Rivalries are one of the elements that make high-school hockey unique. Thanksgiving Eve in the Suburban High School Hockey League is Rivalry Night, featuring matchups between opponents who are intimately familiar with each other.
That was certainly the case at the Bucks County Ice Sports Center Wednesday night when William Tennent and Archbishop Wood shared the ice for a Suburban High School Hockey League non-league encounter. The rivalry between the two schools is one of the oldest in the area on the ice; the two teams have been matching up for going on four decades.
But this year’s matchup was unique; because of numbers issues Archbishop Wood was unable to field a pure team (one comprised 100 percent of Wood students) this season and joined forces with Upper Moreland, which is in the same situation. But on this night, they skated separately once more, although the Vikings added several Golden Bears to depth to their lineup. (Upper Moreland, which faced Hatboro-Horsham later Wednesday evening, added several Wood players to its lineup).
For the record, Tennent prevailed 10-1 in front of a large audience to pick up its first victory of the season after three losses. But the contest wasn’t not as one-sided as the scoreline might indicate.
The Vikings kept the game close for better than two periods thanks to the work of freshman goaltender Connor Redanauer, who faced 62 shots over the 48 minutes and stopped 52 of them. His work was nothing short of remarkable, particularly in the first period when Wood was outshot 19-3 but trailed just 2-0 at the break thanks to goals from Bobby Markus and Bryan Mesaros.
“(Redanauer) played phenomenally,” said Wood coach Tom Walsh. He stood on his head that first period. He had a great game for us. Sixty-two shots. There’s not much more he could have done.”
Mason McKeever and Markus scored for Tennent in the second frame before Brayden Gyza, just off the pitch after a season with the Wood soccer team, gave the Vikings what proved to be their only goal.
David Gray responded for the Panthers to make it 5-1 with 5:48 left in the period before Tennent scored five goals in the third period in a span of 7:19.
Markus finished the evening with a hat trick plus an assist. Thomas Hartenstein scored twice.
The evening was less about the final score however and more about maintaining and nurturing a tradition.
“Rivalries and things like that are what keep this league going,” said Tennent coach Nick D’Aurizio. “I think this is one of the oldest ones on the books I think.
“These are why people come out, why we sell tickets … That’s important to the well-being of our league. We want people to come out and see this hockey and support their peers.”
Notes—The two teams played for the Jim Bagdon Cup, named in honor of the former William Tennent club president who passed away in March of 2017 … The game featured just seven penalties, all minors … Hatboro-Horsham defeated Upper Moreland 10-0 in the second game of the doubleheader.
Archbishop Wood 0 1 0—1
William Tennent 2 3 5—10
Shots: Archbishop Wood 12, William Tennent 62
Other Thanksgiving Eve scores
Council Rock North vs. Council Rock South
Malvern Prep vs. Cardinal O’Hara
Neshaminy 2, Pennsbury 2
Holy Ghost Prep 8, Father Judge 3
Pennsbury 2, Neshaminy 2
Wissahickon 8, Upper Dublin 4
C.B. East 4, C.B. West 2
Upper Moreland 10, Hatboro-Horsham 0
Pennridge 7, Souderton 1
Truman 7, Abington 2
C.B. South 5, North Penn 2