SOL SHSHL Ice Hockey Wrap (1-10-18)

Ben Reese recaps all the action in the Pennridge/Tennent game as well as the Rams’ coaching change. Pennridge/Tennent and CB West/Truman photos provided by Keith Clemens Photography. Check back for a gallery of photos. CLICK HERE to go directly to the ICE HOCKEY GALLERY.

By Ben Reese

HATFIELD -- It should have been an interesting game when William Tennent hosted Pennridge at Hatfield Ice on Wednesday night.

The Panthers have one of the better goalies in the Suburban High School Hockey League and the Rams are one of the higher scoring teams in the league.

Well, Pennridge lived up to its clippings, rolling to an 8-0 victory over Tennent. The victory kept the Rams unbeaten in the Continental Conference standings, right behind Central Bucks South.

With all apologies to the Panthers, the game was over in the first period. Eric Slater struck for four straight goals and the Rams were off and running.

The Pennridge offense was in high gear and its defense was even stronger. Goalie Luke Stranick pitched the shutout and the Rams outshot Tennent 49-16, limiting the Panthers to only two shots in the first period.

Slater took things in his own hands in the opening stanza. He scored his first goal at the 4:44 mark, followed by a goal 13 seconds later, another at 8:35 on the power play and the final one at 9:26 shorthanded.

"That's what we try to do every time," Slater said, "dominate the first few shifts and it's all downhill from there. Shots were just going in."

Tennent coach Nick D'Aurizio knew what he was up against with Slater.

"He's a big player," the Panthers’ coach said. "He's a good player.

"We're young and we're small. It's really hard to handle a guy like that when you have nine guys and mostly freshmen.

"He's a dynamic player and 86 (Michael Walker) is a dynamic player. We knew they were going to hurt us. We wanted to minimize the damage and he kind of ate us alive in the first period. We didn't stand a chance."

While the final score might not have been a surprise, the coach standing behind the Pennridge bench was.

Tom Coyne, last seen guiding CB South to two PIAA Championships, has taken over the reins for the Rams. The change in coaches was unexpected.

"A sudden resignation of their coach and the club approached me," Coyne said when asked how it all came about. "I wasn't exactly sitting by the phone, but a couple of kids live in my neighborhood and I kind of felt sorry for them without a coach."

D'Aurizio wasn't surprised by the appearance of Coyne.

"I knew Tom was taking over the team," D'Aurizio said. "It didn't make it any easier to see Tom Coyne across the ice.

"He's the best coach in the area. They're a good team and now they have the best coach in the area. They'll be a formidable team come Flyers Cup."

The Rams didn't have a lot of time to absorb the lessons that Coyne wanted to impart. Fortunately, the change came over the holiday break at the end of December.

"We've learned a lot in the past couple of weeks," said Slater. "In the first game, we really did good with the new systems we learned. He put in a lot of new systems and we've learned a lot."

The learning continued during the game.

"Clearly the Slater-Walker line is pretty good," Coyne said. "They had it going pretty early. They got the shots up real early and they (Tennent) had no answer for those guys."

The two teams played relatively even in the second. The Rams got a goal from Nick Eissler with an assist from Slater.

They finished things off in the third. Michael Eissler, Nick Eissler and Patrick McGinley all scored in the third.

"We were kind of getting away from playing away from the puck," Coyne explained about the second period. "We got kind of sloppy. Everybody was trying to do it themselves but that got corrected."

How about the third period?

"I tried to throw a little trap, a little stuff for teaching purposes," said Coyne. "Since it was the first game with them for me, I wanted to throw a little away-from-the-puck kind of stuff to see how they would take it."

Things will get a little strange for Coyne next week when Pennridge plays CB South. How is that going to feel?

"It will feel really odd," said Coyne, "but I've got a different jacket on now. We'll be ready."

Never known a Tom Coyne team to not be ready.

Pennridge 8, William Tennent 0
Pennridge                  4          1          3 – 8
William Tennent         0          0          0 – 0
First period: 1, Eric Slater P (unassisted) 4:44; 2, Slater P (Matthew Guinette, Nick Eissler) 4:57; 3, Slater P (N. Eissler, Guinette) 8:35 PP; 4, Slater P (unassisted) 9:26 SH.
Second period: 5, N. Eissler P (Slater) 14:48.
Third period: 6, Michael Eissler P (Tommy Pinchardo) 2:42; 7, N. Eissler P (Bryson Egan, Guinette) 14:34 PP; 8, Patrick McGinley P (Dylan Lowery) 15:35.

Shots: P 49, WT 16. Saves: Luke Stranick (P) 16; Eric Lineman (WT) 41.

John Vanni scored a power play goal with an assist from Zac Herman 1:33 into the final period, breaking a 4-4 tie with a goal that turned out to be the game winner in a thriller.
The game was a roller coaster of emotions for both teams. The Falcons appeared to be in command when they reeled off three unanswered goals in the first period. Erik Eisler (Jake Sieger assist) scored just over a minute into the game. Griffin Foll (Eisler assist) added a goal four minutes later, and in the closing seconds of the period, Eisler scored on a power play with assists from Sieger and Edward Bossler.
Things changed in a hurry in the second period. Oleg Sapranenko scored 2:36 into the period, but Anthony Bench got that goal back when he scored with a Jake Sieger assist. Zac Herman made it a 4-2 game, scoring with an assist from Cavan Tully, and it was a one-goal game when Daniel Guest found the back of the net 14:04 into the period with a Herman assist. With nine seconds remaining in the period, Herman’s power play goal with a Brandon Simmonds assist knotted the score, setting the stage for Vanni’s heroics.
Rex Goldberg earned the win in goal for the Indians, turning away 16 of 20 shots. August Dous was credited with 33 saves for the Falcons.
Council Rock North   0-4-1   5
Pennsbury     3-1-0   4
Shots:  Pennsbury 20, CR North 38.
Saves: Rex Goldberg (CRN) 16, August Dous (P) 33.
First Period
P-Erik Eisler (Jake Sieger)
P-Griffin Foll (Erik Eisler)
P-Erik Eisler (Jake Sieger/Edward Bossler)
Second Period
CRN-Oleg Sapranenko
P-Anthony Bench (Jake Sieger)
CRN-Zac Herman (Cavan Tully)
CRN-Daniel Guest (Zac Herman)
CRN-Zac Herman (Brandon Simmonds)
Third Period
CRN-John Vanni (Zac Herman)