Ben Reese recaps all the action in North Penn’s win over Ridley. (Information on several of the remaining games will be added when it is available.)
Flyers Cup Class AA
#4 NORTH PENN 4, #13 RIDLEY 1
By Ben Reese
HATFIELD -- While the offense provides the points on the scoreboard, it is defense that keeps the other team from putting up any points.
North Penn, the fourth seed in the Flyers Cup, used its defense to good advantage on Tuesday night in the 4-1 win over No. 13 Ridley at Hatfield Ice.
The Knights limited the Raiders to only 18 shots while taking 37 themselves. And two defensemen scored goals.
How did your defense accomplish that, coach Kevin Vaitis?
"They have a couple of top forwards," the Knights’ coach said. "(We were) really trying to neutralize them.
"We have a strong D back there. We talked to the team about collectively it's all five guys. Through three periods, the shots were like 30-9. We really bore down defensively.
"Chase (Mueller), Luke (Van Why) Tommy Boyle, (Ryan) Cunningham really played well throughout the entire game. My hat's off to them leading the charge on defense."
All well and good but what was the defensive game plan?
"We were trying to limit their opportunities and shut them down," said Boyle. (We were) just trying to take care of our end.
"I was just playing defense and looking for my forwards coming out of the zone and hitting them and trying to spur the offense from the defensive side of the ice. I just knew we had to play good defense and we would come out with the win."
The game plan worked to perfection.
Ridley managed only five shots in the first period and four more in the second. They finished with 18 shots on goal, but those nine in the final period came when the outcome of the game was no longer in doubt.
Plus, as stated earlier, two defensemen scored goals. Cunningham scored an unassisted goal in the second period, which turned out to be the game-winner, and Boyle added one on the power play in the third.
The Knights also got a strong effort in goal from Nick Ebbinghaus. The sophomore had numerous tough saves among the 17 saves he made.
"Ebbinghaus has played well for us all year," Vaitis said. "He's been one of our strengths back there.
"One goal on 18 shots. We do that we're going to win a lot of hockey games. He played outstanding in net, made the saves we needed him to make."
One example came when Ridley came roaring down the ice on a short-handed breakaway. Ebbinghaus faced down the shooter and made the difficult save.
"That short-handed breakaway was big," said Vaitis. "That time out there was not how we drew it up, but they got a break there.
"Cunningham with a nice back check. Ebbinghaus with a big save. That was a big turning point. If they score there, that makes it a 2-2 game. But we came right back and scored shortly after that to make it a 3-1 game."
The two teams played a scoreless first period. North Penn did have a decided advantage, spending much of the period in the Ridley defensive zone.
"I think we really set the tempo and kind of took the wind out of them even if we didn't put the puck in the net," said Boyle. "It spurred momentum for us, so that we could come out in the next period and pop two goals pretty quick."
That is exactly what happened. With 1:06 gone in the second period, Josh Kaufhold beat Ridley goalie Nick Giuliano for a power-play goal.
Cunningham followed that up thirty seconds later with his unassisted tally. That made it 2-0 with most of the period remaining.
Ridley cut that lead in half at the 12:41 mark. Ron Higgins, off assists from Thomas Avellino and Tyler Law, beat Ebbinghaus.
Boyle gave the Knights some breathing room in the third. He scored at 13:28 on the power play for a 3-1 lead. Tyler Greenstein finished off the North Penn scoring with 16 seconds left in the game with an empty-net goal.
The victory puts the Knights into the quarterfinals of the Flyers Cup on Thursday. They will play the eighth-seeded Boyertown Bears, a 4-1 winner over Central Bucks East. It is a 6:20 p.m. start at Hatfield Ice.
North Penn 4, Ridley 1
Ridley 0 1 0 -- 1
North Penn 0 2 2 -- 4
First period: No scoring.
Second period: 1, Josh Kaufhold NP (Tyler Greenstein) 1:06 PP; 2, Ryan Cunningham NP (unassisted) 1:36; 3, Ron Higgins R (Thomas Avellino, Tyler Law) 12:41.
Third period: 4, Thomas Boyle NP (Luke Van Why) 13:28 PP; 5, Greenstein NP (Tony Tuozzo) 15:49 EN.
Shots: R 18, NP 37. Saves: Nick Giuliano (R) 33, Nick Ebbinghaus (NP) 17.
#10 PENNRIDGE 4, #7 NESHAMINY 3
What a difference a week makes.
In last Wednesday’s SHSHL quarterfinal game against Council Rock South, the Rams trailed 2-0 after one period and then saw the game slip away in a second period the Golden Hawks owned, outscoring the Rams 5-1 in an 8-1 loss.
“I said after last week’s game against Council Rock South that I didn’t think they handled the situation real well,” Pennridge coach Jeff Montagna said. “It was the first playoff game for a lot of them. We were down 2-0 going into the second, and it all fell apart in a five-minute stretch.
“It’s something we talked before the game about, and we found ourselves in the same exact situation – down 2-0 going into the second. We talked about not panicking – it’s not the end of the world and we have to deal with that situation way better than we did last week.”
The Rams certainly did, rallying to knot the score.
“It was really how they handled the situation – there was no panic in them, and that’s what I was really, really proud of,” Montagna said.
Freshman Andrew Lizak provided the spark that ignited the Rams, connecting for his first varsity goal to make it a 2-1 game.
“The swing guys tonight only got a few shifts,” Montagna said. “This was either his first or second shift. He scored to make it 2-1, and really, the game changed at the point. That was the spark we needed, and it came from a very unlikely place, but sometimes that’s how it works out.”
Richie Shanks scored the equalizer for the Rams, but the Redskins regained the lead when Joey DeMatteo found the net.
“Our goalkeeper was phenomenal tonight,” Montagna said of Ryan Pico, who recorded 27 saves “He’s always phenomenal.
“When you get it back to 2-2, the third goal they scored wasn’t his fault, but he made three or four saves at the end of the second period that allowed us to go into the third down 3-2. It’s what he’s done all year for us.”
That 3-2 Neshaminy lead stood until Blake Stewart scored the equalizer with 5:40 remaining in regulation, and the Rams- showing a flare for the dramatic – took their first lead of the game when Aeryk Lehrhaupt scored a goal that turned out to be the game-winner with 55 seconds remaining in regulation.
“I wanted no parts of overtime,” Montagna said. “(Neshaminy) had called a timeout with 1:40 left, and I said, ‘We’re going to go for the jugular right here,’ and I stuck a guy on the far blue line. I said, ‘I don’t care if it’s in the defensive zone, you stand on the far blue line. We’re going to go for the win here.’
“Putting a guy back there opened up the whole ice on the last goal. The whole neutral zone was open because they put a guy back there with him, and that’s really how we ended up scoring. It opened the entire neutral zone up.
“We were either going to win it there or lose it there. I didn’t want to go to overtime. I had five swing players up, but we pretty much played the 11 full-time varsity guys throughout that game, spotting guys in and out, so they were running on empty, and we wanted that to end in regulation.”
The Rams’ coach credited the standout play of his defensemen – Aidan Boyle, Ryan Schuler, Michael White and Conrad Frisch - in the win.
“Ryan Schuler was everywhere out there for me tonight,” Montagna said.
Pennridge will face #2 Haverford at Skatium on Thursday at 7 p.m., but for one night, the Rams were celebrating their gutsy come-from-behind win.
“I don’t want to say I was surprised because I wasn’t, but you just don’t know how they’ll react,” Montagna said. “We had two or three chances in the third period, and we basically capitalized on both of them. It was awesome. I was just proud of them, I really was. To be down 2-0 and 3-2 and come back, it was pretty cool.”
Pennridge 0-2-2 4
Neshaminy 2-1-0 3
#1 CENTRAL BUCKS SOUTH 4, #16 CONESTOGA 1
Colin Abbonizio connected for a hat trick to lead the top-seeded Titans to the win over Conestoga at Hatfield Ice. The final score doesn’t tell the story of the Titans’ dominance. After an opening period that saw the Titans hold a 12-7 advantage in shots, they outshot Conestoga 30-8 over the final two periods.
Abbonizio found the net just under 10 minutes into the opening period, using assists from Ryan Gingras and Daniel Kvecher. Four minutes later, he connected on a power play goal, once again using a Gingras assist.
Conestoga cut that lead in half when Drake Peterson (Frank Konopasek) scored on a power play in the closing seconds of the period.
Abbonizio (Kvecher assist) completed his hat track with a shorthanded goal midway through the second period to give the Titans a 3-1 lead heading into the final period.
Dominic Patrone scored with assists from Aydin Thierolf and Matt Milanesi just over three minutes into the third period for the 4-1 final.
Mason Moyer stopped 14 of 15 shots he faced in a winning effort in goal. Konopasek was credited with 38 saves for Conestoga.
Central Bucks South will take on #8 Boyertown at Hatfield Ice on Thursday at 6:20 p.m.
Conestoga 1-0-0 1
Central Bucks South 2-1-1 4
Shots: Conestoga 15, CBS 42. Saves: Tony Konopasek (C) 38, Mason Moyer (CBS) 14.
First period: 1, Colin Abbonizio CBS (Ryan Gingras/Daniel Kvecher) 9:51; 2, Colin Abbonizio CBS (Ryan Gingras) 13:49; 3, Drake Peterson C (Frank Konopasek) 15:55.
Second period: 4, Colin Abbonizio CBS (Daniel Kvecher) 8:39.
Third period: 5, Dominic Patrone CBS (Aydin Thierolf/Matt Milanesi) 3:13.
#6 COUNCIL ROCK SOUTH 7, #11 PARKLAND 5
The Golden Hawks opened up a 6-1 lead and then fought off a late charge by Parkland to earn the opening round win.
Billy Harrelson (three goals), David Mueller (one goal, two assists), Michael Roby (two goals, one assist) and Jeremy Purcell (one goal, two assists) each had three-point games to lead a balanced Rock South attack.
Harrelson (Brennen Wright/Antii Autere assists) scored a power play goal 2:45 into the contest to give the Golden Hawks an early lead, but Parkland’s Eric Dennis answered with a goal. Purcell (Mueller assist) found the net 30 seconds later, and the Hawks had a lead they would not lose. Harrelson (Andrew Darling/Purcell assists) and Roby (Autere/Douglas Lopez assists) each added a goal to put the Hawks on top 4-1 heading into the second period.
Rock South upped its lead to 6-1 after goals by Mueller and Harrelson (Roby/Purcell assists). Parkland reeled off four unanswered goals to make it a 6-5 game with two minutes remaining. Roby scored in the final minute of regulation, using a Mueller assist, to give the Golden Hawks their final margin of victory.
Jimmy Sweeney recorded 28 saves to earn the win in goal for the Hawks.
Council Rock South will face third-seeded Perk Valley in a quarterfinal game Thursday at IceLine at 6:15 p.m.
Parkland 1-1-3 5
Council Rock South 4-2-1 7
Shots: Parkland 33, CRS 25. Saves: Viincent Byelick (P) 18, Jimmy Sweeney (CRS) 28.
First period: 1, Billy Harrelson CRS (Brennen Wright/Antii Autere) 2:45; 2, Eric Dennis P (Joshua Bower) 4:12; 3, Jeremy Purcell CRS (David Mueller) 4:47; 4, Billy Harrelson CRS (Andrew Darling/Jeremy Purcell) 9:40; 5, Michael Roby CRS (Antii Autere/Douglas Lopez) 12:01.
Second period: 6, David Mueller CRS, 4:53; 7, Billy Harrelson CRS (Michael Roby/Jeremy Purcell) 10:07; 8, Joshua Bower P (Alexander Doe/Eric Dennis) 12:49.
Third period: 9, Alexander Doe P (Zachary Averill/Hunter Dolon) 7:42; 10, Eric Dennis P, 9:30; 11, Eric Dennis P, 14:15; 12, Michael Roby CRS (David Mueller) 15:32.
#2 HAVERFORD 8, #15 CENTRAL BUCKS WEST 0
Quinn Hawley scored four goals and Jagur McClelland had four assists to lead the Fords’ attack. Daniel Quartapella also had a four-point night with a goal and three assists.
The Bucks never could find their offense against the tournament’s second seed, and a Hawley goal 5:22 into the opening period would turn out to be the game-winner. That 1-0 lead stood until the Fords scored a pair in the final five minutes of the period for a 3-0 advantage. They added four more in the second and closed out the scoring with a goal in the third.
Haverford goalie Tyler Cassidy turned away all 17 shots he faced. West’s Jake Coddington was credited with 24 saves.
Central Bucks West 0-0-0 0
Haverford 3-4-1 8
Shots: CBW 17, Haverford 32. Saves: Jack Coddington (CBW) 24, Tyler Cassidy (H) 17
First period: 1, Quinn Hawley H (Jagur McClelland) 5:22; 2, Quinn Hawley H (Jagur McClelland/Daniel Quartapella) 11:34; 3, Alex Gattone H (Jagur McClelland) 15:54.
Second period: 4, Alex Gattone H (Daniel Quartapella) 7:44; 5, Daniel Quartapella H (Jagur McClelland/Nathan Radadam) 11:01; 6, Jackson McCormick H (Jaco Orazi) 12:55; 7, Quinn Hawley H (Ben Katze/Daniel Quartapella) 13:44.
Third period: 8, Quinn Hawley H (Jackson McCormick) 13:11.
#5 DOWNINGTOWN WEST 7, #12 PENNSBURY 3
The Whippets opened up a 4-0 lead early in the third period, and although the Falcons fought gamely, trimming that lead to two on two different occasions, they would get no closer and absorbed a season-ending loss at IceLine.
The Cougars led 1-0 when Matthew Flinn (Charlie Cliggett assist) scored five minutes into the opening period. That 1-0 lead stood until Zakari Spero scored just over two minutes into the second period and led 3-0 heading into the final period.
Reece Millman put the Falcons on the scoreboard 4:21 into the third period, using a Reese Picker assist, and it was a 4-2 game when Beau Yedman scored five minutes later, using assists from Justin Marlin and Millman. The Cougars answered with a goal by Flinn to go on top 5-2, but with three minutes remaining in regulation, Shane Siegmund trimmed that advantage to two when he scored an unassisted goal. That’s as close as the Falcons would get.
The Cougars held a 36-32 advantage in shots. Anthony Cuba stopped 29 of 32 shots he faced to earn the win in goal for the Cougars.
Pennsbury 0-0-3 3
Downingtown West 1-2-4 7
Shots: Pennsbury 32, DE 36. Saves: Topher Seiler (P) 29, Anthony Cuba (DE) 29.
First period: 1, Matthew Flinn DW (Charlie Cliggett) 4:57.
Second period: 2, Zakari Spero DW (Reece Martosella) 2:26; 3, Anthony Florkowski DW (Zakari Spero) 5:46.
Third period: 4, Reece Martosella DW (Charlie Cliggett/Matthew Flinn) 3:56; 5, Reece Millman P (Reese Picker) 4:21; 6, Beau Yedman P (Justin Marlin/Reece Millman) 9:19; 7, Matthew Flinn DW 10:03; 8, Shane Siegmund P, 13:01; 9, Matthew Flinn DW, 14:48; 10, Tyler DeTreux DW 15:52.
#8 BOYERTOWN 4, #9 CENTRAL BUCKS EAST 1
The Patriots held an advantage in shots, but the Bears held the edge where it mattered most – on the scoreboard.
The game started out on a promising note when the Patriots took a 1-0 lead 6:31 into the opening period, using an Aidan Schmidt assist. It would be their first and only lead.
Jackson Novak scored the equalizer on a power play midway through the period, and when Chris Canestra scored in the final minute, the Bears had a 2-1 lead heading into the second period. It was still a 2-1 game after two periods, and the Bears added a pair of goals in the third period, the second an empty net goal in the closing seconds.
Boyertown goalie Owen Yancey earned the win, turning away 33 of 34 shots he faced.
Central Bucks East 1-0-0 1
Boyertown 2-0-2 4
Shots: CBE 34, Boyertown 20. Saves: Chris McIntyre (CBE) 13, Owen Yancey (B) 33.
First period: 1, Tyler Godown CBE (Aiden Schmidt) 6:31; 2, Jackson Novak B (Nathan Gruber) 8:42; 3, Chase Canestra B (Eric Kovacs/William Neeld) 16:04.
Second period: No Score
Third period: 4, William Neeld B (2:18); 5, Cole Whitman B, 16:35.