Pennridge 7 O.J. Roberts 0

HATFIELD TOWNSHIP—It was a Flyers Cup Class AA semifinal. But Pennridge turned the occasion into just another night at the rink.

Shane Dachowski scored three goals and four other players added one goal each as the Rams routed Own J. Roberts 7-0 Monday night at Hatfield Ice. Second-seeded Pennridge (16-5) will face Pennsbury Tuesday evening at the same venue as it attempts to defend its Class AA Cup title. Judging from Monday’s effort, the Rams should feel comfortable in that setting; they dominated from start to finish against the sixth-seeded Wildcats, who closed their season at 17-6-0-1.

Dane Fitchett and Dachowski scored first-period goals 81 seconds apart, bearing Wildcat netminder Shane Towler.

Kevin Pico made it a 3-0 game 4:59 into the middle period. But the outcome was really settled later in the session when the Rams’ completely shut down the Owen J. Roberts power play and Andrew Savona and Dachowski delivered shorthanded goals

“We knew this team’s power play was lethal coming in,” said Pennridge coach Jeff Montagna.  “But the way they run it is a 1-3-1, they basically have four guys below the dots. So, that’s go time for us. You get sticks on pucks and you’re going the other way.

“It’s the only way I know as a coach. If you have the bodies, and you have the skill to do it, just be relentless. Be relentless at all times.”

Pico talked about what it takes to play the up-tempo style his coach prefers.

“You get on teams early and they’re going to hesitate,” he said. “Push up, take opportunities, and look to capitalize on those.”

James Rush extended the Pennridge lead 91 seconds into the final period before Dachowski completed his hat trick at the 9:31 mark.

Pico says the experience the Rams took away from last year’s Flyers Cup run has been an asset this time around.

“I think the experience helps,” he said. “Everyone isn’t as nervous anymore because they’ve been there before.”

Meantime, at the other end of the ice, Jacob Winton was pitching a shutout in the Pennridge net. He finished the evening with 28 saves. The sophomore said he got a good look at everything thanks to the efforts of the defense in front of him.

“When shots are coming in from the outside, it’s a lot easier to see them then on a big scramble play up front with all the guys in one spot,” he said. “Keeping them outside really helps a lot.”

Winton says he’s more at ease on the ice than he was when the season began.

“I think as the season went on I got a little bit more comfortable,” he said. ‘When you’ve got a team like that in front of you, it makes it that much easier.”

O.J. Roberts 0 0 0—0

Pennridge 2 3 2—7

First-period goals: Dane Fitchett (P) from Andrew Lizak and Tyler Manto, 5:00; Shane Dachowski (P) unassisted, 6:21

Second-period goals: Kevin Pico (P) from Andrew Savona, 4:59; Savona (P) unassisted, 7:11 (sh); Shane Dachowski (P) from Colin Dachowski, 11:56 (sh)

Third-period goals: James Rush (P) from Lizak, 1:31; Shane Dachowski (P) from Pico, 9:31

Shots: O.J. Roberts O.J. Roberts 28, Pennridge 30; Saves: Shane Towler (OJR) 23, Jacob Winton (P) 28

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

Holy Ghost Prep 7, Pennridge 3

Kieran Mulholland and Zach Pers each scored twice as Holy Ghost Prep built a 5-0 lead en route to a 7-3 win over Pennridge Wednesday night in a non-league game at Grundy Arena. Shaun Moore Brady Baehser and John Seravalli also scored for Holy Ghost Prep, which advanced to 9-2 on the season.

Kevin Pico, Andrew Savona, and Shane Dachowski scored for Pennridge (4-3).

Two goals from Pers and goals from Mulholland, Baehser, and Moore put the Firebirds up 5-0 seven minutes into the second period.

Pico and Savona scored for the Rams before the period ended and Dachowski’s goal made it a 5-3 game with 10:51 left in regulation, before Mulholland gave the Firebirds some insurance with 1:42 remaining. Seravalli added an empty-net goal with one minute left in regulation.

Six of the game’s 10 goals came on power plays. The game featured 16 penalties for 72 penalty minutes.

Pennridge 0 2 1—3

Holy Ghost Prep 4 1 2—7