WARWICK TOWNSHIP—It’s the nature of hockey that teams will skate a portion of each game shorthanded. Abington and Quakertown were shorthanded before Friday’s SHSHL American Division game even began.
Abington was down five players because of injuries and illness while the Panthers had just nine skaters dressed.
The Galloping Ghosts made the most of what they had, rolling to a 7-2 win at the Bucks County Ice Sports Center.
Ian Heydt and Sam Paulik each scored two goals in the winning effort, which pushed Abington to 11-0-1 overall and 10-0-1 in divisional play;
Quakertown dropped to 7-4-1 overall and 6-4-1 in the division.
The Panthers sit in second place in the division, eight points behind the Galloping Ghosts.
The win was Abington’s second in three tries against Quakertown this season. The third, a 2-2 tie on December 23 is the only blemish on Abington’s record. The Galloping Ghosts scored a 5-4 win over the Panthers on December 9.
Abington got off to a fast start. Owen Adamski and Paulik scored goals to give their team a 2-0 lead 4:56 into the opening period.
“It’s always good to get a good first step in the game,” Paulik said, “and try to get one in the net quick to set the momentum of the game.”
Quakertown answered when Jack Diliberto beat Abington netminder Sam Nemec at the 9:16 mark. Lucas Cunnane tied the game 2:58 into the second session. But that was all the Panthers could manage as the lack of numbers caught up to them. Abington scored the last seven goals of the evening.
“I don’t think we gave up a ton of big plays in terms of breakaways and things like that,” Quakertown coach Keith Krem said. “But, there’s a lot in front of the paint, right in front of the net, that’s where they scored. They didn’t score from the outside, they scored from right in front of the net.”
Back-to-back goals from Heydt plus a tally from Matt Kramer gave Abington a 5-2 lead after the second period. Paulik and Griffin Carpenter added goals in the third.
Abington came into the season with high expectations and Carpenter, the Galloping Ghosts’ captain says for the most part, those expectations have been met.
“I’d say we came up to expectations,” he said. “We started off hot, and we keep going.”
Abington hasn’t lost a game since the first round of last year’s Class AA Flyers Cup tournament. Carpenter doesn’t consider the 12-game unbeaten streak to be a burden.
“I don’t feel like it,” he said. “I feel like we can just keep going and keep winning.”
Quakertown 1 1 0—2
Abington 2 3 2—7
First-period goals: Owen Adamski (A) from Brian Murdoch, 3:41; Sam Paulik (A) from Griffin Carpenter, 4:56; Jack Diliberto (Q) from Josh Tolchin, 9:16
Second-period goals: Lucas Cunnane (Q) from Cole Slemmer, 2:58; Ian Heydt (A) from Sam Abramson and Matt Kramer, 4:56 (pp); Heydt (A) from Kramer, 8:53; Kramer (A) from Abramson, 15:10
Third-period goals: Paulik (A) from Seamus Donofry, 2:49; Carpenter (A) from Heydt, 111:58 (pp)
Shots:Quakertown 39, Abington 46; Saves: Matt Krem (Q) 39, Sam Nemec (A) 37