By Ben Reese
HATFIELD — Shane Dachowski is one of the returnees from Pennridge’s 2022 state championship ice hockey team.
He’s one of the leaders of the team, someone that is counted on to come up big in big games. That certainly happened on Wednesday night at Hatfield Ice against Central Bucks South.
Dachowski scored three goals and added a pair of assists to lead the Rams to a 7-2 victory over the Titans. It was just what Pennridge needed.
“I think he’s struggled at times this year,” Ram coach Jeff Montagna said of Dachowski. “When he’s going like he was tonight, you give him an inch and the puck ends up in the back of the net.
“He’s a special goal scorer. He’s a great finisher out there across the board offensively.”
He certainly was in the middle of a huge upsurge in the Pennridge offense in the second period. The Rams scored four goals in the period and Dachowski had three of them.
All in all, it was a very aggressive game both offensively and defensively for Pennridge. The Rams came out firing on all cylinders in the first period and kept it up until the final buzzer.
“That was our plan,” said Dachowski. “We weren’t supposed to let them have any space at all.
“We know how they play. We have certain people we have to lock down on their team, and we did that tonight.”
It was also a continuation of the way the Rams have been playing recently. They have now won four in a row against four very good hockey teams.
“I think something clicked in the Holy Ghost game with us,” Montagna said of his team’s 7-3 non-league loss to the Firebirds on Dec. 21. “That’s three games with good teams where we have finally started to find out who we are.
“It took some time this year but they’re really starting to click. The top line is always going to be the one to put the puck in the net, but I thought all the lines played well tonight.”
The Rams got some help from South; however. The Titans didn’t look like the team that has dominated in the past.
“It started from the beginning,” said CB South coach Shaun McGinty. “We didn’t have heart; we didn’t come out ready to play.
“You can’t do that against that type of team. There was a lack of effort on everyone’s part.
“This game was a good game for us to come out and show what we can do. But the effort tonight, they can’t play this way for the rest of the season, and they can’t play this way in the playoffs.
“(Pennridge) played well and got the advantage on us and we weren’t resilient. We’ve got to figure out a way to reload.”
Montagna was aware of what was going on. He realized that South wasn’t going after his team as it has in the past.
“We know they come out strong,” he said. “If you get a lead on them, it’s a different team.
“They’re not built to come back against you. It’s not a knock on them. We put our foot on their throat in the second period and put the game away which was really big.”
Ah, yes, that second period.
Let’s set the scene.
In the opening period, Pennridge put two goals on the board. Tyler Manto got the first one with an assist going to Dachowski and Andrew Lizak netted the second on a breakaway with a pass from Dachowski.
The Titans came out in the second period and got going early. Aydin Thierolf beat Ram goalie Jacob Winton with only 2:26 gone in the period to slice Pennridge’s lead to one goal.
But then Dachowki got going. He scored a power play goal at the 5:09 mark and then, 14 seconds later, scored another goal to boost the lead to 4-1.
He wasn’t finished. He completed his hat trick with a short-handed goal at 9:25 before Andrew Savona made it 6-1 at 12:04.
In that period alone, Pennridge outshot CB South 19-8. For the first two periods, they outshot the Titans 31-18.
“We got some lucky bounces, and we didn’t miss,” said Dachowski. “This was a really important one.”
The two teams traded goals in the third. South got a power play tally from Aidan Linso and Lizak notched his second goal for the Rams.
Montagna had some praise for his goalie, Jacob Winton.
“I thought this was the best game he’s played,” Montagna said. “He was in control, very confident in net. He was really good tonight.”
Add that to the aggressive way his skaters played, and the Rams are rolling in the right direction.
Pennridge 7, CB South 2
Pennridge 2 4 1 — 7
CB South 0 1 1 — 2
First period: 1, Tyler Manto P (Shane Dachowski) 5:06; 2, Andrew Lizak P (S. Dachowski) 16:20.
Second period: 3, Aydin Thierolf CBS (DJ Lindenmuth, Colin Mendham) 2:26; 4, S. Dachowski P (Colin Dachowski, Kevin Pico) 5:09 PP; 5, S. Dachowski P (Andrew Savona) 5:23; 6, S. Dachowski P (Pico) 9:25 SH; 7, Savona P (Ian Brouse) 12:04.]
Third period: 8, Aidan Linso CBS (Sean Cutter, Ryan Frey) 6:59 PP; 9, Lizak P (unassisted) 9:06.
Shots: P 39, CBS 31.
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