CB SOUTH: The Changing of the Guard at CB South
The 2015-2016 ice hockey season couldn’t have gone much better for the Central Bucks South Titans. The Titans rolled through the entire season with only one loss, passing almost every test they faced throughout their lengthy schedule and going on to win their second Flyers Cup and state championship in the last three years.
Head coach Tom Coyne built a program of perennial contenders that would compete at a high level every season for the SHSHL Continental championship as well as the Flyers Cup. However, after this past year, Coyne decided to hang up his clipboard following a long and decorated head coaching career and leave the program to someone he knew would guide them in the right direction and continue the winning tradition. That person was Shaun McGinty.
McGinty has been around the game his entire life as both a coach and player. The former Council Rock High School and Lebanon Valley College forward brings tons of knowledge to the team as he takes over this year.
McGinty has known Coyne since he was about 13 years old, playing for him on different teams during his youth, and he came to CB South seven years ago as an assistant under the former head coach.
Trying to fill the shoes of such a successful predecessor can be a difficult task, but because he has been with the program for so long and seen how they’ve achieved their success, McGinty believes he and his assistant coaches -- Tyler Skroski and Kevin Carter - are ready for the challenge.
“As far as jumping in as the head coach goes, I’ve been with South throughout all of this (winning state championships),” said McGinty. “That experience with the team allows me to feel more than confident to jump in as the head coach and take over in that role.”
Another factor that has helped McGinty in his inaugural season is his relationship with Coyne, who he still relies on for sage advice.
“Again, having known him (Coyne) since I was a child, it was a coach-player relationship that turned into a friendship,” said McGinty. “I’m able to talk to him periodically just to pick his brain, and when I do talk to him, it’s usually about how to handle an issue that has come up.”
So far this season, the Titans haven’t had many issues.
The defending state champions are off to a 4-0-0 start, winning their games by an average margin of 8.75 goals and proving that while there may have been some turnover at the top, they don’t expect to regress.
The combination of dangerous offensive firepower and solid net minding has helped them get out to their strong start. Matt Stoll leads Varsity AA in both points (13) and goals scored (8) while Joe DeLaurentis is tied for the AA lead in assists with six.
While those two and the rest of the Titans’ high powered offense are causing teams fits up front, goalie Kevin Dorozinsky has been a rock between the pipes with a 2.40 GAA.
“Obviously, our offense is showing up on the scoreboard, but they can only be that good because of strong defense and most importantly strong goaltending,” McGinty said. “You build a team from the net out, the net is the foundation, and we have Kevin Dorozinsky who is returning for us after winning a state championship and a Flyers Cup. He’s a senior this year and someone we leaned on last year so having him in net adds great confidence to the team.”
Whether it’s on offense, defense or in goal, the Titans don’t look as though they plan to take a step back following their coaching change.
WILLIAM TENNENT: A Warminster Thanksgiving Tradition
From one team starting a new era to two other teams continuing a longstanding tradition, this week’s SHSHL National spotlight is on a William Tennent squad that played in its annual Thanksgiving Eve rivalry game against Archbishop Wood.
“In this area, it’s definitely the longest active Thanksgiving rivalry and we love it,” said coach Nick D’Aurizio. “It’s something where you remember every game that you’re a part of whether you’re a player or a coach, and it’s special to all of us.”
The rivalry dates back over 20 years for these schools as they battle it out annually for the Warminster Cup.
This year’s matchup between the two teams saw the Panthers come away victorious as they broke away in the second and third periods, outscoring Wood 5-1 during that stretch, on their way to a 5-2 victory to take home the cup.
Early on, it was Wood that would strike first as Patrick Sheehan netted a shorthanded goal to put his team up 1-0.
The teams went into the intermission with the score the same, and while It wasn’t an ideal position for the Panthers to be in, they’ve almost become used to playing from behind.
“Early struggles have been part of this team now for over a season, and we fought it last year too,” aid D’Aurizio. “It’s hard to believe that in a game like that, with 500 people in the stands, you wouldn’t be motivated, but for whatever reason, this team has lacked focus from the top.”
Luckily for the Panthers, it was a different team that showed up for the remainder of the game.
Sophomore Bobby Markus netted two second-half goals to put his team ahead for good, making sure Tennent won the battle for Warminster supremacy.
Markus has been a goal-scoring machine early on for his team. After tallying just three goals all of last season, he’s managed to put up six goals in the first four games this season, good for second place amongst the rest of the league.
While Markus has been a pleasant young surprise, it’s a group led by experienced players for the most part.
Captain Chris Kreider and all three Alternate Captains (Blake Bagdon, Jack McKeever, and John Dern) managed to come away from the game against Wood with points, guiding their team to a big early season victory that means more than just the points they gained in the standings.
“It’s so much bigger than a game, it’s a Thanksgiving tradition,” said D’Aurizio. “Hockey players in general are very big into tradition and superstition, and having this game to kind of call our own, at our home rink, with two teams from Warminster, makes it a huge matchup for both teams.”
PLYMOUTH WHITEMARSH: Steady Climb for Colonials
It’s been a steady climb up the standings for Plymouth Whitemarsh over the past few seasons. Four years ago, when this year’s seniors were freshmen, the team managed just one win over the entire season and finished in last place. The outlook of the program appeared bleak.
Fortunately for the Colonials, the team and head coach Josh Aiello have gotten things turned around.
After finishing the 2015-2016 season 7-9, the team has jumped out to a 3-1 start to this year and looks to be a legitimate contender for the SHSHL American crown.
Not only is this one of the most promising years the Colonials have had in a while in terms of on-ice skill, it’s also the most encouraging in terms of player turnout.
“This is the first time in 10 years that our school has been able to form a pure JV and Varsity team,” said Aiello. “Two years or three years ago, we had to co-op with another school to form a JV and Varsity team, but it’s been a while since the program has had its own and that alone is going to do great things for us.”
The transformation from bottom dweller to league contender was a concentrated effort from everyone involved, and it’s started to pay dividends for the team on the ice.
Aiello joined the PW staff for the 2012-2013 season and then became the co-head coach at the start of last season before fully taking over this year.
Aiello and his staff decided they would hold dryland workouts for the team during the offseason and give them every opportunity to succeed, and so far, it’s worked.
Perhaps the most surprising aspect of this year’s team is the rate at which they’ve been able to score goals. Through the first four games, the Colonials have tallied an unbelievable 43 goals and have three of the league’s top six point scorer’s in Dean Keller (14 points), Chris Zawislak (13 points) and Luke Brzozowski (12 points).
Those three players have meant a lot to this year’s team. Brzozowski played for PW his freshman season but did not continue with the team until this year, his senior season. Keller is a freshman that has not only made varsity but been able to score at an amazing pace, but it’s Zawislak that is the driving force behind the team.
A varsity player since his freshman year, he’s been around for all the ups and downs and seen the team transform from what it was back then to what it is today.
“He (Zawislak) is the captain of this team, but more than that, he’s been one of the more talented players on our roster since he was a freshman,” said Aiello. “He’s one of the more dynamic players on the ice in all zones. Offense, defense, special teams - he does it all for us, and I can’t say enough nice things about him because he’s a great player on the ice and off the ice.”
With its veteran leadership and goal scoring capabilities, this team has set goals as they plan to make a run at a Flyers Cup berth. Fortunately for the Colonials, it looks as though they may be able to make that goal a reality if they can maintain the hot start they’ve gotten out to thus far.
SHSHL LEAGUE LEADERS
1.Matt Stoll (CBS) – 13
1.Matt Stoll (CBS) – 8
T-2.Jake Houk (CRS) – 10
T-2.Bobby Markus (WT) – 6
T-1.Dylan Feoli (CRS) – 6
T-2.Dylan Feoli (CRS) – 10
T-2.Bryan McIntosh (CBE) – 6
T-1.Jack McKeever (WT) – 6
T-2.Joey Rockovich (CBW) – 10
T-2.Michael Roarty (TRU) – 6
T-1.Joe DeLaurentis (CBS) – 6
T-5.Jack McKeever (WT) – 9
T-5.Jake Houk (CRS) – 5
T-1.Andrew Galetta (NP) – 6
T-5.Joe DeLaurentis (CBS) – 9
T-5.Nathan Oh (NP) – 5
T-1.Jared Albano (NP) – 6
T-5.Joey Rockovich (CBW) – 5
T-5. Tyler Johnson (SOU) – 5
T-1.Timothy Cordero (AW) – 16
1.Sean Garry (WIS) – 10
T-1.Timothy Cordero (AW) – 9
T-1.Sean Garry (WIS) – 16
T-2.Perry Carpenter (A) – 9
T-2.Matt Wilson (WIS) – 7
3. Dean Keller (PW) – 14
T-2.Dean Keller (PW) – 9
T-2.Chris Zawislak (PW) – 7
4.Chris Zawislak (PW) – 13
T-2.Luke Brzozowski (PW) – 9
4.Sean Garry (WIS) – 6
T-5.Perry Carpenter (A) – 12
T-5.Coleman Peppelman (LM) – 8
T-5.Thomas Panella (A) – 5
T-5.Luke Brzozowski (PW) – 12
T-5.Ari Nordlinger (UD) – 8
T-5.Jake Flancer (WIS) – 5
T-5.Brendan Cullura (AW) – 5
T-5.Dean Keller (PW) – 5