SOL SHSHL Notebook (1-9-19)

This week’s notebook features CR South, CB South & PW and includes the scoring leaders in Class AA and A.

By Rick Woelfel

SHSHL National Division Snapshot:
CR South rounding into form -
The calendar says January, which means that Council Rock South, as usual around this time each season, is rounding into form. The Golden Hawks are 5-2-2 overall and sit atop the National Division with a 2-1-2 record for five points, a single point ahead of second-place Abington, which has a game in hand. The Hawks and the Galloping Ghosts played to a 4-4 tie back on December 19 in what will be their only meeting of the regular season.

South is 3-1-1 since Thanksgiving Eve and that single loss was to Father Judge, a Class AAA team.

Logan Hurwitz leads the Golden Hawks in scoring with seven goals and 12 assists for 19 points.

Injuries have been an issue at times for South this season and some players who under different circumstances would be playing junior varsity hockey are seeing varsity ice time.  Senior winger Andrew Stoychev had a goal and two assists during an important 5-1 win over Neshaminy last Wednesday. He says the younger players on the roster are fitting into the lineup, in part because the varsity and junior varsity teams practice together regularly.

“Both our teams work well together,” Stoychev said. “We saw what was happening with all the lines, we know how to play with each other, and we just make stuff work out.”

South coach Joe Houk feels the key to blending young players into a varsity lineup involves keeping things simple, and then asking the newcomers for a consistent performance on the ice.

“As long as you keep it simple and try not to do too much,” Houk said, “and I think that’s what they’re doing.”

The back end of the schedule will be demanding for the Golden Hawks. Their last six games include two meetings with Central Bucks South (one of which is a non-league game) and one each with Pennsbury, North Penn, William Tennent, and Pennridge.

SHSHL Continental Division Snapshot:
CB South getting defensive -
The matchup between North Penn and Central Bucks South last Thursday was everything that hockey enthusiasts could have wished for. The two teams skated to a 2-2 draw at Hatfield Ice. They remain deadlocked at the top of the Continental Division although the Titans (5-0-1 in league play) have a game in hand on the Knights (5-1-1).

As has been the case in recent seasons, the Titans, despite dealing with a number of injury issues, are setting the standard for the remaining Class AA teams in the SHSHL. Coming into a scheduled Wednesday matchup against Pennridge, South was undefeated in its last seven starts (6-0-1) after opening the season with two losses. Reis Braccio leads the team in scoring with 11 goals and 10 assists. Colin Abbonizio is second on the team in scoring with just two goals but nine assists for 11 points. But South traditionally displays a balanced lineup and this year is no exception; five other players have at least six points.

A major reason for the team’s success this winter has been its stinginess at the other end of the ice; over their last seven games, the Titans have surrendered just 12 goals.

Oscar Levin tended goal for South against North Penn. The senior starts the week with a save percentage of .888 (fifth best among all SHSHL netminders who have played the equivalent of four full games) and a goals-against average of 3.23 (seventh). He made 25 saves against North Penn, a number of them dangerous.

“I usually use (big saves) to make sure our team gets the confidence to make sure we get back into our business where we can get good, quality shots on net and make sure that we can get as many shots as possible,” Levin said.

Levin’s coach, Shaun McGinty, noted that this is the point in the season when the intensity level picks up.

“This is the time of year, and the kids know it, where we really just have to look forward to where we want to be in the standings,” he said. “The back end of our (schedule) is very top heavy, which is good.  We want to play the top-heavy teams heading into the playoffs. I see us hopefully fighting for one of the top spots come playoff time.”

SHSHL American Division Snapshot
PW finding its stride —Plymouth Whitemarsh comes into the week playing some very good hockey. The Colonials (7-3 overall, 4-3 in divisional play) had won four straight before dropping a 13-8 decision to Lower Moreland last Thursday. During that winning streak, they outscored their opponents 34-7.

“I think we really kind of took off offensively,” said Colonial coach Josh Aiello. “I think our team is starting to come together.”

Junior Dean Keller is leading the team in scoring with 13 goals and 18 assists for 31 points. Colin Franzoni has recorded 13 goals and eight assists for 21 points.  Jake Weikel has matched that total with a team-high 15 goals plus six assists, while Aidan Keogh has notched 11 goals and six assists for 17 points.

Plymouth Whitemarsh is also getting a good effort in goal from Ben Yuter, who is carrying a 4.25 goals-against average with a save percentage of .858.  Those are solid numbers in a division where teams are averaging nearly six-and-a-half goals per game.

Aiello, who played for Plymouth Whitemarsh himself, has a deep roster; the Colonials had 16 skaters in uniform last Thursday night and field full varsity, junior varsity, and middle-school teams.

They started the week in fourth place in the five-team American Division, six points behind pace-setting Wissahickon.

Leading Scorers Class AA

Team

GP

Goals

Assists

Points

Tyler Greenstein

NP

10

15

12

27

Nathan Oh

NP

10

10

14

24

Perry Carpenter

Ab

8

15

8

23

Steven Avellino

Tr

8

17

5

22

Reis Bracio

CBS

9

11

10

21

Eric Slater

Pr

7

17

4

21

Josh Kaufhold

NP

10

 6

14

20

John Gray

Soud

9

12

8

20

Logan Hurwitz

CRS

9

12

7

19

Bobby Matkus

WT

9

13

6

19

Jake Nelson  

NP

9

11

8

19

 

Leading Scorers Class A

Team

 GP

Goals

Assists

Points

Sean Gary

Wiss

8

22

15

37

Bryan Gary

Wiss

8

22

12

34

Dean Keller

PW

9

13

18

31

Vincent DeMaio

LM

9

16

14

30

Coleman Peppelman

LM

9

18

11

29

Colin Franzoni

PW

9

13

8

21

Jake Weikel

PW

9

15

6

21

Matt Cade

Wiss

8

10

11

21

Ari Nordlinger

UD

8

12

9

21

Devin Green  

LM

9

 8

12

20

Aidan Keogh

 PW

8

11

6

17