Council Rock South 4 Pennsbury 2

BRISTOL—The defense never rested. And at evening’s end, Council Rock South was rewarded for its defensive work with a 4-2 win over Pennsbury in the SHSHL National Division championship game before a packed house at Grundy Arena.

Thursday’s win gave the top-seeded Golden Hawks (17-1-0-1) the third SHSHL title in their history. The previous two came in 2010 and 2020.

Third-seeded Pennsbury fell to 14-6. Three of the Falcons’ defeats have been at the hands of the Hawks.

Not that the victors had an easy time of it. The game plan was to contain the Falcons’ Brendan Macainsh, who came into the game with 38 goals. He finished with two more but the Hawks were able to neutralize the Falcons’ high-flying attack to come extent; many of Pennsbury’s shot attempts were from long range or outside the faceoff dots; the Falcons finished with just 22 shots on goal to South’s 40.

The Hawks congratulate each other after Thursday’s 4-2 over Pennsbury for the SHSHL NAtional Division title

Hawks’ netminder Carson Lopez was in good form, but got plenty of help from his blue-line corps.

“(Pennsbury) likes to stretch the ice out a lot,” Lopez said, “So, about halfway through the game, we told our defense ‘Enough with the pinch and start backing off. Play in the neutral zone.’ And it worked.”

South defenseman and captain Kevin Koles said the key to the win involved giving the Falcons and Macainsh as few opportunities as possible.

“Limiting them to (22) shots was very crucial,” he said. “We had to stop one of their best players. They obviously played him a lot and we locked him down. He only had two goals on us.

Pennsbury coach Ryan Daley noted his team needed more chances than it got.

“We only had 22 shots,” he pointed out, “And we’re used to putting 15 a period up. “They played us very, very well. But, we didn’t quit.”

Chase Trovsky scored a pair of first-period goals to give the Hawks a 2-0 lead after the first frame.

It appeared a clock malfunction might have cost South a third goal.  A scramble in the Falcons crease was in progress in the waning seconds of the period and the puck wound up in the net but the buzzer failed to sound. After a lengthy consultation, the goal was disallowed.

Joseph Weston extended South’ lead with a goal at the 8:02 mark of the second period.

Macainsh got Pennsbury on the board with 3:42 left in the middle period when his shot from the deep right-wing corner caught Lopez by surprise.

Macainsh briefly made it a one-goal game 5:20 into the third period when he scored a power-play goal after the Hawks were caught with too many men on the ice.

It took Blaize Pepe just 48 seconds to respond for the Hawks however and Lopez was impregnable the rest of the way.

Koles said he and his teammates knew how dangerous the Falcons were after Pennsbury scored eight goals against Pennridge on Wednesday in the semifinals.

“We heard about what happened yesterday,” he said, “and how they beat Pennridge. So, we knew what we had to do coming into the game, and that’s what we did.”

Ice chips—Both teams will be back at Grundy Arena on Tuesday for first-round Class AA Flyers Cup games. The top-seeded Hawks will face number-16 Spring Ford at 8:15 while the fifth-seeded Falcons will face number-12 Abington at 6:15.

Pennsbury 0 1 1_2

C.R. South 2 1 1—4

First-period goals: Chase Tovsky (CRS) from Blaize Pepe, 8:03; Tovsky (CRS) from Kevin Koles and Pepe, 16:37;

Second-period goals: Jonah Weston (CRN) from Bobby Gilbert and James Diiulio, 8:02; Brendan Macainsh (P) unassisted, 13:18

Third-period goals: Macainsh (P) from Chris Sarvere, 5:20; Pepe (CRS) unassisted, 6:08

Shots: Pennsbury 22. Council Rock South 35; Saves: Aaron McDaniel (P) 31; Carson Lopez (CRS) 20

SHSHL Concluding 50th Season

Thursday night’s SHSHL National Division final between Council Rock South and Pennsbury brings down the season on the SHSHL’s 50th season.

High school hockey has evolved substantially over the past half century. But Kenny Haas, who has been involved with the SHSHL for over two decades as a coach, referee, referee assigner, scheduler, and now as the SHSHL’s commissioner, note that some constants remain.

“For us, it’s all about the students.” he said. “It’s about having the students be good kids in the classroom. Attend class regularly and get good grades.”

For much of its history, the SHSHL had a reputation for pugnaciousness on the ice but that mindset has faded away in recent years.

“To me the most important thing and you see it more and more every year, is the discipline I see on the ice,” Haas said.

“We can count on one hand how many major penalties we had this year and that’s just so far above what happened in the 70s and 80s, and 90s.”

While the SHSHL and USA Hockey have strengthened rules designed to prevent misbehavior in recent seasons, Haas says the bulk of the credit for the new mindset belongs to the league’s coaches.

“Our coaches are outstanding,” he said. “High school hockey is very friendly for the family. We have some of the best coaches in the Delaware Valley. Really, hats off to the coaches, it really comes down to them.

“Our coaches have been around longer than me.”

SHSHL National Division Semifinals

Pennsbury 8, Pennridge 5—Brendan Macainsh scored four goals and assisted on a fifth as the Falcons downed the Rams Wednesday night at Hatfield Ice to earn a place in Thursday’s National Division championship game.

Andrew Falkestein scored twice for third-seeded Pennsbury (14-5). Ustin Marlin and Shane Gleisner also scored Pennsbury goals.

Shane Dachowski scored twice for second-seeded Pennridge. Dane Fichett, Josh Kellym and Andrew Savona also scored for the Rams (13-5)

Pennridge, the second seed in the Class AA Flyers Cup, will face 15th-seeded Lower Merion Tuesday night in a first-round game (8:15 at Hatfield Ice. Pennsbury, the fifth seed, will face 12th-seeded Abington at 6:15 the same evening at Grundy

Pennsbury 3 4 1—8

Pennridge 2 1 2—5

Council Rock South 8, Neshaminy 2—The Golden Hawks overcame an early 1-0 deficit to down the ‘Skins Wednesday night in semifinal game at Grundy Arena.
James Diiulio, Kevin Koles, and Blaize Pepe all scored twice for the top-seeded Hawks (16-1-0-1), who will face Pennsbury Thursday night for the division championship (7:20 at Grundy Arena). Nolan Geria scored both goals for fourth-seeded Neshaminy (12-6-1-0)

Neshamiy 11 0—2

C.R. South 3 2 3—8

Hockey Playoff Update

Here’s a look at the remaining SHSHL and APAC playoff schedule

Wednesday, March 1

APAC-Founders Cup Championship Game

La Salle vs. Holy Ghost Prep 4 pm at Hatfield Ice

SHSHL American Division Championship Game

Abington vs. Plymouth Whitemarsh  7:20 Hatfield Ice

SHSHL National Division Semifinals

Council Rick South vs. Neshaminy 7:20 at Grundy

Pennridge vs. Pennsbury 8:30 at Hatfield Ice

Thursday, March 2

SHSHL National Division Championship Game 7:20

Highest seeded finalist will host

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

SHSHL National Division Quarterfinals

Pennsbury 6, Central Bucks East 4—Brendan Macainsh scored three goals in a span of 3 minutes, 51 seconds later in the first period and the third-seeded Falcons went on to the win over the sixth-seeded Patriots Wednesday night at Grundy Arena.

Justin Marlin, Shane Gleisner, and Chris Sarver also scored for the Falcons, who will face second-seeded Pennridge in next Wednesday’s semifinals.

Corey Kosick, Carter Keiser, Stephen DiRugeris, and Patrick O’Brien scored goals for the Patriots.

Both teams will learn their Flyers Cup fate on Sunday when the field for the Class AA bracket is announced.

Neshaminy 6, Central Bucks South 3—Max Gallagher delivered a hat trick and assisted on another goal as the fourth-seeded ‘Skins bested the fifth-seeded Titans Wednesday night at Grundy Arena. Nolan Geria had a four-point night for Neshaminy, contributing two goals and two assists, while Jacob Adami also scored a goal for Neshaminy, which at one point in the third period had a 5-0 lead.

Cory Hemberger got the win in goal.

Matt Crouch, Sean Cutter, and Ryan Frey scored for the Titans.

Neshaminy will face top-seeded Council Rock South in next Wednesday’s semifinals

Both teams will learn Sunday night where they will be seeded for the Class AA Flyers Cup.

SHSHL Playoff Preview

Wednesday, February 22

National Division at Grundy Arena

Central Bucks East vs. Pennsbury 7:20


Coach Ryan Daley

Record: 12-5, 8-2 in divisional play seed 3

Key players:

Brendan Macainsh 31 goals, 17 assists 48 points

Andrew Falkenstein 6 goals, 22 assists, 28 points

Justin Marlin 14 goals, 13 assists, 27 points

Central Bucks East

Coach: Jeff Mitchell

Record: 8-8-1-0, 4-5-1-0 in the division seed 6

Key players

Corey Kosick 18 goals, 10 assists, 28 points

Stephen DiRugueris  7 goals, 6 assists, 13 points

Matt Mangiacapre .910 save percentage, 3.40 GAA

This season

12-1 Pennsbury 6 C.B. East 3

12-21 Pennsbury 6 C.B. East 1

Neshaminy vs.  Central Bucks South 9:00


Coach: Matt DeMatteo

Record: 11-5-1-0,6-3-1-0 in the division; seed 4

Key players:

Max Gallagher 23 goals, 11 assists, 34 points

Nolan Geria 9 goals, 15 assists, 24 points

J.J. Hathaway 4 goals, 1 assist, 5 points

Central Bucks South

Coach: Shaun McGinty

Record: 9-7-0-1, 6-4 in the division; seed 5

Key players:

Aydin Thierolf 15 goals, 14 assists, 29 points

D.J.Lindenmuth 9 goals, 11 assists, 20 points

Colin Mendham 8 goals, 10 assists, 18 points

This season

12-1 Neshaminy 6 C.B. South 4

12-21 Neshaminy 2 C.B. South 1

Winners advance to semifinals on February 1 vs. # 1 Council Rock South and #2 Pennridge

American Division at Hatfield Ice

Plymouth Whitemarsh vs. Quakertown 8:45

Plymouth Whitemarsh

Coach : Dave Cox

Record: 11-6, 7-5 in divisional play seed 2

Key players:

Matt Flynn 26 goals, 20 assists 46 points

David Branigan 12 goals, 25 assists, 37 points

Chris Maslij  2.86 GAA


Coach: Keith Krem

Record: 10-4-1-1, 6-4-1-1 in divisional play seed 3

Key players:

Branden McNally 17 goals, 15 assists, 32 points

Will Shaw 12 goals, 12 assists, 24 points

Matt Krem 2.79 GAA

This season

12-7 PW 7 Quakertown 5

12-16 Quakertown 5 PW 2

1-25 PW 3 Quakertown 2

Winner advances to championship game on March 1 vs. #1 Abington

SHSHL Recap 2-20-23

Final Regular Season Standings

National Division         W      L      T   OTL  Pts

C.R. South (15-1-0-1)   9       0      0      1     19

X Pennridge (13-4)      8      2      0       0      16

Pennsbury (12-5)         7      2      0      0       14

Neshaminy (11-5-1)     6      3      1      0       13

C.B. South (9-7-0-1)    6       4      0      0      12

C.B. East (8-8-1)           4      5      1      0       9

C.R. North (5-10-1-1)    3     5      1     1       8

C.B. West (5-11-0-1)    3      6      0      1      7

Souderton (5-11-0-1)      3    7     0       0    6

Bensalem (3-13)           2       7      0      1      5

North Penn (5-10-1-1)    1     7      1      1     4

X Pennridge finishes second on the basis of having defeated Pennsbury in their second meeting, which was the game that counted in their divisional records

American Division                   W      L      T      OTL    Pts

Abington (15-0-1-1)                10       0     1        1      22

X Plymouth Whitemarsh (11-6) 7        5     0        0      14

Quakertown (10-4-1-1)           6        4    1        1       14

Wissahickon (9-7)                    6       6     0        0        12

Springfield (0-16)                     0      12     0      0           0

Plymouth Whitemarsh finishes second on the basis of having won the season series with Quakertown


National Division                G           A          Pts

Kevin Pico (Pr)                     24         25        49

Brendan Macainsh (Pb)     31         17        48

Andrew Savona (Pr)           16         22        38

Max Gallagher (Nesh)       23         11        34

Seth Grossman (Soud)      19          13        32

John Stinson (NP)               20         11        31

Shane Dachowski (Pr)       17         12         29

Aydin Thierolf (CBS)          15          14        29

Blaise Pepe (CRS)              12          16        28

Corey Kosick (CBE)            18          10        28

Andrew Falkenstein (Pb)   6           22        28

Jake Weiner (CRS)             19           8         27

Kevin Koles (CRS)              11           16        27

Alex Hood (Ben)                 21          6          27

American Division     G            A         Pts

Matthew Flynn (PW)   26          20           46

Matt Kramer (Ab)         26         19           45

David Branigan (PW)   12          25          37

Will Hussa (Wiss)          26         7            33

Ian Heydt (Ab)               13        20          33

Sam Abramson (Ab)       14         19        33

Sam Paulik (Ab)              18          14       32

Branden McNally (Q)     17         15        32

Danny Hussa (Wiss)      18         11         29

Pat Stelacio (Ab)            18        11         29

Dylan Novitski (PW)      15       12          27

Quakertown Primed for SHSHL Postseason

Four years encompasses the span of a high-school hockey player’s career. The past four years also encompass the history of the Quakertown hockey program.

The current edition of the Panthers first took the ice for the 2019-20 season. On Wednesday night, they will face off against Plymouth Whitemarsh in a SHSHL (8:45 at Hatfield Ice). The winner will face defending champion Abington for the division title next Wednesday, March 1.
The upcoming playoff game is a milestone for the program, but coach Keith Krem is happiest for the players.

“There’s guys on this team that have gotten to play four years, Including Krem’s son Matt),” he said. “They got to experience the rougher side of it, now they’re getting to see the success side of it. 

“It’s cool. In the high-school game, the kids transition through some really key years. You get to see them both as hockey players and human beings. That’s cool more than anything.”

Krem spoke to the goals he had when he launched the program.

“I think I wanted the kids to have success and be confident in the team they were on,” he said, “and more than anything, to be able to have fun representing the community. 

“We’re checking off all those boxes. The winning is a cool thing, but more than anything I wanted these guys to be able to represent the school and be proud of it That’s always been the goal and I think obviously, they’re doing that pretty well.”