CR South looked the part of the SOL’s top team in its 8-1 win over Pennridge on Wednesday.
By Ben Reese
HATFIELD – When a team has only one loss on the season and is facing a team that has struggled, there could be some complacency on the part of the one-loss team.
The key word there is 'could.' And it is something that Council Rock South ice hockey coach Joe Houk won't allow on his team.
The Golden Hawks could have been complacent against Pennridge Wednesday night at Hatfield Ice. But instead they got themselves together to beat the Rams 8-1.
“We never come in with that mentality because if you come in with a bad attitude, the other team is going to pick up and come right at you,” said South senior Mitch Vaysman, who scored two goals.
“They're not going to stop because Council Rock South is coming up. Even if they're not a playoff team, their season is to beat us.
“Teams aren't looking toward the playoffs; they're looking one game at a time. 'Oh, Council Rock; let's take them down and show them who we are.' “
But Vaysman did agree that the Hawks started the game off slowly.
“We're usually a slow-starting team,” he said. “We have a lot of juniors and seniors; we're able to pick each other up.
“We know that if we want to be, at the end, holding that state championship (trophy) up, we've got to roll. I don't care how bad a team is or who we are playing, we've got to play as hard as we can.”
Houk acknowledged that his team had a slow start.
“We kind of changed things up a little bit because we were missing a couple kids and we brought some jayvee guys up,” the Golden Hawks’ coach said. “We ran four lines the entire game.
“You're coming down to the end of the season and we've got six games left,” he continued when asked about complacency. “And then you get into the playoffs against teams that are a pretty even keel with yourself and you've got to find a way.
“I even said to my coaches, 'Guys, we've got to make sure our energy level is a little bit higher.' We'll bounce back.”
With the kind of offense the Golden Hawks have, bouncing back shouldn't be a problem.
Vaysman scored twice and freshman Alex Drobot collected a hat trick for South. The three goals gave Drobot five in two games at Hatfield Ice.
“I like this rink,” Drobot said. “The last game we played (here) we only had nine players so I was out there every minute – got lots of ice time in that game.”
Council Rock South built up a 6-0 lead after two periods, scoring three goals in each of the first two stanzas. Vaysman scored his two goals in the first period, and Drobot got two of his three in the second.
Pennridge came back with its lone marker in the third on a goal from Jake Wexler, but the Golden Hawks finished off the game with two more including Drobot's third.
“I've got some guys who can really fly,” said Houk, “and we work on flow drills at practice. They really move the puck well.”
Jevon Fillette opened the scoring for South, taking a pass from Vaysman with 6:37 remaining in the first period. Vaysman took care of the next two markers, scoring off assists from Fillette and Jeff Frese with 5:57 left and again with 39.9 seconds left off an assist from Steve Bollendorf.
Then, in the second period, Drobot got into the act. He scored his first goal with 5:04 gone in the period with an assist going to Nick Keck.
Jared Hershman notched the fifth Golden Hawk goal with 9:04 left in the period with assists going to Tom Kozior and Paul Cloud. Drobot got his second goal with less than a half-minute remaining, taking a pass from Cloud, who got an assist from Kozior to score on the power play.
Pennridge got on the scoreboard with 5:22 gone in the third period. Wexler took off from his own zone and beat South goalie Andrew Depuy to make the score 6-1.
But the Hawks wouldn't be stopped. Kyle Walter scored an unassisted goal with 7:53 left in the period and Drobot finished off his hat trick at the 14:49 mark with assists from Walter and Keck.
“We work really hard as a team,” Vaysman said. “We have that next level that no one has.
“We are able to roll three lines. Even our jayvee players contribute. We can go four lines strong and probably beat any team in the league.”
So far, Council Rock South has done just that, with only one slip.
CR South 3 3 2 – 8
Pennridge 0 0 1 – 1
1. Jevon Fillette CRS (Mitch Vaysman) 6:31; 2. Vaysman CRS (Fillette, Jeff Frese) 5:57; 3. Vaysman CRS (Steve Bollendorf. Penalty: Vaysman CRS 13:13 high stick.
4. Alex Drobot CRS (Nick Keck) 10:56; 5. Jared Hershman CRS (Tom Kozior, Paul Cloud) 9:04; Drobot CRS (Cloud, Kozior) PP 27.8. Penalties: Aaron Crosson P 5:38 tripping; Leland Stockman P 2:17 slashing; Stockman P 2:17 unsportsmanlike conduct misconduct (10 minutes).
7. Jake Wexler P (unassisted) 10:38; 8. Kyle Walter CRS (unassisted) 7:53; 9. Drobot CRS (Walter, Keck) 1:11. Penalties: Walter CRS 13:09 tripping; Tyler Shagen P 8:45 roughing; Walter CRS 7:53 unsportsmanlike conduct; Vaysman CRS 19.1 roughing.
Shots on goal: CRS 33, P 13. Saves: Justin Houk CRS 6, Andrew Depuy CRS 7; Dustin Wexler P 25.