HATFIELD TOWNSHIP—For Seth Grossman, it was a night to remember. The Souderton senior tallied a career high six goals as the Big Red pulled away from Bensalem to record a 9-4 win Thursday Night in a SHSHL National Division non-league encounter at Hatfield Ice.
It was the first win for Souderton (2-5-0-1) in four games and their biggest offensive output of the season.
“I think it was just the fact that we knew we were missing some of our top guys tonight,” Grossman said. “We had to step up and rose to the challenge and we delivered that. People had to step up and they knew it and they stepped up.”
All told, the Big Red was minus seven regulars for one reason or another but Souderton coach Ryan Uchniat pointed out that those who were on hand stepped up when they had to.
“I think tonight being shorthanded, everybody was focused on what we had to do,” he said. “We executed and played the style we wanted to, disciplined. We wanted to play strong defensively. And we got offense from that.”
The game was competitive for most of two periods. Bensalem (2-5), which had just nine players in uniform (several were absent), battled the Big Red to a 3-3 standoff late in the second frame. But Grossman scored his second goal of the night with 3:42 left in the period and Timmy Alexander added a goal of his own 35 seconds later and Souderton went on to dominate the third period.
More to the point, Grossman dominated the third period; he found the back of the net four times. Through eight games he’s collected 12 goals plus eight assists for 20 points
There were some bright spots for the Owls. Alex Hood scored two goals and assisted on another, giving him 14 goals and three assists on the season.
But by the third period he and his teammates didn’t have a lot of gas left in the tank.
“We’re used to a short bench,” said Bensalem coach Jordan Roth. “We had our chances for sure, but all around, we didn’t play together as a team.”
Roth notes that team’s lack of numbers increases the necessity of doing the little things well.
“We face adversity every game,” he said. “There are a lot teams in the league where there are tryouts. We’re fortunate enough to be in the league and have nine players that show up every day and give it their best.
Ice Chips—Alexander scored twice for the Big Red while Noah Connor got the win in goal, making 20 saves before being replaced by Connor Paulus late in the third period. One of his saves came on Hood’s penalty shot in the second period. Gonzalez made 42 saves in the Bensalem net.
Bensalem 2 1 1—4
Souderton 1 4 4—9
First-period goals: Liam O’Neill (S) from Jamie Avaria and Drew Savarese, 3:25; Alex Hood (B) unassisted, 7:53; Cole Salayda (B) from Danny Mackley, 13:55.
Second-period goals: Seth Grossman (S) from Liam O’Neill, 6:51; Timmy Alexander (S) from Matt Malanga, 7:44 (pp); Matthew Rowan (B) from Hood and Mackely, 9:03; Grossman (S) from Malagna, 13:18; Alexander (S) unassisted, 13:53.
Third-period goals: Grossman (S) unassisted, 7:11; Grossman (S) from Liam O’Neill, 7:47; Grossman (S) from Luca Ferretti and Liam O’Neill, 9:29; Grossman (S) from Caiden O’Neill and Liam O’Neill, 12:44; Hood (B) from Rowan and Salayda, 14:19.
Shoots: Bensalem 29, Souderton 51; Saves: Ricky Gonzalez (B) 42, Noah Connor (S) 20 and Connor Paulus (S) 5