Abington Using Win over Truman to Launch Playoff Push

          Abington 6, Truman 1

  The postseason doesn’t officially begin for another week and a half but Abington has already adopted a playoff mindset. The Galloping Ghosts are in a stretch that wills see than play four games in a span of 10 days. The results will determine not only their status for the SHSHL American Division playoffs but perhaps earn them a place on the Class AA Flyers Cup bracket,

The first step in the process took place Wednesday night as Abington scored a 6-1 decision over Truman at the Bucks County Ice Sports Center.

Griffin Carpenter scored twice and four other players added one goal each as Abington improved its record to 6-3

“Tonight’s game started Monday night,” said Abington coach Ken Brzozowski. “We had an outstanding practice. We knew that we had four games coming up, games we know that we can compete in. We had an outstanding practice and that transferred into tonight. They did everything that I asked them to do.”

The Galloping Ghosts were forced off the ice for a time earlier this year because of Covid issues. But the team made the most of the down time,

“We got shut down for 10 days,” Brzozowski said. “we got together, we watched some game film over Zoom. I think that helps as well, whenever the kid can see themselves on the ice, and then come to practice and try to fix those things, as simple as they may be, I think paid dividends tonight.”

Senior Defenseman Holden Brooker said the Monday practice helped he and his teammates get their skates back under them following the layoff.

“We didn’t have a game for one week and we were looking a little sluggish,” he said. That practice definitely helped us out a little bit. It definitely got us moving tonight and hopefully we can do that our next game too.”

With three games remaining in the regular season, the Galloping Ghosts still have hopes of a Flyers Cup invitation; despite the fact they are competing the SHSHL’s American Division they are classified as a Class AA team for Flyers Cup purposes. 

“I can’t remember the last time we were in the Flyers Cup,” Brooker said. “it would be great, it would keep (our) spirits up. We’ll try to do the best we can.”

• The SHSHL playoffs will be contested the week of March 29. Four American Division teams and six National/Continental teams will qualify and play for separate championships.

Truman 0 1 0—1

Abington 1 3 2—6

First-period goals: Colin Bruton (A) from Ian Heydt, 10:47

Second-period goals: Ian Heydt (A) from Nick Kleinwski and Jordan Heydt, :25; Jarrett Wolf (T) from James Gallagher and Jeremy McCartney, 2:28; Griffin Carpenter (A) from Joe Stelacio, 8:38; Sam Pavlik (A) from Stelacio, 10:59

Third-period goals: Carpenter (A) unassisted, 1:40; Sean Faye (A) from Pavlik and Ian Heydt, 7:59 (pp)

Shots: Truman 19, Abington 46; Saves: Connor Pilla (T) 40, Sam Nemec (A) 18

Plymouth Whitemarsh 9, Truman 0

HATFIELD— Every goaltender, at every level of hockey, starts a game hoping for a shutout. Kolton Galie archived that ambition Thursday night. The Plymouth Whitemarsh junior stopped 15 shots as the Colonials downed Truman 9-0 in a Suburban High School Hockey League American Division matchup at Ice Line.
It was the first shutout of Galie’s high-school career.

“It’s really nice,” he said. “They had a few nice shots on us and it felt really nice to be able to come out there and save them and our defense really put in the effort to keep the puck out of the front of our net.”

One observer who was particularly impressed with Galie’s performance was Truman coach Bill Keyser, who took it all in from his post behind the bench.

“(Plymouth Whitemarsh) played for their goalie tonight,” he said. “They played in front of him, the blocked shots for him, and they maintained the puck. They played really well today,”

Despite Tigers’ low shot total, Galie worked hard. At least half a dozen saves required maximum effort, notably on odd-man rushes. His best save of the night came when he denied James Gallagher on a breakaway 75 seconds into the third period to keep Truman (3-6 overall and in the division) off the scoreboard.

The Colonials (6-4, 5-4 in divisional play) dominated play from the start and recorded 36 shots themselves. Like many a goaltender elsewhere, Galie likes to stay busy.

“Of course, the less shots the better,” he said. “But then, when they do get a breakaway, I’m not warmed up enough to be able to it as quickly as I would with 30 or so shots.

The Colonials scored three goals in each period. Matthew Flynn finished with a hat trick and added an assist. Luke Weikel contributed two goals and four assists. Thomas Corcoran, Jack MIshkin, Aidan Keough, and John Cubbin scored one goal each.

“I think every line contributed,” said Colonial coach Josh Aiello. “Our offense played well, our defensemen made sure they covered, and adjusted to the two-on-ones and three-on-twos.

“And our goalie really played outstanding. It was Kolton Galie’s first career shutout at the high-school level. I’m just so proud of how. He’s really just getting stronger and stronger as the season goes on.”

Keyser was pleased with his own team’s effort. “My kids didn’t back down at all,” he said. “They worked hard. We had a couple injuries on the bench and running with a light bench, sometimes that can hurt you a little bit.”

Truman 0 0 0—0
Plymouth Whitemarsh 3 3 3—9
First-period goals: Luke Weikerl (PW) from Matthew Flynn, 3:48; Flynn (PW) from Weikel, 12:41; Thomas Corcoran (PW) from Zach Spera, 14:10
Second-period goals: Aidan Keogh (PW) from Weikel, :37 (pp); Jack MIshkin (PW) from Weikel, 5:49; Flynn (Pw) from Weikel and MIshkin, 11:56 (pp)
Third-period goals: Flynn (PW) unassisted, 2:08; John Cubbin (PW) from Weikel and Keogh, 5:53 (pp); Weikel (Pw) from Corcoran, 15:22
Shots; Truman 15, Plymouth Whitemarsh 36; Saves: Connor PIlla (T) 27, Kolton Galie (PW) 15

Updated Playoff Schedule

Wednesday, February 26

4:00 APAC Founders Cup Final: La Salle vs Holy Ghost Prep at Grundy Arena

At Hatfield Ice

6:30 SHSHL Class AA Semifinal C.B. South vs. Neshaminy

8:30 SHSHL Class AA Semifinal North Penn vs C.R. South

At Revolution Ice Gardens

7:20 SHSHL Class A Semifinal Plymouth Whitemarsh vs. Truman

9:00 SHSHL Class A Semifinal Hatboro-Horsham vs. Wissahickon

Thursday, February 27

6:30 SHSHL Class AA Final at Hatfield Ice

8:30 SHSHL Class A Final at Hatfield Ice

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Wissahickon 14, Truman 4

The Evening was About Much More than the Result

HATFIELD—The outcome of Wednesday’s Suburban High School Hockey League American Division game between Truman and Wissahickon was never in doubt. The Trojans scored eight goals in the first period and went on to a 14-4 win at Hatfield Ice in a game that was halted with 6:09 left in the third period via the 10-goal mercy rule.

There was a much deeper meaning to the evening however than the final result. What mattered most is that the young men wearing the Truman colors of old gold and back were getting the opportunity to play hockey and to do so representing their school.

The Tigers are winless in 12 starts this season. But their passion for the game of hockey remains, harkening back to a time when today’s players’ parents may not have been born, a time when players seized every opportunity they could to satisfy their craving for the sport.

The Truman roster includes 12 players and a goaltender, six of whom have experience playing travel hockey. Only one of the 13 rostered players is a senior.

On Wednesday night goaltender Connor Pilla was on hand, supported by just eight skaters. But the Tigers battled on, as they have all season.

Truman is coached by Bill Keyser, who takes a back seat to no one when it comes to having a passion for hockey. Now, he concentrates on helping his players nurture their own passion for the sport and is proud of fact that his players have bonded despite being overmatched on most nights.

“They all come together,” he said. “They like each other. They come out and they play for me and I’m not going to be a coach that’s going to be on them. I want to make sure they come and have fun, and I try to make it fun for them every game, Even though we lose, I try to make it their team.”

To that end, Keyser allows his team considerable input into the decision-making process. ‘I think by allowing them to feel like it’s their team they have more responsibility,” he said. “They want to become something.”

Pilla is in a unique situation. A freshman, he played B Division middle school hockey last year. Now he is facing shots from players who may be three or four years older than himself; on Wednesday he faced 45 of them in just under 42 minutes of playing time.

Had Pilla not accepted the challenge of stepping into the varsity nets Truman would not have been eligible to compete in the SHSHL this season. League rules require purity, i.e. that all players attend the school they represent. In fact, Keyser readily admits that without Pilla the Tigers would not be able to field a team at all.

“We’re putting him in an environment that really, he shouldn’t be in,” Keyser said. “But he’s able to take the challenge he steps himself up, an d gave us a chance to put a team in and still be a varsity team. Without him, we wouldn’t have been able to make this possible.”

Ice Chips—Bryan Gary scored eight goals and added five assists for the Trojans, who improved to 8-6 overall and 6-4 in divisional play … Wissahickon goaltender Chris Shea, a junior, is a lacrosse goalkeeper who was persuaded to give hockey a try. Without him, the Trojans likely would also have had difficulty fielding a pure team this season.
Truman 3 1 0—4
Wissahickon 8 3 3—14
First-period goals: Bryan Gary (W) unassisted, :13; Gary (W) from Will Hussa,1:04; Nicholas Hussa (W) from Gary, 2:51; Jeremy McCartney (T) unassisted, 3:00; Gary (W) unassisted, 3:38; Samuel Junker (W) from Gary, 8:01 (pp); Aidan Kinniry (T) from Robert DiCrosta and McCartney, 8:58; Gary (W) unassisted, 9:31; Gary (W) unassisted, 12:37; McCartney (T) unassisted, 13:49; N. Hussa (W) from Gary, 14:00 (sh).
Second-period goals: N. Hussa (W) unassisted, 7:47; Gary (W) from N. Hussa, 10:34; N. Hussa W) from Gary, 11:50 (sh); James Gallagher (T) unassisted, 13:54.
Third-period goals: N. Hussa (W) from Gary, 4:08; Gallagher (T) from McCartney, 5:47; Gary (W) unassisted, 6:07; N. Hussa (W) from Alex Carrozza, 4:48; Gary (W) from N. Hussa, 8:51.
Game Called at 8:51 of the third period.
Shots; Truman 28, Wissahickon 45; Saves: Connor Pilla (T) 31, Chris Shea (W) 24

Truman 2, Council Rock North 2

WARWICK—Truman and Council Rock South had the distinction of opening the Suburban High School Hockey League National Division season against each other Wednesday night.

The result may end being a window into the future, a 2-2 standoff at Revolution Ice Gardens that saw Steven Avellino (Truman) and Logan Hurwitz (South) score two goals each.

For most of the evening the teams battled on even terms.

Avellino scored got the scoring started for the Tigers after just 91 seconds. The goal was a sign that a Truman team that has spent a lot of time skating uphill in recent seasons, particularly late in games, was looking for something more on this occasion.

“I thought that was going to give us a lot of momentum,” Avellino said. “I thought we were going to take the game after that.”

Logan Hurwitz got on the board for South at the 4:35 mark and the game remained deadlocked until the 4:35 mark of the second period when Avellinio beat South goaltender Brett Magloff on a rebound of Robert Dicrostra’s original shot. Hurwitz retied the game just 12 seconds later off a feed from Billy Harrelson and the game ended without further scoring.
Both coaches had things to feel good about after the game. Colin Murphy was behind the South bench in place of Joe Houk who was tending to family related Halloween matters.

“As of right now, our first line all played varsity last year,” Murphy said. “I love seeing them step up into those leadership positions and taking command.

“Tonight, I actually didn’t have to say much. They brought things up to the younger players and led by example.

Truman coach Bill Keyser lauded the work of Jeremy Wedul, his senior goaltender, who finished with 19 saves.

“Jeremy is a come-out-of-the-net-and-and-challenge-the-shooter goalie,” Keyser said. “He is sound in net, we have a lot of confidence in him, and with the confidence he beings to us in the net, they’re able to bring it out on the ice and play better, knowing they’ve got a good goalie behind them.”

Magloff stopped 22 of 24 shots at the other end.

By Rick Woelfel

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Truman 1 1 0—2

C.R. South 1 1 0—2

First-period goals: Steven Avellino (T) from Zackary Keyser, 1:31; Logan Hurwitz (CRS) from Billy Harrelson, 4:35.

Second-period goals: Avellino (T) from Robert Dicrosta (T) and Decklyn Dailey, 4:12; Hurwitz (CRS) from Harrelson and John Hearn, 4:24.

Shots: Truman 24, CRS 21; Saves: Jeremy Wedul (T) 19, Brett Magloff (CRS) 22.

Records: Truman (0-0-1); Council Rock South (0-0-1)