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Thursday, Feb 2, 2023 | Youth Hockey Info


Never A Dull Moment in South Win Over Pennridge

Council Rock South and Pennridge fans pack the house for the game of the week

By: CR South News

COLMAR, PA - The hype was real. The game was broadcast to showcase the matchup. Each teams’ rabid fan base was in attendance, totaling north of two hundred. The SHSHL’s top two teams, and last year's SHSHL and Flyers cup AA finalists, the Pennridge Rams and Council Rock South Golden Hawks dropped the puck in the leagues most anticipated game of the season so far, and the high school hockey world was treated to an epic battle with more rollercoaster action than Dorney Park.

The teams had met before, a 7-4 victory for Pennridge, but Council Rock was missing several of their top players due to club hockey obligations, so that game didn’t carry the same weight or excitement as tonight’s game, and it didn’t count in the SHSHL division standings. With Flyers Cup president Eric Tye watching closely, both teams would turn up the intensity and give us a game that will be talked about the rest of the season.

First period action started in earnest as Pennridge skated down the ice and had a quality scoring chance, but the puck quickly went the other way, resulting in offensive pressure for the Hawks. Evan Mostoller took a lazy shot from the blue line towards the net that I don’t think Pennridge goalie Jacob Gilbert saw through the traffic in front of him. Everyone on the ice, and in the stands, was surprised to see it in the net, including Mostoller, giving Council Rock an early one to nothing lead. Almost two minutes later, Kevin Koles played a puck beautifully off of the glass at his own blue line which fell right to a streaking Jake Weiner. The Golden Hawks leading goal scorer beat a Pennridge defender to the outside and cut right across the crease in front of Gilbert, patiently waited for the goalie to commit, then calmly deposited the puck behind him for a two-goal lead less than four minutes into the game. Were we headed for a blowout? Knowing this Pennridge team, there was no way that was going to happen, and they came back with intensity. About a minute after the Hawks second goal, and after a bad South defensive turnover, the Rams Nate McKean walked down the slot and took a wrist shot that Council Rock goalkeeper Carson Lopez stopped, however, his rebound fell right to two waiting Rams who had crashed the net. Dane Fitchett got his stick on it first and jammed it home to get his team on the board. Energized, the Rams would continue their surge and even the momentum, matching the Hawks chances with chances of their own. After an icing, high scoring Pennridge forward Kevin Pico made a nice play off of the ensuing face off, poking the puck past his South counterpart and driving toward the net. With nobody from the Golden Hawks responding, Pico walked in on Lopez and pull the puck wide, getting off a backhander which Lopez stopped. The Rams again got to the rebound first, this time Shane Dachowski pounded the puck past a sprawled Lopez to even the score at two. The rollercoaster continued its ups and downs when, just 27 seconds later, Council Rock’s Ilya Kudzinau’s center ice dump-in somehow got by Rams goalie Gilbert and put the Golden Hawks back on top three to two. With the help of a power-play, the Hawks got the better of the opportunities to end the period but were unable to score. Shots in the period favored the Hawks eleven to ten. Of note, the period was played fairly cleanly, the only penalty being to Pennridge for interference, but the rest of the game would not be played with such civility.

CR South and Pennridge centers prepare to square off as the ref drops the puck

Pennridge started the period by changing their goaltender, sophomore Jacob Winton being inserted for the embattled Gilbert. Winton was tested early but was solid and turned away Council Rock chances with confidence. The Rams took control of the second period on the strength of a few power-plays, the result of some bad penalties by Council Rock. It seemed like the Rams had changed their strategy and were now trying to frustrate Hawks players, especially targeting the Hawks star players, with hits and after the whistle jabs. Whatever the case, it worked, and the Golden Hawks took three consecutive penalties, opening the door for the potent Pennridge power play. Fortunately for Council Rock, they have arguably the league's best goaltender in Carson Lopez, and he showed why he’s thought of so highly, making several great saves, keeping the Rams from converting on their advantages. With six minutes left in the second period, the Rams were outshooting Council Rock seventeen to six in the frame, but Lopez was the difference. Tempers continued to flare, but the officials seemed content on letting the teams battle through the rough stuff. South would have a late surge, but neither team would score in the period, Pennridge taking over the shot advantage for the game at 31-25.

The frustration continued for each team in the third period as it seemed every stoppage was followed immediately with a confrontation, and almost as regularly, a Pennridge player taking an opportunity to get under the Hawks skin. Each team had an early power play, but neither scored, and the action and rough stuff continued both ways. On an odd man rush for Council Rock, Jake Weiner gave the puck to Daniel Filipov who drove the net and took a shot that Winton was able to stop. The keeper seemed to lose track of the rebound which bounced to his left and right to Ilya Muhkin who quickly slapped it home, and the Hawks had a two-goal lead. Less than a minute later, another odd-man rush saw Chase Tovsky, in his first game returning from injury, carry the puck toward the Rams goal and look off his teammate, instead sending a wrist shot low to the far side of Winton to increase the lead to three. Frustrated, Pennridge continued the physical game, which the Hawks countered as well, and the chippiness continued without intervention from the officials, but when Blaize Pepe checked the Rams Andrew Savona into the Council Rock bench and held him there, all hell broke loose with forty-eight seconds to play. Shane Dachowski jumped in to help Savona and players from both teams injected themselves into the fracas. Even Hawks goaltender Lopez joined a scrum involving Filipov and the Rams Tyler Manto. Several players were ejected from the game, two from each team in fact, but most significantly Lopez. To everyone’s surprise, the Golden Hawks had not dressed a backup goaltender, and a game that was seemingly decided became an instant nail-biter as the Rams received a two-man powerplay advantage against a South team forced to play without a goalie. It took the Rams all of nine seconds to score on the empty Hawks cage, and the fear of a Pennridge comeback was real for the Golden Hawks. Council Rock did get a player back, but the Rams still had a man advantage, an empty net to shoot at, and plenty of time, but the comeback was not to be. Several blocked shots, a couple of saves by Hawks surrogate goalie Bobby Gilbert, and some nice defensive plays sealed the deal for Council Rock who skated to an eventual five to three victory.

Surely this is not how Hawks coach Joe Houk drew up his game plan for the contest, but his team battled through several setbacks, the Rams nonsense and lackadaisical officiating to assert themselves as the team to beat in the SHSHL. On the downside, the Hawks will have to take on the North Penn Knights on Thursday without their starting goaltender and several of their players who received game misconducts in the late game donnybrook. North Penn sits in last place in the National division, but as the Hawks experienced against Souderton, no game is a gimme. With each team having beaten the other in the regular season, it seems Council Rock and Pennridge are on a collision course for a deciding playoff matchup, winner take all. If this game was any indication, the contest would be one for the ages.

3 Stars of the Game

  • 1- Carson Lopez - His second period alone could earn him the honor, but his 42 saves over (almost) the full game were the key to holding off the Rams
  • 2- Kevin Koles - He backed off on his offensive game to focus on stopping the Rams big line, keeping Rams star Andrew Savona off of the board entirely
  • 3- Jacob Winton - Biggest game of the year and you’re inserted cold to start the second period of a one goal game? For a sophomore that’s a big ask, but Winton handled it and played very well




1:52 CR SOUTH #66 Evan Mostoller (even strength) (#24 Bobby Gilbert, #12 Illia Mukhin)
3:34 CR SOUTH #18 Jake Weiner (even strength) (#8 Kevin Koles)
4:47 PENNRIDGE #11 Dane Fitchett (even strength) (#92 Nate McKean, #18 Andrew Lizak)
10:13 PENNRIDGE #22 Shane Dachowski (even strength) (#20 Kevin Pico)
10:40 CR SOUTH #12 Illia Mukhin (even strength)
9:36 CR SOUTH #12 Illia Mukhin (even strength) (#18 Jake Weiner, #72 Ilya Kudzinau)
10:18 CR SOUTH #28 Chase Tovsky (even strength) (#8 Kevin Koles)
16:21 PENNRIDGE (power play) (empty net)


11:08 PENNRIDGE #11 Dane Fitchett Interference - Minor (2:00)
1:52 CR SOUTH #17 Gavin Nisenzon Cross-Checking - Minor (2:00)
5:47 CR SOUTH #76 Blaize Pepe Roughing - Minor (2:00)
8:06 CR SOUTH #76 Blaize Pepe Roughing - Minor (2:00)
13:57 PENNRIDGE #7 Trey Mikulich Roughing - Minor (2:00)
15:29 PENNRIDGE #48 Tyler Manto Slashing - Minor (2:00)
15:29 CR SOUTH #10 Jeremy Rayher Slashing - Minor (2:00)
1:40 PENNRIDGE#4 Nolan Shaw Roughing - Minor (2:00)
4:09 PENNRIDGE Unsportsmanlike Conduct - Minor (2:00)
7:18 CR SOUTH #66 Evan Mostoller Roughing - Minor (2:00)
9:55 PENNRIDGE #97 Nick Young Cross-Checking - Minor (2:00)
10:08 CR SOUTH #24 Bobby Gilbert Slashing - Minor (2:00)
13:41 PENNRIDGE #10 Colin Dachowski Interference - Minor (2:00)
16:12 CR SOUTH #76 Blaize Pepe Roughing - Minor (2:00)
16:12 CR SOUTH #76 Blaize Pepe Fighting - Major (5:00)
16:12 CR SOUTH #11 Carson Lopez Goaltender Leaving Crease - Minor (2:00)
16:12 PENNRIDGE #22 Shane Dachowski Game Misconduct (10:00)
16:12 PENNRIDGE #77 Andrew Savona 3rd Man In - Game Misconduct (10:00)
16:12 CR SOUTH #11 Carson Lopez 3rd Man In - Game Misconduct (10:00)
16:50 CR SOUTH #18 Jake Weiner Misconduct (10:00)
16:50 CR SOUTH #17 Gavin Nisenzon Misconduct (10:00)
16:50 CR SOUTH #76 Blaize Pepe Game Misconduct (10:00)
16:50 CR SOUTH #76 Blaize Pepe Game Misconduct (10:00)
16:12 PENNRIDGE #22 Shane Dachowski Fighting - Major (5:00)

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