You Can't Win Games From The Penalty Box
That’s what Council Rock South coach Joe Houk told his team after a 3-2 loss to the North Penn Knights Wednesday night in a matchup of two teams expected to challenge for the SHSHL Class AA title this season. While the Golden Hawks took just four penalties, they proved costly as the Knights freely moved the puck on the man advantage and scored two power play goals, the second being the game winner. Golden Hawks News
CR South Golden Hawks Ghost Writer
- The first period was comparatively uneventful as both teams went through a feeling out period with many neutral zone turnovers, and neither team able generate any sustained offensive pressure. The highlight of the period was a body check by South’s Douglas Lopez that sent Knights senior Tommy Boyle flying into his own player bench causing the crowd to give a cheer. There were no goals and no penalties, North Penn outshooting Council Rock by a 10-5 margin.
The second period was a different story. With Hawks forward Antii Autere off for an elbowing penalty, the potent Knights power play went to work. Luke Van Why made a nice seam pass to Thomas Boyle parked at the left crease of Hawks goalie Jimmy Sweeney, a set, back door play that the Knights seemed to be working frequently and with success all night. Boyle made no mistake and put the Knights up 1-0. Council Rock answered quickly however, as Kyle Schneider scored just 37 seconds later with a seemingly innocent shot from the left point that made its way through a maze of players and past a screened Knights goalie Nick Ebbinghaus. The pace of play picked up from there as we started to see the action we expected from these two teams. After great offensive zone board work by all three North Penn forwards, it was Boyle again who walked out from the half wall and just buried a shot over the right shoulder of a stunned Sweeney, a great shot that Sweeney had no chance at. Council Rock responded a few minutes later with Michael Roby scoring at just under the 14 minute mark. Fresh from the penalty box himself, David Vergules had what seemed to be a breakaway, but a slow moving puck allowed the Knights defense to catch up. Vergules stuck with it and circled the net, making a power move toward the goal, and the puck found its way into the blue paint where it took Roby two whacks to put it in and the game again was tied. This time it was the Knights who responded quickly after Roby took a hooking penalty less than a minute after his goal, putting the North Penn power play on display once again. The Knights worked the puck through the Council Rock defenders at will it seemed as they had scoring chance after scoring chance. Eventually it was an innocent wrist shot from the top of the left circle by defenseman Ryan Cunningham that would find its way into the net, a Knights forward waving at the puck as it went by but not making contact. The frantic period ended with North Penn in the lead. Full Game Replay and Box Score
- North Penn Knights (3) vs CR South Golden Hawks (2) 11 20 2019
We expected more of the same end to end action in the third period, but North Penn was content to get the puck deep and Council Rock had a hard time solving the solid group of Knights defenders, clearly the teams strength. North Penn had a scare midway through the period as goaltender Ebbinghaus seemed to suffer a serious injury after falling awkwardly. After a lengthy delay however, he was able to finish the game, good news since the Knights did not have a backup goalie dressed. The Golden Hawks outshot the Knights 12-2 in the third but it was the shots that missed the net that were important as the Hawks had several wide open looks late in the game only to have their shots sail wide. Despite pulling the goalie and some late pressure, Council Rock was unable to come up with a goal and North Penn would go on to victory and improve to 1-0 in division play and 2-1 overall.
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