By Ben Reese
HATFIELD -- Senior Night got Tyler Greenstein going.
The North Penn captain used the impetus of Senior Night to score two goals and lead the Knights to a 5-1 win over Pennridge in the Suburban High School Hockey League.
"It was awesome with the big crowd," Greenstein said. "Just scoring goals. Awesome.
"The crowd was really amazing. That was probably one of the best hockey experiences ever."
It really didn't take much to get Greenstein psyched. The crowd, which filled the stands at Hatfield Ice, erupted with noise for everything that happened on the ice.
Of course, it also helped that Greenstein scored the first goal of the game with only 36 seconds gone in the opening period. That propelled the Knights to greater heights on an emotional night.
"I've coached a number of these seniors for four year," said North Penn coach Kevin Vaitis. "They've been in our middle school program all the way up to the varsity.
"It was good to see them come out tonight and enjoy the night. Senior Night is always an emotional night."
Jeff Montagna saw it from the other side. The Pennridge coach knew what his team was in for with the North Penn Senior Night.
"I was really curious how they were going to react," he said of his players. "It was an emotional night for the other team."
"They come out and get one in the first 30 seconds on us. I was proud of the way we stabilized and really played right with them. I thought we deserved better than we got. I thought we really played well."
Vaitis was impressed with the Rams.
"I knew coming into the game that they were much better than people thought they were," the Knights’ coach said. "They're a very well coached team. They work extremely hard on the ice.
"I knew coming in that it was going to be a battle. They're a better team than their record shows right now but they're starting to play some really good hockey."
He also knew that getting that early goal was important for the Knights.
"Any time getting the first goal, getting the lead, is always key," Vaitis said. "You get the lead and you've got to keep the pedal to the metal. We were able to do that tonight especially in the third period."
The victory was important for North Penn as it heads toward the playoffs and the Flyers Cup.
"Pennridge is one of the most improved teams in the SHSHL," said Greenstein. "Beating them makes a statement going into the Flyers Cup."
Montagna likes his team's chances for the playoffs and the Flyers Cup.
"I think we're in good position to make the playoffs," he said. "I imagine that if you make the playoffs in this league, you're going to get in the Flyers Cup.
"My goal is to make the playoffs with this team. We've put ourselves in position to do that. That's a bonus if we get to the Flyers Cup this year."
After Greenstein got North Penn going with his quick goal, the Rams came back to tie the score on Jeff Manto's goal at 5:03. Luke Van Why broke that tie for the Knights three minutes later.
Jeremy Porubski upped North Penn's lead to 3-1 with a goal in the second period. The Knights added two more goals in the third from Tommy Boyle (on the power play) and Greenstein.
For Greenstein and his teammates, it was, as he said, "awesome".
North Penn 5, Pennridge 1
Pennridge 1 0 0 -- 1
North Penn 2 1 2 -- 5
First period: 1, Tyler Greenstein NP (Tommy Boyle) 0:36; 2, Jeff Manto P (Jack Lowery) 5:03; 3, Luke Van Why NP (D.J. Zeiger) 8:20.
Second period: 4, Jeremy Porubski NP (Zach Cline) 1:11.
Third period: 5, Boyle NP (Van Why, Cline) 4:40 PP; 6, Greenstein NP (Tony Tuozzo, Josh Kaufhold) 12:22.
Shots: P 24, NP 29. Saves: Ryan Pico (P) 24, Nick Ebbinghaus (NP) 23.