This week’s notebook features William Tennent, CB East and PW and also includes Brian Good’s three stars as well as the scoring and point leaders.
By Brian Good
SHSHL NATIONAL – WILLIAM TENNENT:
It didn’t look all that good for William Tennent to start the year. The defending SHSHL National champions were 1-2 and couldn’t stop other teams from scoring. They were outscored 14-6 in their two losses and what was once a promising season looked to be somewhat in doubt.
Since then, it’s been a different team that has shown up at the rink each week, and they’ve been able to battle their way up to second place in the league behind Council Rock South.
Tennent has outscored its opponents 37-13 and earned a 4-0-1 record in its last five contests, pushing aside the slow start and becoming the team they expected to be all along.
“For our standards, for what we expect from this team, we definitely started slow,” said Tennent head coach Nick D’Aurizio. “We dropped a couple of games early that we should have contended in or won and put forth sub-par efforts. We’ve been working real hard in changing that culture and how we prepare for games, and I do think recently we’ve been able to turn a corner here.”
The main difference between the team they had earlier in the season and what they have going now is simply buying in.
Before they started their win streak, the team wasn’t cohesive, wasn’t 100 percent committed to playing the system that D’Aurizio and his staff wanted to implement and lacked an identity. Once they started to play as a group and find their identity, the difference was night and day.
That kind of unselfish team play starts with Tennent forward Jack McKeever. McKeever is first in the league with 14 assists and fourth in the league in points with 22, and he personifies the effort D’Aurizio is looking for.
“Jack has been a guy that we always knew had the skill, and as he’s gotten older, he’s turned into that automatic guy for us,” said D’Aurizio. “Night in and night out, he’s there for us, he’s an alternate captain for us and a guy that plays how we need him to. There aren’t many Jack McKeever’s out there, and the league is starting to take notice of him now.”
In addition to McKeever, Bobby Markus and Sean Ovington have also been a huge part in taking the team to the next level.
Markus lead the team in goals with 11, and Ovington has added 17 points of his own.
Early on in the year it looked as though this Tennent team that had so much promise may have been destined to fall short. However, if their recent play is any indication of how they’ll end the season, they look to be right on track for another finish towards the top of the division.
SHSHL CONTINENTAL – CB EAST:
Confidence is a funny thing is sports.
On the one hand, it can elevate a player’s game and give them the courage to take chances they may not always have trusted themselves to take. On the other hand, if a team or player lacks confidence, it can be crippling and cause them to underperform.
Unfortunately for CB East, the latter has been the story of their season thus far.
“We just haven’t been able to get that big win for us, and as a product of that, the team just lacks confidence in general,” said CB East head coach Steve Ahrens. “We’re able to get a win here and there, but we’re not able to put a few together against quality opponents. We have a lot of talent on this team, it’s just a matter of getting everyone to play together and believe that they can do it.”
The Patriots are an interesting team. They find themselves at 2-7-1 so far this season and are struggling to score. However, they aren’t a pushover like some teams that sit at the bottom of their divisions.
East has put up solid efforts against CR South, CB West and Neshaminy, all games they lost, but just can’t seem to get the consistent scoring needed to reach the next level.
Forward Bryan McIntosh has looked outstanding so far this season. He’s tallied 13 goals in just eight games played and proven that he’s one of the top players in the league. However, their next leading scorer behind McIntosh has just two goals on the season, meaning that if McIntosh is not scoring, no one is.
“Bryan (McIntosh) is one of the best players in the league and one of the most athletic kids in the area,” said Ahrens. “At times, I think we rely too much on him taking over, and players on our team get caught watching him with the puck. He can’t score every time he touches the puck, nobody can, so a lot of it comes down to just being able to have other players support him and score with him.”
Another area the team needs to get settled is its goaltending. Inconsistent play between the pipes has hurt the Patriots at times, and in order to improve they, need to figure that out. Then, last week, with none of their goalies available to suit up, they had to have forward Jake Semrow get in net and face the defending state champions CB South, a game they lost 10-0.
There is hope for this team, and that’s perhaps what makes them intriguing. With talented players like McIntosh and the ability to play good teams tough, they should have a better record, but a few things here and there have caused them to falter.
SHSHL AMERICAN – PLYMOUTH WHITEMARSH:
No one really knew what to expect from PW this season. They returned a senior-heavy team that had been steadily improving over the years, but it had been some time since the Colonials had truly competed in the SHSHL American.
However, after last week’s 5-3 win over Archbishop Wood, which moved them into first place ahead of the Vikings, it’s safe to say that this team is for real.
“I make sure I tell everyone this because I’m just so proud of the progress - the seniors on this team had one win their freshman year and look where they are now,” said PW head coach Josh Aiello. “I’ve been beating that drum since we started playing like this, but to see a team have steady improvement year after year is really great.”
The win against Wood was affirmation that not only can the Colonials hang with the top teams now, they’re one of them too.
The Vikings looked to be the favorite in the American division as they’d handled every “A” opponent they’d faced up until last week, which included PW in the third game of the season, but this one was different.
What stuck out most in the matchup was goaltender Cole Shula, who turned in perhaps his best game of the season. Shula stopped 30 of 33 shots and held a potent Wood offense that had averaged a notch under nine goals a game to just three scores.
Not only did he play outstanding in that game, but he’s improved almost every week of the season. If the Colonials can add his dominant presence in net to their repertoire, they become that much more dangerous of a team.
“I can’t say enough nice things about Cole (Shula) as a person first but also as a real competitor,” said Aiello. “As the season has progressed, he has just gotten better and better and what has separated him from others is when it’s a big game he’s able to take his performance to the next level, and that’s what he was able to do in that game (vs. Wood).”
The win against Wood propelled PW into first place, a spot they haven’t been in quite some time. It would be easy to get ahead of themselves and start to think what this early success could mean down the road, but Aiello says he thinks the senior laden team will be able to take it one game at a time, or maybe even slower than that.
“We have to view things on a shift by shift basis which adds up to period by period and then eventually game by game basis, and we break things down like that for the team,” said Aiello. “We break things down into way more detailed way and it’s going to hopefully force everyone to just focus on the task ahead of them. These guys are competitors, they want to win every game they play and I think our senior leadership will help us with that.”
SHSHL 3 STARS OF THE WEEK
- Perry Carpenter, F, Abington– 4 Goals 2 Assists
After a scorching hot start to the season, Carpenter had cooled down somewhat as of late. At least until he played Upper Dublin this past week and notched four goals and two assists on the way to a 10-3 victory for the Ghosts. The win was Abington’s first in almost a month and a half, but if they keep getting performances from Carpenter like this one, they could come surging back up the American standings.
- Cole Shula, G, Plymouth Whitemarsh – 2-0 52 SV on 57 SOG, .912 SV%
Almost no one has been able to stop Archbishop Wood’s offense this year as they’ve averaged just under nine goals a game, and that makes what Cole Shula did against the Vikings even more impressive. Shula stopped 30 of 33 shots in Plymouth Whitemarsh’s 5-3 victory over Wood to secure first place in the American division and looked great. It’s been an up and down year for Shula, but he seems to be finding his rhythm lately, which makes the Colonials that much more dangerous as they come down the stretch.
- Tim White, G, CB South – 2-0 31 SV on 32 SOG, .968 SV%
CB South has been rotating between goalies Tim White and Kevin Dorozinsky for most of the season now. This past week it was White’s turn in net, and he did just about everything that was asked of him. First, he was between the pipes for the Titans’ 2-1 win over North Penn, then later in the week he got the nod again for their 10-0 win over CB East.
SHSHL LEAGUE WEEK 6 LEADERS
1.Matt Stoll (CBS) – 26
T-1.Gabe Evans (SOU) – 15
1.Jack McKeever (WT) – 14
2.Michael Roarty (TRU) – 24
T-1.Michael Roarty (TRU) – 15
T-2.Matt Stoll (CBS) – 13
3.Gabe Evans (SOU) – 23
3.Luke Slater (PR) – 14
T-2.Joe Anton (CBW) – 13
4.Jack McKeever (WT) – 22
T-4.Bryan McIntosh (CBE) – 13
T-2.Josh Finlayson (PR) – 13
5.Luke Slater (PR) – 21
T-5.Matt Stoll (CBS) – 13
5.Andrew Galetta (NP) – 11
1.Timothy Cordero (AW) – 35
1.Ari Nordlinger (UD) – 22
1.Timothy Cordero (AW) – 17
2.Patrick Sheehan (AW) – 30
T-2.Dean Keller (PW) – 19
2.Patrick Sheehan (AW) – 14
3.Ari Nordlinger (UD) – 29
T-2.Luke Brzozowski (PW) – 19
3.Brandon Cullura (AW) – 13
4. Dean Keller (PW) – 27
4.Timothy Cordero (AW) – 18
4. Spencer Heuges (A) – 12
5.Luke Brzozowski (PW) – 26
5.Sean Garry (WIS) – 17
T-5.Chris Zawislak (PW) – 11
4 Nolan Piatkowski (WIS) – 11