HATFIELD—The atmosphere inside the building was a reasonable facsimile of that at a late-round Flyers Cup game. And with good reason, for both central Bucks South and Council Rock South have presented their credentials as legitimate contenders for the Class AA Flyers Cup title.
On this night, it was the Titans who prevailed, 6-3. Matt Milanesi and Colin Abbonizio each scored twice as C.B. South (9-0-0-1 overall, 7-0 in league play) remained atop the SHSHL’s Class AA Division.
In the sometimes-rambunctious atmosphere at Revolution Ice Gardens the Titans’ experience proved to be an asset. They had 12 seniors in their lineup to the Golden Hawks’ four.
“I’ve been playing South hockey for four years,” Milanesi said. “I knew what to do. (Coach Sean McGinty) tells us to do the same stuff every game, ‘Come out, move the puck, get shots on net’ and that’s what I keep telling our underclassmen. That’s what we need to do each game.”
The Golden Hawks (5-4, 5-1) had the better of the play in the opening minutes but Mason Moyer in the C.B. South net kept them at bay before Dominic Patrone and David Kiecher scored goals om a span of 1:41 to give the Titans a 2-0 lead 7:54 into the period.
Jeremy Purcell cut the lead in half when he scored for the Golden Hawks at 9:54 but matters ground to a halt after the first period when play was delayed for several minutes while a number of spectators were removed.
The Titans, who started the second stanza with a full two-minute power play, immediately seized the momentum when Milanesi scored after just 55 seconds. Douglas Lopez answered for the Hawks at 1:43 but Milanesi scored his second goal of the game at 7:49 to make it a 4-2 game and the scored stayed that way to period’s end.
The Titans got off to another fast start in the third frame when Abbonizio scored at the 1:02 mark.
By this point, the game had gotten more physical and gradually became a parade to the penalty box; there were 13 penalties called in the final period after three were whistled in the first period and one at the end of the second. The game’s last 14 penalties were evenly divided.
The Golden Hawks suffered the biggest loss when, with 7:12 left in the game, Jimmy Sweeney, their goaltender, received a five-minute major penalty for high sticking plus a game misconduct for taking a poke at the Titans’ Nathan Fiveitz.
Michael Tobey scored a shorthanded goal for the Golden Hawks when put in a rebound of a Derek Steudler slapshot at 11:59 to make it a 5-3 game but Abbonizio finished the evening by scoring into an empty net with 1:10 remaining.
The start-and-stop nature of the third period left Joe Houk, the Golden Hawks’ veteran coach, perplexed.
“You’ve got two good teams,” he said. “Go out there and let them play …. You come down to the last 10 minutes of the game and you’ve got your two top players sitting in the box … “But they’re a good team. They beat us tonight, we weren’t on our A game.”
C.B. South 2 2 2—6
C.R. South 1 1 1—3
First-period goals: Dominic Patrone (CBS) from Aydin Thierolf and Connor Gaffney, 6:13; David Kucher (CBS) from Matt Milaesi, 7:54 (pp); Jeremy Purcell (CRS) from Brennan Wright, 9:54.
Second-period goals: Milanesi (CBS) from Patrone, :55 (pp); Douglas Lopez (CRS) from Antii Autere and Michael Roby, 1:43; Milanesi (CBS) from Patrone and Nathan Fiveitz, 7:49.
Third-period goals: Colin Abbonizio (CBS) from Kuecher and Gingras, 1:02; Toby (CRS) from Lopez and Wright, 11:59 (sh); Abbonizio (CBS) from Fiveitz and Brian Keilman, 14:50 (en).
Ahots: C.B. South 37, Council Rock South 30; Saves: Mason Moyer (CBS) 27, Jimmy Sweeney (CRS) 28 and Carson Lopez (CRS) 4.