SOL SHSHL Ice Hockey Wrap: Pennridge Gets Offensive in Win Over Rock North

Ben Reese features Wednesday night’s SHSHL contest pitting Pennridge versus Council Rock North. In an impressive offensive display, the Rams earned a 12-5 win.

By Ben Reese

HATFIELD -- Pennridge put on an offensive show on Wednesday night at Ice World.

The Rams ran up 12 goals en route to a 12-5 win over Council Rock North. They put together periods of three, five and four goals.

In the process, both Eric Slater and Pat McGinley scored four goals. Each player also added three assists for seven-point nights.

"The offense was there," said Pennridge coach Tom Coyne. "It was a good performance.

"We do have some offensive talent. We're trying to get some balance offensively to see if we can get a little more depth."

To that end, Coyne did some shaking up of his lines. He put Slater on a line with McGinley and Michael Ferello, which split Slater from his usual line mate, Michael Walker.

"Pat, me and Ferello, we were just clicking," Slater said. "This is our second game playing together and we were buzzing. Usually we're clicking and tonight everything went smooth."

North coach Chris Gallagher was aware of the offensive force that his team faced.

"They have a lot of offensive power," Gallagher said. "They did a great job getting the puck deep and putting it on net."

Three of Slater's goals came at the beginning of periods. He scored at the 2:37 mark of the first period, with 6:39 elapsed in the second and at the 3:34 mark of the third. His fourth goal also came in the third period, short-handed at the 7-minute mark.

McGinley, meanwhile, was also firing the puck past Indian goalie Rex Goldberg. He tallied one goal in the first, two in the second and one in the third.

Slater's three assists came on three of McGinley's goals. McGinley's three assists came on three of Slater's goals. The other goals for both were unassisted.

Coyne also reaped an additional benefit from his line change. He might just have found himself a third line.

"I was really happy with our third line tonight," he said. "I thought (Blake) Stewart, (Jeff) Manto, (Michael) Eissler and (Evan) Kehoe, especially on the forecheck, were great tonight.

"They're getting a chance to show something because we're going to need a third line if we're going to compete with some of the better teams in this league."

Rock North had played much of the season without Cavan Tully and John Vanni, two of the Indians' better players. Both are back on the ice now. Vanni contributed a goal and two assists.

"Cavan is probably one of the best defensemen in the league," Gallagher said, "and John is a responsible two-way center. We're happy whenever he's on the ice."

A lot of the Indian offense came from Daniel Guest. He finished the night with three goals and two assists.

The Rams grabbed the early lead on Slater's first goal but the Indians came right back with a Zac Herman power-play goal to tie the score. The tie lasted only 25 seconds before McGinley notched his first and Bryson Egan finished up the first-period scoring 17 seconds after that.

Things got a little wild in the second period. Pennridge put five goals on the board to only one for the Indians.

McGinley scored two of them and Slater, Manto and Dylan Lowry each had one. Guest netted the only Rock North goal.

A total of seven goals were scored in the third period. Slater had two and McGinley and Matthew Guinette one each for Pennridge. The three Indian goals came from Guest (2) and Vanni.

The win puts the Rams in a good spot as the playoffs near. They could garner a No. 1 seed and, in all probability, would have a home game at Hatfield in the first round.

The Indians are also in good shape. With two games remaining, they appear to be a shoo-in for a spot.

"It looks like we're going to make it," said Gallagher. "I think we could finish as high as fifth and as low as seventh."

All in all, still in the playoffs.

Pennridge 12, Council Rock North 5
Pennridge                              3          5          4 – 12
Council Rock North   1          1          3 – 5
First period: 1, Eric Slater P (Pat McGinley) 2:37; 2, Zac Herman CRN (Daniel Guest, CJ Zemzik) 11:11 PP; 3, McGinley P (Slater, Michael Ferello) 11:36; 4, Bryson Egan P (Nick Eissler) 11:53.
Second period: 5, Slater P (McGinley) 6:39; 6, McGinley P (Slater) 7:27; 7, Jeff Manto P (Evan Kehoe) 8:05; 8, McGinley P (unassisted) 10:55; 9, Dylan Lowry P (Matthew Guinette, Michael Walker) 12:47 SH; 10, Guest CRN (John Vanni, Herman) 13:29 PP.
Third period: 11, Slater P (McGinley, Guinette) 3:34; 12, Vanni CRN (Guest) 5:00; 13, Slater P (unassisted) 7:00 SH; 14, Guest CRN (Vanni) 9:17 PP; 15, Guinette P (unassisted) 10:53; 16, McGinley P (Slater) 11:57; 17, Guest CRN (Herman, Cavan Tully) 12:56 PP.
Shots: P 27, CRN 35. Saves: Luke Stranik (P) 30, Rex Goldberg (CRN) 15.