CB South edged North Penn in overtime in a battle of SHSHL powers to clinch the Continental Conference crown. Ben Reese recaps all the action. Check also the recaps from Wednesday’s action. (Neshaminy/Abington photos provided by Keith Clemens Photography.)
By Ben Reese
HATFIELD -- You couldn't have asked for a better way to end the season for the top two teams in the Continental Division of the Suburban High School Hockey League.
Both Central Bucks South and North Penn entered Thursday night's game at Hatfield Ice with perfect league records. The winner would win the division title and also finish as the top seed in the Class AA playoffs.
So what did they do?
The two teams finished in a tie after regulation, and the game ended seconds into overtime with the Titans on the top end of a 3-2 score.
Daniel Kvecher scored the game-winner with 1:12 gone in the five-minute overtime period after North Penn's Tony Tuozzo had tied the game with an unassisted goal in the third period.
"This was absolutely playoff hockey," said North Penn coach Kevin Vaitis. "Coming down to the end of the season, first place on the line, it's everything you want in a hockey game. I think we got to see that tonight."
South coach Shaun McGinty agreed.
"It was a good game," he said. "It was a great way to end the season.
"Going to OT is a lot of fun for the kids. It's great for high school hockey as well. We were fortunate to come out on top.
"(The schedule makers) know that certain teams are going to be good. It's nice to end it this way."
"North Penn and CB South are probably two of the powerhouse teams in the league," said Vaitis. "To play the last game of the regular season with first place on the line, I guess the guy doing the schedule did a pretty good job."
It was a tight-checking game with no quarter given by either side, but it was also a game with only a minimum of penalties.
Overtime is something new this season in the SHSHL. In the five-minute period, each team has only three skaters and a goalie with the first goal deciding the game.
While each team appeared to be tired, it was the Titans that dominated the overtime. They controlled the puck and kept it in their offensive zone.
South took three shots on goal, including Kvecher's scoring opportunity. North Penn got no shots in the overtime.
"Something we stress as a team is to just get it in the zone," South captain Colin Abbonizio said. "Once you get it in the zone, just keep it in there."
Which is exactly what the Titans did.
It was a tiring game for both sides.
"I think both teams were gassed," said McGinty. "We played sloppy."
McGinty's captain couldn't have agreed more.
"Of course we were exhausted, but in a games like that, you just have to push through," Abbonizio said. "You've got to give it your all.
"The way that I look at it is that if you give your all for those last couple of minutes, you have a couple of days to rest."
The Titans broke out of the gate quickly. Ryan Gingras gave South the lead with an unassisted goal at the 2:53 mark of the first period.
That was added to by Abbonizio with only 40 seconds gone in the second. His goal was also unassisted.
However, the Knights weren't out of it. Josh Kaufhold cut the Titans' lead in half at 4:59 of the second period on the power play.
Then Tuozzo knotted things up with his goal in the third. It was short-handed and set the stage for overtime where Kvecher ended it all.
"It was a well-played game by both teams," Vaitis said. "Nobody got a goal easily.
"You had to work for it the entire game. That's what you want coming into a game like this with playoffs beginning next week."
Speaking of the playoffs, they will begin on Monday, Feb. 24 with the Class AA quarterfinal games. CB South will be the No. 1 seed and will host Central Bucks West while North Penn as the second seed with host Pennsbury. The locations and times have not been set yet.
CB South 3, North Penn 2
North Penn 0 1 1 0 -- 2
CB South 1 1 0 1 -- 3
First period: 1, Ryan Gingras CBS (unassisted) 2:53.
Second period: 2, Colin Abbonizio CBS (unassisted); 3, Josh Kaufhold NP (Tyler Greenstein) 4:59 PP.
Third period: 4, Tony Tuozzo NP (unassisted) 5:34 SH.
Overtime: 5, Daniel Kvecher CBS (Abbonizio, Gingras) 1:12.
Shots: NP 23, CBS 31. Saves: Nick Ebbinghaus (NP) 28, Mason Moyer (CBS) 21.
COUNCIL ROCK SOUTH 4, NESHAMINY 3 (OT)
Michael Roby Jr’s overtime goal propelled the Golden Hawks, who captured the SHSHL National crown, to the dramatic win in a classic SHSHL battle on Thursday.
It was Roby who also put the Hawks on the scoreboard just over eight minutes into the second period after a scoreless opening period that saw the two teams combine for just 12 shots. Andrew Darling scored 20 seconds later, using assists from Matthew Constantini and Ben Mostoller. Neshaminy’s Joey DeMatteo (JJ Hathaway assist) cut the Hawks’ lead in half with a goal 10:40 into the period.
Matt Buchini’s goal five minutes into the third period with assists from DeMatteo and Nolan Geria evened the score 2-2, and the Redskins took their first lead when Robert Seewagen turned a Hathaway pass into a goal 9:08 into the period. Antil Autere’s power play goal (Roby/David Mueller assists) evened the score with four minutes remaining in regulation. The stage was set for OT.
Rock South goalie Jimmy Sweeney was credited with 31 saves in a winning effort, and Brian Nelson stopped 34 shots for the Redskins.
Council Rock South 0-2-1-1 4
Neshaminy 0-1-2-0 3
Shots: CRS 38, Neshaminy 34. Saves: Jimmy Sweeney (CRS) 31, Brian Nelson (N) 34.
First period: No score
Second period: 1, Michael Roby Jr CRS, 8:15; 2, Andrew Darling CRS (Matthew Constantini/Ben Mostoller) 8:35; 3, Joey DeMatteo N (JJ Hathaway) 10:40.
Third period: 4, Matt Buchinski N (Joey DeMatteo/Nolan Geria) 4:56; 5, Robert Seewagen N (JJ Hathaway) 9:08; 6, Antil Autere CRS (Michael Roby Jr/David Mueller) 12:07.
Overtime: 7, Michael Roby Jr (Antil Autere)
Wednesday, Feb. 19
HARRY S TRUMAN 6, LOWER MORELAND 4
In a tightly contested battle for fourth place in the SHSHL American Conference, it was the Tigers – who held a 50-14 advantage in shots - earning the important win. The final margin of victory would have been much larger had it not been for the 44-save effort of Lions’ goalie Roan McCormick.
The Tigers led 3-0 less than 10 minutes into the contest. Brent McGoldrick (James Gallagher assist) and Gallagher (Jacob Oliver assist) scored back-to-back goals in a 31-second span five minutes into the contest. Sean Dougherty’s unassisted goal 9:23 into the period gave the Tigers their three-goal edge before Lower Moreland’s Tyler Scolnick (Tolan Stahl) found the net.
Dougherty’s second goal just over two minutes into the second period gave the Tigers a 4-1 lead, but the Lions trimmed that lead to one after two periods, thanks to goals by Alex Silverman (Scolnick assist) and Scolnick (Tolan Stahl/Dougherty assists).
Robert DiCrosta found the net just over a minute into the third period, connecting on a shorthanded goal with assists from Justin Reid and Sean Dougherty. Again, the Lions had an answer, pulling to within one when Stahl scored 7:32 into the period. A late goal by Gallagher (Justin Reid assist) gave the Tigers their final margin of victory.
Harry S Truman 3-1-2 6
Lower Moreland 1-2-1 4
Shots: HST 50, LM 14. Saves: Connor Pilla (HST) 10, Roan McCormick (LM) 44.
First period: 1, Brent McGoldrick HST (James Gallagher) 4:37; 2, James Gallagher HST (Jacob Oliver) 5:08; 3, Sean Dougherty HST, 9:23; 4, Tyler Scolnick LM (Tolan Stahl) 13:00.
Second period: 5, Sean Dougherty HST, 2:11; 6, Alex Silverman LM (Tyler Scolnick) 5:16; 7, Tyler Scolnick LM (Tolan Stahl, Maxim Vitiaz) 7:19.
Third period: 8, Robert DiCrosta (Justin Reid/Sean Dougherty) 1:10; 9, Tolan Stahl LM, 7:32; 10, James Gallagher HST (Justin Reid) 12:30.
NESHAMINY 11, ABINGTON 1
Nine players contributed to the scoring in the Redskins’ no-doubt-about-it win over the Ghosts. This game was over almost before it started as the Redskins opened up a 7-0 lead after one period and extended that to 11-0 in the second before the Ghosts got on the scoreboard in the abbreviated contest.
JJ Hathaway found the net 1:21 into the opening period, and a minute later Joseph Hornung (Joey DeMatteo assist) scored to make it a 2-0 game. Goals by Michael Knipple (Nolan Geria assist), Jacob Helms (Hathaway assist) and DeMatteo (Noah Seewagen assist) in a three-minute span upped the Redskins’ advantage to 5-0. Geria (Hathaway assist) scored on a power play and Helms connected on his second goal of the period, this one with assists from DeMatteo and Knipple, to make a 7-0 game.
It was more of the same in the second period. Thomas Gallagher found the net with an assist from Ryan McColgan, and a goal by Matt Buchinski (Gallagher assist) upped the Redskins’ lead to 9-0. Unassisted goals by Seewagen and Hornung closed out the scoring for the Redskins. Griffin Carpenter (Joe Stelacio/Tom Rourke assists) scored the Ghosts’ lone goal.
Neshaminy 7-4-0 11
Abington 0-1-0 1
Shots: Neshaminy 40, Abington 4, Saves: Andy Nau (N) 3, Sam Nemec (A) 29.
First period: 1, JJ Hathaway N, 1:21; 2, Joseph Hornung N (Joey DeMatteo) 2:25; 3, Michael Knipple N (Nolan Geria) 5:14; 4, Jacob Helms N (JJ Hathaway) 6:59; 5, Joey DeMatteo N (Noah Seewagen) 8:23; 6, Nolan Geria N (JJ Hathaway) 12:34; 7, Jacob Helms N (Joey DeMatteo/Michael Knipple) 14:08.
Third period: 8, Thomas Gallagher N (Ryan McColgan) 4:11; 9, Matt Buchinski N (Thomas Gallagher); 10, Noah Seewagen N, 7:38; 11, Joseph Hornung N, 10:48; 12, Griffin Carpenter A (Jjoe Stelacio/Tom Rourke) 14:58.
PENNSBURY 8, WILLIAM TENNENT 1
The Falcons raced out of the gate to a 4-0 lead on their way to the convincing win. Erik Eisler’s four-point game (one goal/three assists) led a balanced Falcon attack.
Brendan Macainsh scored the lone goal of the opening period, using a Beau Brusius-Yedman assist. Justin Marlin (Brusius-Yedman/Eisler assists), Eisler (Marlin assist), Reece Millman (Brusius-Yedman assist) and Stephen Skiba reeled off back-to-back-to-back goals, and the Falcons had a four-goal lead less than 10 minutes into the second period. Millman and Skiba both scored on the power play.
Tennent’s Stephen Skiba scored a power play goal in the closing seconds of the period to make it a 4-1 game heading into a final period that featured four unanswered Falcon goals. Macainsh (Ben Dous assist), Edward Bossler (Macainsh/Eisler assists), Jake Machlovitz (Andrew Falkenstein assist) and Reece Millman (Colin Michalak/Eisler assists) each scored a single goal to close out the scoring.
Topher Seiler turned away 29 of 30 shots in an outstanding effort in goal for the Falcons. Thomas Lomas was credited with 31 saves for the Panthers.
William Tennent 0-1-0 1
Pennsbury 1-3-4 8
Shots: WT 30, Pennsbury 39. Saves: Thomas Lomas (WT) 31, Topher Seiler (P) 29.
First period: 1, Brendan Macainsh P (Beau Brusius-Yedman) 9:19.
Second period: 2, Justin Marlin P (Beau Brusius-Yedman/Erik Eisler) 1:42; 3, Erik Eisler P (Justin Marlin) 6:04; 4, Reece Millman P (Beau Brusius-Yedman) 9:38; 5, Stephen Skiba WT (15:40.
Third period: 5, Brendan Macainsh P (Ben Dous); 6, Edward Bossler P (Brendan Macainsh/Erik Eisler) 11:14; 7, Jake Machlovitz P (Andrew Falkenstein) 13:22; 8, Reece Millman P (Colin Michalak/Erik Eisler) 13:40.
CENTRAL BUCKS EAST 7, UPPER DUBLIN 3
The Patriots found themselves staring at an early 2-0 hole but outscored the Flying Cardinals 7-1 the rest of the way en route to the non-league win. Sean Gorman scored two goals and assisted on three others. His five-point night led the Patriots.
Oren Serafin’s unassisted goal put the Cardinals on the board 17 seconds into the game, and it was 2-0 after Jack Bocul connected on a power play goal, using an Andrew Kearney assist. Phil McIntyre scored with assists from Gorman and Marc Green, and Gorman found the net late in the period on a power play goal with an assist from Chris McIntyre, knotting the score 2-2 heading into the second period.
Andrew Kearney (Dylan Rotkin assist) scored 36 seconds into the second period, but 24 seconds later, Gorman scored the equalizer, using assists from Bogden Borodenko and Phil McIntyre. Gorman’s goal ignited a 5-0 East run to close out the period that included single goals from Phil McIntyre (Gorman/JD Gotschal assists), Bogden Borodenko (Shane West/Gorman assists), Jasen Cluckey (Nick LoCastro assist) and Tyler Godown (Aiden Schmidt assist).
East goalie Chris McIntyre turned away 24 of 27 shots he faced in the win. UD’s Ryan McMorrow made 36 stops in goal.
Central Bucks East 2-5-0 7
Upper Dublin 2-1-0 3
Shots: CBE 43, UD 27. Saves: Chris McIntyre (CBE) 24, Ryan McMorrow (UD) 36.
First period: 1, Oren Serafin UD, 0:17; 2, Jack Bocul UD (Andrew Kearney) 4:19; 3, Phil McIntyre CBE (Sean Gorman/Marc Green) 5:05; 4, Sean Gorman CBE (Chris McIntyre) 14:31.
Second period: 5, Andrew Kearney UD (Dylan Rotkin) 0:36; 6, Sean Gorman CBE (Bogden Borodenko/Phil McIntyre) 1:00; 7, Phil McIntyre CBE (Sean Gorman/JD Gotschal) 7:52; 8, Bogden Borodenko CBE (Shane West/Sean Gorman) 12:45; 9, Jasen Cluckey CBE (Nick LoCastro) 13:21; 10, Tyler Godown CBE (Aiden Schmidt) 13:26.