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Friday, Dec 16, 2022 | Youth Hockey Info


Pennridge Makes the Most of Their Good Fortune

Council Rock South and the Pennridge Rams prepare to face off in their second meeting of the season.

By: CR South News

BRISTOL, PA - Undefeated seasons are a rarity in high school hockey, and anyone who thought Council Rock South was headed that way was sure to be disappointed. Injuries, illness, club obligations or just a bad night can all lead to losses in the SHSHL, and the Golden Hawks would be no exception. However, it is unusual that Rock South would be missing nine varsity players, seven to club tournaments and two to injury, and as fate would have it, they would be scheduled to play their nemesis from a season ago, the Pennridge Rams. The Rams lost quite a few quality players to graduation but are still a formidable team and the reigning SHSHL and Flyers Cup champions. So, what is Council Rock coach Joe Houk supposed to do? He put together the best lineup available, using the maximum allowed five JV players, and came up with a game plan that almost worked against a far more talented Pennridge squad.

The Rams opened the scoring almost five minutes into the game when Andrew Lizak sneaked behind the Hawks defense and found himself in alone on Council Rock goaltender Carson Lopez. A quick snapshot later and Pennridge had the lead. The Golden Hawks would get the games first power play advantage and even the score with a Jonah Weston wrist shot from the high slot that eluded Rams goalie Jacob Gilbert. This would begin a back-and-forth goal exchange that continued when the Hawks scored again, Cole Gainsley with the tally, and Pennridge answering with an Andrew Savona goal. Then a Kevin Pico goal for Pennridge, followed by a Blaize Pepe counterpunch with just over a minute left in the first period. Play was end-to-end, but it was the Rams getting the better of the scoring chances while most of the Golden Hawks shots were perimeter efforts, but the only thing that mattered was that the score was tied.

Council Rock South Golden Hawks Joe Houk rallies his troops between periods.

The second period had a bit of a different feel to it with lots of center ice play and not many shots, that is until Pennridge got a power play with about five minutes left in the period on a Gainsley tripping minor, which quickly turned into an extended two-man advantage after additional minors to Luke Ralston and Evan Mostoller’s for almost identical cross-checks. For the entire power play, Hawks goalie Carson Lopez would shine, making some jaw-dropping saves and leaving Pennridge players staring at the ceiling in frustration. He couldn’t stop them all however, and after several tries at the down low, back door pass, which Lopez repeatedly shut down, a wide-open Shane Dachowski corralled a Savona pass with a gaping net in front of him. He would take his time and make no mistake, despite Lopez’s diving effort, netting the go-ahead goal. The period ended with just that goal on the board for either team, and Pennridge would hold the slimmest of margins going into the final frame, despite their clear advantage in play. The Golden Hawks, and their inexperienced lineup, were still in it.

Lopez continued to dazzle, and the Golden Hawks did what they could to keep the puck out of their zone, but the ice was tilting, and fatigue was starting to show for the depleted Council Rock squad. The Hawks would get to chasing the puck in their own zone and it was Shane Dachowski again who would take advantage with a nice backhander past Lopez’s blocker side. To their credit, the Hawks responded less than a minute later when a Rams player gift wrapped a turnover in front of their own net where a surprised Cole Gainsley cashed in his second of the game, but it was pretty much Council Rock’s last quality chance. The Rams went into a defensive posture, stifling Hawks forwards on every rush they attempted. Pennridge’s big line of Savona, Pico and Shane Dachowski buzzed the Council Rock net on every shift, Lopez doing what he could to stem the tide, his team barely able to fight through the fatigue and resist. With under five minutes left that line applied the final nail, Savona scoring after a mad scramble at the side of the net, Lopez unable to cover and his defense unable to clear the loose puck. Colin Dachowski added an empty netter, and the Rams would score as many goals against the Hawks as they had let up in their five previous games combined, the final score 7-4.

I’m sure it’s no consolation to the team but given the circumstances this has to be a moral victory for the Golden Hawks. Missing players like Koles, Tovsky and Weiner to name a few, and having only two complete lines made up of half JV players, they were able to keep the score against the Flyers Cup champion to one goal through 90% of the game. Although the loss hurts, this shows the depth and strength of the team and organization, and shows that, even when everyone counts them out, they still have the personnel and fortitude to battle even the best.

3 Stars of the Game

  • 1- Andrew Savona - The Rams slippery center weaved his way through the Golden Hawks zone all night and finished with 2 goals and 2 assists
  • 2- Shane Dachowski - Had a ton of chances, and finished with two goals that ended up being the back breakers. Also had an assist
  • 3- Carson Lopez - He tried, and almost succeeded, to single-handedly steal the game for the Golden Hawks. It wasn’t the quantity of the saves, it was the quality that was impressive



4:10 Pennridge#18 Andrew Lizak (even strength)
6:25 Council Rock South#13 Jonah Weston (power play) (#23 Shaun Epstein, #94 Sam Reiter)
10:36 Council Rock South#15 Cole Gainsley (even strength) (#66 Evan Mostoller)
10:55 Pennridge#77 Andrew Savona (even strength) (#22 Shane Dachowski, #20 Kevin Pico)
13:32 Pennridge#20 Kevin Pico (even strength) (#77 Andrew Savona)
15:44 Council Rock South#76 Blaize Pepe (even strength)
15:22 Pennridge#22 Shane Dachowski (power play) (#77 Andrew Savona, #20 Kevin Pico)
6:22 Pennridge#22 Shane Dachowski (even strength)
7:05 Council Rock South#15 Cole Gainsley (even strength)
12:26 Pennridge#77 Andrew Savona (even strength) (#20 Kevin Pico, #10 Colin Dachowski)
16:32 Pennridge#10 Colin Dachowski (short handed) (#11 Dane Fitchett)

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