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

Abington, PW To Meet at Wells Fargo Center

Senior Nights are special for high-school hockey players, as they are for athletes in other sports, but Abington and Plymouth Whitemarsh are set to have an experience that is truly unique.

The Galloping Ghosts and the Colonials will honor their seniors when they face each other in a non-league game on Wednesday, January 18—at the Wells Fargo Center.

Plymouth Whitemarsh coach Dave Cox the game was arranged by the two club presidents, Abington’s Ed Stelacio and Plymouth Whitemarsh’s Bob Shoemaker.

“We have come together and kind of forged a relationship,” Cox said.

The experience will allow the two teams to recognize their seniors in traditional fashion, prior to game time which is set for 7:30. The SHSHL, at the insistence of local rinks, has prohibited Senior Night observances prior to league games this season because they tended to delay games and force games in later ice slots to start later than scheduled.

Abington coach Ken Brzozowski says each club’s desire to recognize its seniors led to the game being arranged.

“The presidents of the two clubs started talking,” he said, “and said ‘Hey, what can we do to still honor this great tradition?’

“It’s a tremendous opportunity for us. Last year we had a special game against Wissahickon (outdoors at the Spring Mountain resort) and to have this kind of great event again is something to look forward to.”

To cover the cost of purchasing the ice at the Wells Fargo Center for the event, both clubs are selling tickets to Flyers home games in February.

Plymouth Whitemarsh is selling tickets for the matchup between the Flyers and the New York Islanders on Monday, February 6 while Abington is selling tickets for a meeting with the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday, February 9. Tickets are $40 and $60 depending on location.

Cox, who played for Plymouth Whitemarsh, is anticipating the emotions the two teams will experience when they step on the ice at the Wells Fargo Center.

“I can only imagine how excited these kids will be,” he said.            “Not too many kids can say they had that (experience).”