Souderton 6 C.B. West 1

HATFIELD TOWNSHIP— Souderton found out a lot about itself Thursday night. Coming off an emotional last-second loss 24 hours earlier, the Big Red responded with a solid effort in a 6-1 SHSHL National win over Central Bucks West at Hatfield Ice Arena.

It was Souderton’s first win in four tries while the Bucks dropped to 1-2. The result will not factor into the divisional standings as the two teams are scheduled to play again on January 25th.

But that mattered little to Souderton coach Ryan Uchniat, whose team came into the game thirsting for a win.

“I think they showed a lot of resiliency, he said. “They showed a lot of resiliency  last night coming back in the third period.

“This team has a real positive attitude, they’ve a little bit of a giddy up. It’s fun to see, it’s fun to be a part of as well.”

Souderton’s top line had a big night. Nick Smith delivered a three-goal hat trick. Seth Grossman scored two goals and assisted on three others while Maxwell Ryon provided a goal and an assist.

Smith noted the win was especially satisfying after 4-3 loss to Council Rock North on Wednesday that saw the Big Red surrender the winning goal with 2.4 seconds remaining in regulation.

“It felt good,” he said. “After a tough loss like that with two seconds left, it felt good to finally win.”

Smith made his presence felt early on, scoring twice to put his team up 2-0 just 7:45 into the opening period.

The Bucks got closer when Adam Ricci won a goal-mouth scramble to put the puck behind Big Red netminder Noah Connor during a power play at the 8:21 mark of the second period.

But Souderton put its resiliency on display when Ryon answered back at 10:26 before Smith completed his hat trick with exactly four minutes left in the period.

Grossman scored his two goals in the third frame.

The Big Red enjoyed a 42-21 advantage in shots. West goalkeeper Liam Rogers did some quality work between the pipes to keep his team in the game for most of the way.

Smith spoke to the speed and skill of the Big Red’s number-one line.”I think that’s our strong point,” he said. “The first line has a lot of skill.”

Smith believes that Thursday’s performance is a sign of things to come. Souderton has scored nine goals in its last two games after scoring just three in its first two games combined.

“I think we can win some games finally,” Smith said. “We’re starting to finally score and not scoring one goal a game. I think we can finally capitalize on some opportunities.”

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C.B. West 0 1 0—1

Souderton 2 2 2—6

First-period goals: Nick Smith (S) from Seth Grossman and Caden O’Neill, 2:50; Smith from Maxwell Ryon, 7:45

Second-period goals: Adam Ricci (CBW) from Luke Tremmel, 8:21 (pp); Ryon (S) from Grossman, 10:26; Smith (S) from Grossman and Matt Malanga, 13:00

Third-period goals: Grossman (S) unassisted, 3:31; Grossman (S) unassisted, 8:00

Shots: C.B. West 21, Souderton 42; Saves: Liam Rogers (CBW) 36, Noah Connor (S) 20

C.R. North 4 Souderton 3

BRISTOL—The conclusion was dramatic, to say the least. Karson Grainey’s power-play goal with 2.4 seconds remaining in the third period was the decisive blow as Council Rock North edged Souderton 4-3 Wednesday night at Grundy Arena in a Suburban High School Hockey League National Division matchup.

The winning goal capped a late flurry that the Big Red (0-3, 0-1 in divisional play) score three times in the third period, including twice in a span of 14 seconds to tie the game with 50 seconds left in regulation, only to yield Grainey’s game winner, which came while Souderton’s Seth Grossman was sitting in the penalty box after drawing an elbowing penalty with 23 seconds remaining before overtime. 

The win was the first for the Indians in four starts (1-1 in the division). 

“I think it gives us a big energy boost,” Grainey said. “Especially going into our rivalry game next week (against Council Rock South next Wednesday). I think we’re moe confident.

“It wasn’t the most pretty win, but we’re more confident now, and we’ve just got to keep it rolling from here.”

Goals from Lucas Simmons and Michael Booth gave North a 2-0 lead before Jackson Accardi extended his team’s lead to 3-0 with 1:02 left in the second frame.

Grossman ended Ina Goldberg’s bid for a shutout 2:43 into the final period but North still looked to be in control as the clock wound  down. When Maxwell Ryon scored to make it a one-goal game some eyebrows were raised but North still had time on its side with just 1:04 remaining in regulation. Grossman’s second goal of the night altered the landscape significantly but just 27 seconds later he was flagged for a no-doubt-about-it elbowing penalty to give North a power play.

Grainey’s goal came on a rebound off Simos’s original shot. The junior found the top right quadrant of the net after Souderton netminder Noah Connor made an initial save.

“I think what’s really fortunate is that is was a good learning opportunity for the kids about playing three periods 17 minutes all the way through” said North coach Greg McDonald. “They’re lucky to come out on top. So, hopefully it helps us down the road.

Meanwhile, Souderton coach Ryan Uchniat had a forum to address his team about the importance of killing penalties.

“I think that’s two weeks in a row where our penalty kill has come up short,” he said. “With (23) seconds left, we needed to really execute.”

Uchniat also spoke to the importance of staying out of the box altogether. “We’ve really got to be more disciplined as a team in general,” he said. “It starts with me, making sure we stay focused. That means focused on the simple things, playing solid hockey and playing within the whistles.”

Souderton 0 0 3—3

C.R. North 2 1 1—4

Souderton 5, North Penn 3

HATFIELD—Call it a Souderton Surge. Trailing North Penn 2-0 early in the second period of Wednesday’s SHSHL Class AA matchup, the Big Red erupted for three goals in a 10-miute span and went on to record a 5-3 decision over the Knights at Hatfield Ice.

The win lifted Souderton to 3-2 overall (1-1) in divisional play. After an abbreviated 2021 campaign that saw them win just twice, the Big Red is making some major strides.

“We’re trying to play Souderton hockey,” said Head Coach Ryan Uchniat. “We’re trying to establish something here and I told the boys ‘It’s not where you start, it’s where you finish.’”

Uchniat’s players took that advice to heart Wednesday night.

Jack Bates and Ryan Kaufhold scored first-period goals to give the Knights (1-4, 0-1) the lead.
Rex Grossman got Souderton on the board 4:20 into the middle period with a wrister from in front of the net.

By the midway point of the period the pace of the game had picked up and that worked to Souderton’s advantage.

Grossman tied the game at the 13:37 mark during a power play after stationing himself to the left of the Knights’ crease. Just 26 seconds later, Nick Smith gave Souderton a 3-2 lead.

Justin Yothers tied the game for North Penn 3:27 into the final period but Smith put the game winner behind North Penn netminder Nick Ebbinghaus with 7:34 left in regulation.

Tim Alexander scored an empty-net goal with 23 seconds remaining.

“Their intensity rose in the second period and we didn’t match it, in the second,” said North Penn coach Kevin Vaitis. “I thought we played a great first period. We’re up 2-0 and outshooting them 15-7. They stepped it up a little bit in the second period. We didn’t capitalize on it, and then we couldn’t get the puck out of our zone and had too many turnovers.

“Unfortunately, if you have too many turnovers, one is going to end up in the back of your net.”

Grossman finished the evening with two goals and two assists. He’s played in three of Souderton’s five games and has produced four goals and three assists. He said the second-period flurry was a matter of willpower.

“I think we just wanted to win,” he said, “and we didn’t want to lose against one of our biggest rivals. I think everybody just wanted to go out there and do what they could to get the win.”

Grossman, a sophomore, says the fact that last year’s young team is now collectively a year older has helped spur its improvement.

“To me, the biggest thing is everybody has gotten older, everybody has gotten better, he said. “We’ve all bonded I think as a team. We’re all starting to playa s one team, passing the puck better, shooting the puck better. (Goaltender Noah Connor) has played big all year and I think that people have stepped up when they need to step up.”

Ice Chips— Smith has six goals in four games. The Big Red outshot the Knights 36-30.

Souderton 0 3 2—5

North Penn 2 0 1—3

First-period goals: Jack Bates(NP) from Julian Ma, 1:48; Ryan Kaufhold (NP) unassisted, 11:30

Second-period goals: Seth Grossman(S) from Jaime Avaria and Liam O’ Neill, 4:20; Grossman (S) from Tim Alexander, 13:37 (pp); Nick Smith (S) from Grossman, 14:03

Third-period goals: Justin Yothers (NP) from Nolan O’ Toole, 3:27; Smith (S) from Carter Potvazan and Grossman, 9:26, Alexander (S) unassisted, 16:37 (en)

Shots: Souderton 36, North Penn 30; Saves: Noah Connor (S) 27, Nick Ebbinghaus (NP) 31

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Pennsbury 7, Souderton 4

HATFIELD— Much of the evening was filled with drama, but in the end, Pennsbury continued to reign supreme in the Suburban High School Hockey League. The Falcons scored four goals in the third period Thursday night to overcome stubborn Souderton 7-4 in a SHSHL National/Continental clash at Hatfield Ice.

Pennsbury won its sixth straight game and improved its record to a division-best 7-0-0-1 overall and 5-0 in divisional play. But the winless Big Red (0-7 overall, 0-5 in the division) gave their foes all they wanted and more.

Souderton scored the game’s first goal and led four times, including 4-3 after two periods, before running out of gas in the final stanza.

For Pennsbury coach Ryan Daley, Thursday’s result brought recollections of the teams’ first meeting, a 6-5 Pennsbury win on January 20 in a non-league encounter.

“Some teams just have your number,” Daley said, “and they have ours. “I don’t think their record really reflects how good a team they are.

“They’re young, their goalie (Noah Connor) had an outstanding night. They’ve got a bright future.”

For much of the evening, Souderton’s future was the present. The teams traded goals through the first two periods. Seth Grossman found the back of the net twice for the Big Red to give him 12 goals for the season in just five games. Liam O’ Neill and Tim Alexander also contributed Souderton goals, while Andrew Falkenstein, Logan Doyle, and Evan Eisler all scored for Pennsbury.
In the third period the Falcons stepped on the gas. Reece Millman tied the game at the 3:01 mark before Connor Coyne put his team in front for good at 5:50. Jake McCaw extended Pennsbury’s lead at 11:55 before Eric Eisler  added an exclamation point with 30 seconds remaining in the game.

The Falcon outshot the Big Red 16-7 in the final period and 30-10 over the last two. Pennsbury finished with a 38-20 edge in shots.

Despite the loss Souderton coach Ryan Uchniat took away an abundance of positives. “That’s a good team there,” he said of the Falcons. “You look at their stats and everything. They’re balanced, they get scoring contributions from a lot of different players.”

The scoresheet confirmed Uchniat’s impressions; Pennsbury’s seven goals were scored by seven different players.

The Big Red went into the game without defensemen Jaden Garick and Ben Fadden and lost another blueliner during the game.

“Pennsbury wore is down,” Uchniat said.

The Falcons meanwhile have much to reflect on after Thursday’s win. “We didn’t get the start we wanted,” Daley said. “We pride ourselves on being a fast team, with a lot of offense, a lot of shots. That first period we had 10 shots and let up the first goal, just the complete opposite of what we were trying to do.”

Pennsbury 1 2 4—7

Souderton 2 2 0—4

First-period goals: Seth Grossman (S) from Rodney Reiff and Tim Alexander, 7:26; Andrew Falkenstein (P) unassisted, 9:41; Liam O’ Neill (S) from Matt Malagna, 12:10.

Second-period goals: Logan Doyle (P) from Justin Marlin, 1:20; Grossman (S) from Jamie Avaria O’ Keefe, 5:05 (sh); Evan Eisler (P) from Eddie Bossler, 6:33; Alexander (S) unassisted, 8:42. 

Third-period goals: Reece Millman (P) from Shane Siegmund and Brendan MacAinsh, 3:01; Connor Coyne (P) unassisted, 5:50; Jake McCaw (P) from Reese Picker, second assist unavailable, 11:55; Eric Eisler (P) from Colin Michalak and Bossler, 15:30.

Shots; Pennsbury 38, Souderton 20; Saves: Marek Jorgenson (P) 16, Noah Connor (S) 31

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