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Wednesday, Jan 25, 2023 | Youth Hockey Info


CB West Bucks Poliak takes center stage as "Senior Night" hero

Senior Central Bucks West defenseman Sammy Poliak scores OT game winner

By: CB West News

COLMAR, PA - It was an evening filled with drama for both programs as the Central Bucks West Bucks, and North Penn Knights held their second, (possibly annual) joint senior night festivities honoring their graduating class of senior athletes. However, this wasn't what is considered a normal senior celebration. Due to the league establishing a new mandate, no SHSHL senior night is allowed to be held during regular season league scheduled slots, instead this game was played in a Knights JV and Varsity practice slot. The rink was decked out in yellow and black on the Bucks side of the ice while the Knights decorated with blue and white to make it a memorable occasion for their impending graduates, along with their families and friends.

The game was what was expected from two teams fighting for a win. North Penn who hasn't won a single regular season game in 2 years and CB West pushing hard for a post season bid to make the sixth and final playoff spot. But what wasn't expected was the variable mixed bag, a cornucopia if you will of the unexpected. There were five pucks rung off the posts and crossbar between the two teams throughout game play and some of the most inconsistent play calling to boot. Between missed calls, bad calls, and a goal that everybody in the stands saw go in and out of the net that was ruled as a hit post, it wasn't normal play by any means. Whatever the case, that's hockey, a game of chance and sometimes a little help from the hockey gods.

As the legendary CBS sports anchor Warner Wolf would say, Let's go to the video tape! Some will know who that is and what that means, some won't...

The evenings first goal was generated by North Penn's Derek DeLong who dug the puck out after a dump-in behind the West goal line. DeLong swung the puck to Matt Yothers along the right-side hash marks, who in turn found John Stinson alone on the left side pipe. Stinson tapped the puck in behind West goalie Kyle Fasolak to put the Knights up 1-0. But as things have gone all too often for the Knights all season, their hold on the lead wouldn't last long. West came right back scoring a goal Knights goaltender Nic Crist might want back. Skating down the right-side boards off a feed from Jackson Hirsch, Bucks forward Zane Sanders flung what seemed like an innocent shot towards the North Penn goal that was misplayed and wound up behind Crist, the Knights goalie was visibly angry with himself on the miscue and the goal evened the score at one apiece. The first period ended with the score tied and a 12-8 shot advantage in the Knights favor.

In customary fashion the second period began much like every other second period for the Knights this season, a goal scored off of the opening draw to begin the second frame. The Knights gave up the puck on an unforced turnover to the wrong guy, Sammy Poliak. Poliak picked up the turnover in the CB West neutral zone and pivoted away from the play. As Poliak came back around, he found Adam Ricci moving up alone across center ice. Poliak made the cross-ice pass to Ricci who skated over the Knights blueline, he zigged and zagged and threw a one hop dribbler at the net that bounced under the glove and into the North Penn goal to put the Bucks ahead 2-1. Ricci struck again seven minutes later after picking up a rebound off of a point shot by Sammy Poliak which hit the far post. Knights' goalie Crist lost sight of the puck and never saw the follow up shot from the Bucks Forward, Ricci flipped it past Crist to go up with a commanding 3-1 lead. John Stinson got the Knights to within one at the 11:40 mark after he picked up a loose puck in West's neutral zone and broke into the Bucks zone along the right-side boards, Stinson roofed a pretty goal for himself, but what would be considered ugly by Fasolak as Stinson went short side high ringing the puck bar-down and thus closing the gap to 3-2. The second period closed with the Bucks ahead by one and the Knights up two in shots with a 20-18 advantage.

Poliak scores to put the Bucks up by one late in the third period

The third period got started with back and forth play until Derek Delong picked up the puck at the Knights defensive blueline and caught John Stinson streaking across the red line. Stinson blew the doors off the Bucks defenseman as he crashed the CB West net and went short side high, again beating Fasolak bar-down completing the hat-trick for his third goal of the game and tying it 3-3. Around eight minutes into the third the Knights were called for an interference penalty which was subjective based on the crowd's overall reaction. What looked like a very legal check was deemed interference therefore sending the Bucks onto a power play. About a minute into the man advantage the Bucks dumped the puck into the Knights zone and blown coverage left the most dangerous Bucks player alone, Sammy Poliak. As Tyler Porubski picked up the Bucks forward with the puck, nobody on the ice bothered to pay any attention to Poliak stepping up into the play from his defensive position making himself wide open along the left goal post. Zane Sanders quickly moved the puck to Poliak who saw a wide-open net yawning at him as he tapped it in giving West a late 4-3 lead. Shortly after the Bucks went ahead John Stinson grabbed a defensive zone turnover and went in alone on Faslak, can you guess where Stinson decided to shoot? Bar-down, Stinson's third roof job of the game and his fourth goal overall to tie the score at four apiece. The third period ended in a tie sending the game into overtime to try and decide the deadlocked score.

Poliak's OT game winner

The overtime frame was played at a feverish pitch as both sides had several opportunities. John Stinson hit the post and Nic Crist made a very difficult glove save but after almost the entire five minutes of play, with time running out the Bucks retained control of the puck and dumped it into the Knights zone. As Tyler Porubski checked off Jack Misoda, the West player was able to push off the puck which dribbled to the top of the right-side circle and -enter Sammy Poliak- nobody picked up the trailer who happened to be non-other than #18, Poliak. Unimpeded on the puck, Poliak fired it long side beating the North Penn goaltender with just two seconds left to play. If not for anything else, if West doesn't make the post season, this will most likely be Sammy Poliaks most memorable moment playing high school ice hockey for the Central Bucks West Bucks. Poliak played a combined 11 years club including two years with the Bucks, his freshman and senior year. Poliak currently plays tier 1 18U AAA hockey for Flyers Elite and has plans in place to play Junior A hockey next season after graduation.


Top: Sean Huggett, Luke Tremmel, Sammy Poliak, Kyle Fasolak, Elven Paulus
bottom: Tyler Porubski, Zach Ebbinghaus, Alex Seward, Julian Ma, Nic Crist, Sam Mostochuk



11:42 NORTH PENN #53 John Stinson (even strength) (#10 Matthew Yothers, #23 Derek Delong)
14:10 CB WEST #42 Zane Sanders (even strength) (#82 Jackson Hirsch)
0:55 CB WEST #16 Adam Ricci (even strength) (#32 Brandon March, #18 Sammy Poliak)
7:20 CB WEST #16 Adam Ricci (power play) (#13 Nicholas Bruno, #42 Zane Sanders)
11:40 NORTH PENN #53 John Stinson (even strength)
1:33 NORTH PENN #53 John Stinson (even strength) (#23 Derek Delong)
7:11 CB WEST #18 Sammy Poliak (power play) (#42 Zane Sanders)
8:01 NORTH PENN #53 John Stinson (even strength)
4:58 CB WEST#18 Sammy Poliak (even strength) (#21 Jack Misoda)

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