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Sunday, Jan 8, 2023 | Youth Hockey Info


Indians ice Hawks in surprising OT win

Indians defenseman Matt Malanga scores the winning goal in OT

By: CR South News

COLMAR, PA - Long breaks can be gold or kryptonite for a hockey team. On one hand, it gives a team the chance to recover from injuries, get in some practices or just reset their minds. On the other hand, a team can return from a long break and act like they’re going to work on a Monday morning, uninspired and emotionally flat. We learned last night that the latter was true for the Council Rock Golden Hawks as they had their worst performance of the season against a Souderton team that seemed to experience the former, outplaying and shocking the Hawks with a 6-5 overtime victory for the Indians.

The game started innocently enough with both teams trading rushes with no real quality chances, although you could see Souderton had some jump in their step. All that the raucous, sellout crowd had to cheer about was some big hits by both squads, that is until South opened the scoring. A corner battle ended with Illia Mukhin making a quick pass to Blaize Pepe in the slot and, a quick one-timer later, the Golden Hawks were on the board. Souderton would put that goal behind them and step up their game even more and, if not for a couple great saves by the Hawks surprise starting goaltender Trevor Rakszawski, Souderton would be in the lead. The Indians got a break when Kevin Koles took a penalty for roughing giving them a power play. The power play unit would cash in when a nice cross-ice pass by Seth Grossman made its way to Jacob Chow, who corralled the puck and made no mistake hitting the back of the net, evening the game at one. After the ensuing face off, the Indians went right back on the power play and got more great chances only to be thwarted by Rakszawski, but you could see that Souderton was determined not to be an easy team to beat on this night. Council Rock would go ahead again however, South’s leading goal-scorer Jake Weiner making a nice play to cut to the net with the puck. He got a shot off, which was saved by Souderton goalie Noah Connor, but was followed up by Mukhin who chipped it past Connor for the 2 to 1 lead. The Golden Hawks were fortunate to be ahead, as Souderton was outplaying them in every part of the game.

Jacob Chow scores the first of his two goals Friday night.

Council Rock would take another penalty just after the start of the second period, but the Indians couldn’t get anything going, and chances evened out for each team for most of the frame. The goal scoring would continue however, with Souderton lighting the lamp first. The goal was gift wrapped by the Hawks Blaize Pepe when he blindly, and without pressure, threw a puck from his goal line right up the slot to a wide-open Seth Grossman. Grossman took a few steps in and ripped a laser past a stunned Rakszawski. This Hawks team has been prone to bad turnovers all season, and they certainly had their share in this game, but none was more egregious than Pepe’s. Golden Hawks coach Joe Houk had seen enough and called a time out to give his team an earful and for the next few shifts it worked. A Gavin Nisenzon shot from the point was tipped in front by Jonah Weston, leaving a rebound that Bobby Gilbert finished for a 3-2 Council Rock lead. Again though, Souderton was not deterred and would score just 28 seconds later to even the game again. After a South defenseman failed to clear the zone, Maxwell Ryon threw the puck toward the net from the point and, wouldn’t you know it, found a wide-open Grossman who went to his backhand for the tally. Fifty-three seconds after that, Jake Weiner, the only South player who seemed to have it going offensively, walked out of the corner with the puck and threw a shot from a bad angle that somehow eluded Noah Connor and the see-saw scoring continued. This goal made the score 4 to 3 and that’s how the period would end, Council Rock now leading in shots 23-19, but despite the statistics Souderton was in control on the ice.

Weiner would get his second of the night, almost two minutes into the third period, after a Souderton defender misplayed a two on one, leaving Weiner to walk in alone and score. With the two-goal lead, and Souderton having skated so hard this far, you would think that it would take the wind out of the Indians sails, but, as it hadn’t been all game, that was not the case. Nicholas Smith closed the gap to one beating South defenseman Ilya Kidzinau to the outside and then cut hard to the net, his shot beating Rakszawski and gave his team some life. The Golden Hawks picked up their play a bit as it looked like Souderton was starting to tire, but goaltender Connor was equal to the task and would do what he could to get his team to the finish. Souderton mustered the energy for one more push in the last three minutes of the period, forcing Rakszawski to make a couple great saves, one on a 2 on 1, another from the top of his crease. It almost seemed like the tying goal was inevitable at this point, and it came with 30 seconds left to almost nobody’s surprise. With their goaltender pulled, Souderton’s Maxwell Ryon once again threw a puck towards the net and found a wide-open player, this time Jacob Chow who easily redirected the puck into the net and sent the Indians crowd into a frenzy. Regulation time ended with the score tied at five.

Three on three overtime started with each team getting a scoring opportunity, but it would end with yet another Council Rock error. Souderton innocently brought the puck up the ice against two South defenders when an Indians player made a great, quick pass between a South defenders' legs, sending a streaking Matt Malanga, who had split the defense, in alone on a breakaway. Malanga made it count, beating Rakszawski stick side and capping off a huge win for Souderton, surely their biggest so far this season.

For Council Rock, you hope the loss will be the wakeup call they need to focus on the upcoming stretch run and hopefully further. Bad turnovers, lazy play and bad penalties (4 penalties to Souderton’s 0) have plagued the team at points this season, but their talent has usually disguised these deficiencies. Souderton didn’t let them escape this night in a classic example of ‘hard work always beats talent whenever the talent isn’t working hard’.
3 Stars of the Game

  • 1- Seth Grossman - 2g 1a - He was flying from the start, taking advantage of open ice and turnovers and had at least a half dozen great scoring opportunities
  • 2- Maxwell Ryon - 3 assists - primary assists on game tying and game winning goals
  • 3- Noah Connor - made the majority of his 32 saves in the second half of the game, giving his team the chance to complete the comeback and victory



4:15 CR SOUTH #76 Blaize Pepe (even strength) (#12 Illia Mukhin)
8:35 SOUDERTON #7 Jacob Chow (power play) (#19 Seth Grossman)
15:53 CR SOUTH #12 Illia Mukhin (even strength) (#18 Jake Weiner)
7:18 SOUDERTON #19 Seth Grossman (even strength)
11:43 CR SOUTH #24 Bobby Gilbert (even strength) (#13 Jonah Weston, #17 Gavin Nisenzon)
12:11 SOUDERTON #19 Seth Grossman (even strength) (#98 Maxwell Ryon)
13:04 CCR SOUTH #18 Jake Weiner (even strength)
1:56 CR SOUTH #18 Jake Weiner (even strength) (#12 Illia Mukhin, #8 Kevin Koles)
5:50 SOUDERTON #11 Nicholas Smith (even strength) (#78 Sean Ryon)
16:30 SOUDERTON #7 Jacob Chow (even strength) (empty net) (#98 Maxwell Ryon, #97 Liam O'Neill)
1:44 SOUDERTON #9 Matthew Malanga (even strength) (#98 Maxwell Ryon, #7 Jacob Chow)

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