2011 Rink 'Rap (Vol. 8)

By Scott Huff 

Council Rock North (5-8-2, 12) has made a steady climb up the Suburban High School Hockey League standings during the course of the 2010-2011 season.
“At the beginning of the season, we were struggling to get in the (SHSHL) playoffs,” said CR North head coach Eric Tye as the Indians appear to have at the very least a number eight locked up. “But right now, if we can win some games, we can be a six, five, or even a four seed.
“It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that you want to avoid the seven or eight seed,” added Tye. “You really don’t want to face (Council Rock) South or (Central Bucks) East in the first round.”
Tye credits the development of his three lines in the Indians’ recent improvement in the standings.
“All three lines have played really well together,” said Tye. “And that has happened just recently.”
The No. 1 Indian line consists of Michael Shander, Bobby Dumont, and AJ Garboski, while the No. 2 line is composed of Alec Greenhaigh, Tim Kroh, and Sam Kroh. The No. 3 line is John Humes, Griffen Healy, and Mark Dwyer.
“Michael is a true goal scorer, Bobby has a great deal of hockey smarts, and AJ is one tough hockey player,” said Tye. “And Alec has been maybe our best player the last three or four weeks. And the Kroh brothers are very fast skaters.”
Tye gave props to his quintet of defensemen – Mark McDonald, Josh Gregov, Eric Ceslak, Harrison Pitts, and Jim McKensie.
Hayden Richards and Michael Lieninger have both appeared in goal in recent outings.
“I feel that I have two goalies I can trust,” said Tye. “We have been practicing hard, and we know what we have at stake this week.”
One of those huge CR North games comes on Thursday when the Indians meet Neshaminy (4-6-5, 13) at the Warwick Ice Arena at 6:50 pm.
“If we want to beat the better teams, we are going to have to stay out of the penalty box,” said Neshaminy head coach Ray Sherno. “We need to play with a lot of energy, but we have to play smart.”
One player that has emerged as a scoring force in the SHSHL is DJ Bell. Bell is the third leading scorer in the National Conference with 24 goals and 20 assists for 44 points.
“Last year, DJ wasn’t a scorer but a more defensive minded player,” said Sherno. “And I think that has helped him develop into a much more well rounded player.
“Bell and (Jordan) Ducko play extremely well together,” added Sherno of Bell’s line mate. “They seem to just find each other on the ice.”
Sherno also noted the fine play of defensemen Jake Kitchenman, Nick Sweeney, and Nick Verdi.
The Redskins have recorded the most ties of any team in the SHHSL with five. One of those deadlocks was a 2-2 contest with Rock North earlier in the year.
“We have to find a way to turn those ties into victories,” said Sherno.
Crusaders vs. Hatters – The Rematch
Lansdale Catholic (6-4-0, 12) had its shot at first in the SHSHL American Division, but the undermanned Crusaders lost to Hatboro-Horsham (7-2-1, 15) – 4-2 – in a game played last week at the Bucks County Ice Sports Center.
These two division heavyweights will have a rematch this Friday at Hatfield Ice.
“We were missing a few important players, and we’re hoping for a much different result,” said Lansdale Catholic head coach Mark DiDonato. “But we still could have fought through that adversity,”
Missing for LC was high-scoring Nick Sette – the second leading scorer in the division - who was away with his club team the Hatfield Ice Dogs. The ‘Dogs’ wereplaying in a tournament in Lake Placid, New York.
“I won’t complain, it was the one major conflict that we had on the schedule,” said DiDonato. “It was a shame that it came in such a big game.
“With Nick gone, we had to shuffle all the lines,” added DiDonato. “And you lose a lot of continuity.”
The HH-LC battle for first place, though, was not decided until the final period.
Hatboro-Horsham took an early lead on a goal by Kelsey Koelzer, but the Crusaders countered with a goal by Brendan Curtis.
The Hatters regained the lead in the second period on a goal by Koelzer, but again LC countered with a goal by Joe Ponticelio.
Hatboro-Horsham scored two more second period goals to ice the win. Both Evan Wrenn and Tim Boyle scored for the Hatters.
The third period was scoreless.
“The game with Hatboro-Horsham this week is a very big game for us,” said DiDonato. “To play a good team like them back-to-back like this is exciting.”
Clash of the Titans & Knights
Central Bucks South (8-5-2, 18) and North Penn (7-4-4, 18) will face off in a critical SHSHL Continental Division game on Friday at the Warwick Ice Arena at 8:30 pm.
On the line will be a second place spot in the division standings and the No. 4 slot in the upcoming SHSHL Class AA playoffs. A loss is third place in the division standings and a No. 5 spot in the playoffs.
CB South prepped for its showdown with North Penn with a 6-2 division win over Central Bucks West (1-14-0, 2) last week in a game played at Hatfield Ice.
The Titans were led in scoring by Jimmy Milanesi and Dominic Dicenso who scored a pair of goals each. Connor Bechtel and Tim Dirugeris scored solo goals for CBS.
The Bucks scored single goals in the first and second period. Seamus Mclaughlin and Nick Moffett were the goal scorers for West.
Goal tender Matt Mcgarvey had 23 saves for the Titans, while goalie Justin Angelo recorded 25 saves for the Bucks.
‘If’ the SHSHL playoffs began today
Class AA
(1) Council Rock South vs. (8) Council Rock North
(2) Central Bucks East vs. (7) Neshaminy
(3) Pennsbury vs. (6) William Tennent
(4) North Penn vs. (5) Central Bucks South
Class A
(1) Hatboro-Horsham vs. (4) Wissahickon
(2) Upper Dublin vs. (3) Lansdale Catholic
SHSHL “Fab Four Scorers”
National Division
       (1) Ken McCormick – Pennsbury – 42-28-70
       (2) Patrick Grilli – Council Rock South – 34-25-59
       (3) DJ Bell – Neshaminy – 24-20-44
       (4) Mike Hlatky – Council Rock South – 15-28-43
Continental Division
       (1) Jim McKelvie – North Penn – 18-23-41
       (2) Tom Schloendorn – CB East – 13-23-36
       (3) Austin Cinalli – CB East – 17-13-30
       (4) Matt Brown – Pennridge – 14-13-27
American Division
       (1) Brian Markman – Upper Dublin – 34-16-50
       (2) Nick Sette – Lansdale Catholic – 17-18-35
       (3) Samuel Etskovitz – Upper Dublin – 17-18-35
       (4) Tyler Peskin – Upper Dublin – 14-17-31
“On Ice” this week in the SHSHL
Thursday – January 27, 2011
Council Rock North vs. Neshaminy @ Warwick Ice Arena – 6:50 pm
William Tennent vs. Council Rock South @ Bucks County Ice Sports Center – 7 pm
Souderton vs. Central Bucks West @ Hatfield Ice – 7:20 pm
Friday – January 28, 2011
Council Rock North vs. Souderton @ Warwick Ice Arena – 6:50 pm
Hatboro-Horsham vs. Lansdale Catholic @ Hatfield Ice – 7:20 pm
Central Bucks South vs. North Penn @ Warwick Ice Arena – 8:30 pm
Suburban One Sports.com * Great Eight*
1. Council Rock South Golden Hawks
2. Central Bucks East Patriots
3. Pennsbury Falcons
4. North Penn Knights
5. Central Bucks South Titans
6. Hatboro-Horsham Hatters
7. Upper Dublin Flying Cardinals
8. Lansdale Catholic Crusaders