SOL SHSHL Ice Hockey Notebook (12-19-18)

Neshaminy, Pennridge & Lower Moreland are featured in Rick Woelfel’s first SOL SHSHL notebook that also includes the Class A & AA scoring leaders.

By Rick Woelfel

SHSHL National Division Snapshot

Redskins on the rise - Neshaminy is a team a lot of people are talking about this season. The Redskins have started out 2-2-1 overall and 2-2 in league play.

Senior goaltender Steven Glik has long been considered elite, but this year the Redskins have some quality players to go with him, a number of whom are playing AAA-level club hockey.

“The young guys are really contributing,” said Neshaminy coach Matt DeMatteo. “The older guys are doing what you’d expect seniors to do.”

Sophomore Robbie Seewagen, a transfer from Holy Ghost Prep, is leading the team in scoring with seven goals and four assists for 11 points. Junior Joey DeMatteo has contributed three goals and six assists for nine points while sophomore Thomas Gallagher has provided six goals.

Neshaminy has also gotten major contributions from senior defenseman Joey Buday along with Josh Haines, another senior, who is now a fixture on the blue line after spending some time up front.

But it all starts with Glik, who is facing an average of 45 shots per game. He stopped 50 shots in a 3-2 loss to Central Bucks South on December 5. He’s sporting an impressive goals-against average of 3.60 with a save percentage of .920. But his impact goes far, far beyond his numbers.

“We don’t feel like we have to play in a defensive shell,” coach DeMatteo said. “With Steven there, we know we can take some chances.”

DeMatteo says his players are taking the ice this season with a renewed sense of confidence, even when going against the SHSHL’s upper echelon teams like Central Bucks South, Pennridge, and North Penn which historically dominated the Redskins in seasons past.

“It used to be that you would have to drive out to Hatfield to play one of those teams just to get eight or 10 goals dropped on you and drive home,” he said. “I think we’re at the point with our program now where we’re looking to beat those teams. It’s not that we’re driving out there trying to lessen the damage. We’re trying to beat these guys.”

SHSHL Continental Division Snapshot

Rams rolling in new system - Pennridge got off to a slow start this season and it’s easy to understand why. The Rams are playing for their third coach in two seasons. Jeff Montagna is now in charge behind the bench with veteran Tom Coyne, who served as head coach most of last season, serving as his assistant.

The team stumbled out of the gate, playing to tie with North Penn in its non-league opener and losing to up-an-coming Neshaminy but has reeled off four straight wins since then, The Rams have outscored their opponents 29-4 during the streak and recorded two shutouts.

Montagna also coaches two club teams and a number of his Pennridge players also skate for one of his club teams. Those players are familiar with his system. For the rest of the roster, there were some adjustments to make but in the wake of a 6-2 win over Central Bucks East last Thursday, Montagna believes things are starting to come together.

“You actually saw guys fighting to get into the offensive zone where we want them set up,” he said. “You could see two guys on the same spot; on the blue line, up top, and that’s one of the first times I’ve really seen that. And that’s really what I thought - that they are starting to get where we want them to be on the ice.”

Eric Slater is pacing the Rams with 16 goals and four assists for 20 points heading into this week’s action. He’s second in the AA division of the SHSHL in scoring. Michael Walker is next with six goals and eight assists for 14 points while Frankie Rota has dealt out 11 assists along with scoring two goals for 13 points.

Luke Stranick anchors the defense in goal with a goals-against average of 2.39 and an impressive .910 save percenetage.

SHSHL American Division Snapshot

Small in number Lions off to nice start - Lower Moreland is off to an impressive start, having won three and tied two of its first six games. The Lions reached the American Division final a year ago but in many ways are starting from scratch this season.

Veteran coach Gus Scalfitti is behind the bench this season. His roster consists of just 11 players - 10 skaters and a goaltender.

There are just three seniors on the roster, the other nine players are underclassmen.

The situation dictates that the skaters on hand get a lot of ice time. Coleman Peppelman is second in the entire SHSHL in scoring with 16 goals and nine assists for 25 points heading into this week. Vincenzo DeMaio is right behind him with 14 goals and 10 assists for 24 points while Adam Bostock has recorded seven goals and 12 assists for 19 points.

Salfitti is quick to point out that success this season will hinge on his players’ ability to stay out of the penalty box.

“Penalties will happen and they’re part of the game,” he said. “But (bad penalties) are something I cannot tolerate and I definitely want to make sure it doesn’t become a bad habit of ours. We just can’t afford to be any men down.”
Getting solid play in goal doesn’t hurt either. Freshman Jacob Lingin has recorded a goals-against average of 5.33 in six appearances; a more-than-respectable figure in the Class A American Division where high scores are common.

“He’s got a fire in his belly that I love about him,” Salfitti says. He’s not happy when the weak goals go in, he’s not happy when the good goals go in, which is good. That gives him an edge as far as focus and intensity. He holds himself accountable for that hockey team and just love the passion that he has in him.”

Ice Chips—This week marks the last week of play in the SHSHL

until after the holidays. Action resumes on January 2.

Leading Scorers Class 2A

Name/Team

GP

Goals

Assists

Pts

Tyler Greenstein NP

7

14

8

22

Eric Slater Pridge

6

16

4

20

Nathan Oh NP

7

7

12

19

Reis Braccio CBS

7

10

7

17

Josh Kaufhold NP

7

5

11

16

Logan Hurwitz CRS

7

7

8

15

Steven Avellino HST

5

12

3

15

Perry Carpenter Aton

6

8

7

15

Jake Nelson NP

6

8

6

14

Michael Walker Pridge

6

6

8

14

Leading Scorers Class A

Name/Team

GP

Goals

Assists

Pts

Dean Keller PW

7

11

16

27

Coleman Peppleman LM

7

16

9

25

Vincenzo DeMaio LM

7

14

10

24

Bryan Garry Wiss

5

12

 8

20

Adam Bostock LM

7

7

12

19

Sean Garry Wiss

5

10

8

18

Colin Franzoni PW

7

11

7

18

Jake Weikel PW

7

11

5

16

Ari Nordlinger UD

6

9

6

15

Aidan Keogh PW

6

9

4

13