawks’ Matt Constantini and Kyle Boss and the Titans’ Bray received game misconducts and the contest was delayed approximately 20 minutes while student spectators were removed from the building.

Following the delay the Titans had a five-minute power play but couldn’t do anything with it. They then found themselves shorthanded at the 11:19 mark when Crouch was called for two penalties during the same sequence, a slash and a trip.

Koles put the Golden Hawks in front just 24 seconds later on a shot from the right circle that beat Titan goaltender Dominic Varacallo and Nisenzon gave his team a 4-2 lead with his second goal of the night with 2:57 left in regulation.

Aidan Linso made it a one-goal game when he scored for the Titans with 1:46 still left but Koles scored into an empty net with five seconds remaining.

Council Rock South assistant coach Colin Murphy credited his team for maintaining their momentum after the delay, when the emotional energy in the building all but evaporated.

“The incident definitely charged us up a little bit more,” Murphy said. “I think losing their fans kind of killed their momentum and they lost the upper hand.”

Murphy noted the Golden Hawks were able to regroup despite losing two key players. “I know with our guys, their big thing was the ‘next man up’ mentality,” he said. They realized that we lost two guys and figured they needed to step up and keep their composure.”

Titans assistant coach Tyler Skroski pointed to his team’s failure to convert on its four power-play chances. “We did some good things tonight,” he said, “but when you fail to generate scoring opportunities on power plays, especially a five-minute major, you’re going to struggle to win games.

“It’s early in the season and we’re looking forward to fixing it as a team.”

C.R. South 1 1 3—5

C.B. South 2 0 1—3

First-period goals: Gavin Nisenzon (CRS) unassisted, 7:38; D.J. Bray (CBS) from Dan Kvechner, 9:11; Matt Crouch (CBS) from D.J. Lidenmuth and Aidan Gaffney, 15:06

Second-period goal: Julian Sarne (CRS) from David Vergules, 3:20 (pp)

Third-period goals: Kevin Koles (CRS) From Nisenzon and Sarne, 1:43 (pp); Nisenzon (CRS) from Sarne, 14:03; Aidan Linso (CBS) unassisted, 15:14 (sh); Koles (CRS) from Chase Trovsky, 16:55 (pp), (en)

Shots: Council Rock South 28, Central Bucks South 26; Saves: Carson Lopez (CRS) 23, Dominic Varacallo (CBS) 23

Central Bucks South 3, Owen J. Roberts 1

HATFIELD—It was a performance lacking in artistic excellence perhaps. But by evening’s end, Central Bucks South had what it came for; a win. Three different players scored goals as the sixth-seeded Titans downed Owen J. Roberts 3-1 Tuesday night in a Class AA Flyers Cup first-round game at Hatfield Ice.

Dan Kvecher, Owen Mendham, and Aydin Thierolf all scored to send the Titans (8-5-1-1) to Thursday’s quarterfinals against third-seeded Haverford (8:15 at Ice Line).

Goals weren’t easy to come by Tueday night. The 11th-seeded Wildcats (5-5-3) enjoyed a 36-24 edge in shots They also had the better of procession time over the first two periods but couldn’t solve South goaltender Mason Moyer despite having three-power-play opportunities over the first 32 minutes of playing time.

The Titans scored the only goal of that span in a unique fashion. Kvecher made a move on left wing before encountering traffic in the offensive zone. He launched a shot that caromed off of Wildcat goaltender Shane Towler and into the net. The goal came with 3:58 remaining in the period.

Kevecher anticipated a tough battle from the Lions. “Every game is a battle,” he said, “no matter what opponent we play. We just come out here and do what we do.

“(O.J Roberts) is a great team. We have to battle the whole game.”

Kvecher’s teammate, Owen Mendham made it a 2-0 game on a power-play goal 7:04 into the third period.

South spent a big chunk of the third period killing penalties, three in the last 8:25 of regulation. But the only goal the Lions managed came on the last one when Cale Primanti put in a rebound with 1:59 remaining.

“Early on we had a lot of possession time,” said Owen J. Roberts coach Chuck Gorman. ”We just couldn’t penetrate between the dots on them and get second shots..”

The last goal of the game came with 1:06 left in regulation when the Lions, who had pulled Towler for an extra attacker, turned the puck over just to their defensive side of the red line. Thierolf controlled the loose puck for the Titans and was poised for a breakaway when the Lions’ Ava Rinker pulled him down. With the net empty, Thierolf was awarded a goal. And the Titans lived to play another day.

“In this kind of tournament you take the win, you move on,” said South coach Shaun McGinty.”They came, they did their job, they got their shot total up.

“We wre struggling a bit finding the net, but the first two periods they were pretty much winning the one-on-one battles.”

Owen J. Roberts 0 0 1

Central Bucks South 0 1 2

Second-period goals: Dan Kvecher (CBS) unassisted, 12:02

Third-period goals: Owen Mendham (CBS) from Adam Cusick and Aydin Thierolf, 7:04 (pp); Cael Primanti (OJR) from Chatles Davis, 14:01 (pp); Thierolf (CBS) unassisted, 14:54 (awarded goal), (en)

Shots: O.J. Roberts 36, C.B. South 24 Saves: Shane Towler (OJR) 21, Mason Moyer (CBS) 35

Council Rock South 2 Central Bucks South 1 OT

HATFIELD—In the end, both teams left every ounce of energy on the ice, like warriors spilling their last drop of blood on the battlefield.

Sam Cherkassky scored a power-play goal 5:23 into sudden-death overtime Wednesday night to give Council Rock South a 2-1 win over Central Bucks South in a Suburban High School Hockey League National/Continental semifinal at Hatfield Ice.

The third-seeded Golden Hawks (9-3-0-2) will try to defend their divisional title when they face top-seeded Pennsbury Thursday night at Grundy Arena (7:20) in the championship game.

The winning goal came as the second-seeded Titans, who had just 11 skaters dressed because of injuries, a suspension, and Covid issues, were dealing with a flurry of penalties; four of them in the last 2:19 of regulation plus overtime.

Trailing 1-0 heading down the stretch with the Titans’ Aydin Thierolf in the box for elbowing, the Golden Hawks pulled goaltender Jimmy Sweeney, giving them a six-skaters-to-four advantage. Julian Wagenmann tied the game with 1:12 left in regulation when he poked in the second rebound of a shot from the right point.

The Titans found themselves shorthanded again when D.J. Bray was whistled for elbowing 3:04 into the 15-minute extra period. Just 11 seconds later, Owen Mendham was called for interference with a bench minor attached, a bench minor that didn’t start until Bray’s penalty expired. Mendham’s penalty lapsed without incident but Emilee Lindenmuth, who was serving the extra penalty, could only watch, along with her teammates, as Cherkassky scored the game winner.

Council Rock South forward Doug Lopez said it was important for he and his teammates to step up their games entering the third period.

“We just knew that they were shorthanded,” he said. “We came into the locker room after the second period and said ‘We’ve got to give it our all.’

“I think them being short and a combination of them being short and us coming out hard really changed the game in our favor.”

Council Rock South coach Joe Houk noted that after a break for an ice cut following the second period, his players found another gear.

“I felt we were not focused the first half of the game,” he said. I thought our puck possession in the third, plus in overtime, whether there were penalties or not. I thought we controlled the entire overtime.”

Central Bucks South coach Shaun McGinty tried to find solace in his team’s work rate. “The boys played a great game,” he said. “The effort was there. Hat’s off to (Council Rock South), we’ll take the loss and move on to the Flyers Cup.”

Notes—The Titans’ goal came from Adam Cusick 63 seconds into the second period. Central Bucks South is seeded sixth for the Class AA Flyers Cup tournament and will face 11th-seeded Own J. Roberts on Tuesday at Hatfield Ice. The Golden Hawks, who are seeded fifth, will take on 12th seed Avon Grove on Tuesday at the same venue.

C.R. South 0 0 1 1—2

C.B. South 0 1 0 0—1

Second-period goal: Adam Cusick (CBS) unassisted, 1:03

Third-period goal: Julian Wagenmann (CRS) unassisted, 14:48 (pp);

Overtime goal: Sam Cherkassky (CRS) unassisted, 5:23 (pp)

Shots: CR South 29, CB South 22; Saves: Jimmy Sweeney (CRS) 21, Mason Moyer (CBS) 27

SHSHL Semifinal Pairings Finalized

The matchups for Wednesday’s SHSHL semifinals are finalized, along with game sites and times.

National/Continental Division

5 Pennridge vs. 1 Pennsbury  7:20 at Grundy Arena

3 Council Rock South vs. 2 Central Bucks South 6:30 at Hatfield Ice

American Division

4 Hatboro-Horsham at 1 Wissahickon, 8:40 at Hatfield

3 Plymouth Whitemarsh at 2 Abington 9:00 at Bucks County Ice

Sites and times are subject to change

The championship games in both division are scheduled for Thursday with sites and times to be announced.

The Grundy Skate Shop is a full-service hockey pro shop inside the Grundy Arena, offering a great selection of equipment, brands and various services.  We do a full range of repairs as well as offer custom hockey jerseys. Owner Bill Keyser, has over 25 years experience in the industry and specializes in skate sharpening, including profiling. Please visit our Facebook page or stop in and check us out!