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.”
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