CB West defeated CB South in a battle of the SHSHL Continental’s top teams. CB West/CB South photos provided courtesy of Dara N. King Photography. Check back for a gallery...CLICK HERE.
By Ben Reese
HATFIELD -- This time last year, Scotty Cappuccio could only sit and watch his Central Bucks West teammates play ice hockey.
Cappuccio, now a senior, sat out his entire junior year with concussions. In that regard, it was a lost season.
Well, Cappuccio is back, going full tilt again. He scored two goals Wednesday night in the Bucks' 5-2 win over Central Bucks South including what proved to be the game-winner.
The victory keeps West unbeaten in the Continental Conference of the Suburban High School Hockey League. South lost its second game of the season.
"Junior year, I got hurt (playing for the Ice Dogs)," Cappuccio said of his club team. "I decided to take the year off.
"It was a hard decision for me to decide to sit a year out. I didn't know if I would get back.
"I sat down with my parents and decided that this is my last year and I wanted to play with this team because I knew what we had coming into the year. I made that decision to come back and it's been the best decision I've made."
What changes had to be made to your game when you came back?
"My first two games back, I was a little timid," Cappuccio said. "I was thinking that my next hit could be my last.
"I changed my playing style a little bit so I was playing with my head up and not the 'hit first' mentality. I picked up my speed a little bit and started skating around instead of throwing hits. It's kept me more protected out there during the game."
West coach Dave Baun for one is glad that Cappuccio is now healthy and playing.
"When he gets uncaged and comes up the ice, there's not much like it," Baun said. "We try to encourage him to protect himself a little more and there's a little bit of luck involved."
But there is more to Cappuccio than just his time on the ice. That's another thing that Baun is thankful for.
"What really impressed me about Scotty was his leadership," said Baun. "We were up 2-0 on those guys and they battled back and tied it up.
"There was not one cross word on the bench, not one piece of negativism. There was Scotty Cappuccio cheering on everybody else on the roster. That's important."
Goals by Jake Boehm and Cappuccio in the first period, both off assists from Joey Rockovich, gave the Bucks the 2-0 lead with 12:53 gone. But only 13 seconds later, Matt Stoll notched the Titans' first goal.
South tied the game with less than three minutes remaining in the second period. Joe DeLaurentis with an assist from Stoll got the marker.
But the third stanza was all Bucks.
Cappuccio scored the game-winner with only 2:58 gone in the third with Rockovich and Tucker Forte getting helpers.
Shawn Phillips and Joe Anton finished off the scoring. Key in that period was a penalty kill by West at the 7:11 mark.
"We had three power plays that we did not capitalize on," said South coach Shaun McGinty. "When you play these kind of games, it's the small increments that matter. They were able to capitalize when it mattered and we didn't."
A big part of the West victory was the number of shots that were blocked before they reached goalie Jonah Brous. In the end, South did put 40 shots on net.
"We worked on getting in the passing lanes," Baun said. "Cutting off passes; trying to prevent shots and forcing them to the perimeter. Our kids did a really good job of that."
McGinty was disappointed with the loss but was upbeat about the game.
"I thought it was a very good high school hockey game," he said. "It was very physical; it was fast.
"Credit to them. I thought they played well. I thought we played well, too.
"It's hard to be positive in a loss. We did lose but we did a lot right.
"They capitalized on our mistakes. It's our job to capitalize on theirs."
As for Cappuccio, well, he was just happy.
"I'm ecstatic," he said with a smile. "To play with a team and a group of kids like this, assistant captain with my senior friends, it's great.
"To be beating these teams and winning, I'm just ecstatic. The run we're having now, I'm enjoying it."
And no more headaches.
CB West 5, CB South 2
CB South 1 1 0 – 2
CB West 2 0 3 -- 5
First period: 1, Jake Boehm CBW (Joey Rockovich) 3:50; 2, Scotty Cappuccio CBW (Rockovich) 12:57; 3, Matt Stoll CBS (Colin Abbonizio, D.J. LoVerdi) 13:06.
Second period: 4, Joe DeLaurentis CBS (Stoll) 13:23.
Third period: 5, Cappuccio CBW (Rockovich, Tucker Forte) 2:58; 6, Shawn Phillips CBW (Brandon Savona) 3:26; 7, Joe Anton CBW (Dalton Karl) 9:29.
Shots: CBS 40, CBW 27. Saves: Kevin Dorozinsky (CBS) 22, Jonah Brous (CBW) 38.