Chris McIntyre can handle the job.
Last year, the talented CB East goalie split time between the pipes with the now graduated Matt Ogonowski. McIntyre’s .904 save percentage was one of the best in Suburban One.
“I’m used to the bigger workload,” McIntyre said. “I didn’t share the net that often because in the younger leagues, there usually aren’t two goalies. I prepare all summer for this stuff. It’s the only thing I do.”
McIntyre faced a barrage from visiting North Penn (1-1) last Wednesday night at Revolution Ice Gardens. The Knights fired over twice the shots that CB East did. McIntyre turned away 45 offerings but his Patriots (2-1) fell in overtime 4-3. North Penn scored twice on the power play, exploiting short-handed CB East squads.
“I try to stay focused all game, no matter what’s happening, and get ready to stop the puck at all times,” McIntyre offered.
North Penn drew a power play just 1:12 into the game; East’s defense allowed the Knights to get off only one shot. North Penn’s Tyler Greenstein, one of two returners from last winter’s All-Continental first team, scored on the Knights’ second power play with 7:10 left in the first period.
“We tried to stay with him, take his body when you can, hit his stick and not give him a lot of room,” said East’s Sean Gorman. “When we did, he capitalized on it. We gave him time and space and he was able to score.”
Gorman, one of Continental’s leading returning scorers, tied the game just 37 seconds later. “That goal was big,” said Gorman, who had a hat trick. “Obviously, we want to keep the guys in the game and get the crowd going. It was a big momentum booster and I was lucky enough to have a squeaker go in.”
The tie lasted only 11 seconds and the period ended with North Penn up 2-1. Gorman scored 23 seconds into the second and deuces were wild: The second period score ended 2-2. McIntyre stopped several slop shots late in the period to almost single handedly kill a North Penn power play.
Luke Van Why’s goal five minutes into the third put the Knights up 3-2; Gorman tied it on a momentum swinging, short-handed goal with 6:27 left.
“The puck came out to their defenseman and I was there,” described Jasen Cluckey. “I wrestled him for the puck and he tied me down. Gorman was right there and got the goal for us, which was big.”
Cluckey freed the puck and passed it to a streaking Gorman. “It was hard work from Cluck,” Gorman credited. “Without him, that goal doesn’t happen. He busted his butt to get that puck for us.”
McIntyre stoned Ryan Cunningham on a breakaway with 3:40 left to help force overtime. Cunningham’s one-timer 2:16 into overtime sealed the win for North Penn.
Besides McIntyre, CB East returns over 60% of its scoring from last year. “I feel like we’re definitely a lot closer than we were a year before, so that’s big,” Cluckey shared. “When we know each other, we play better because we know where we are on the ice. It gives us more opportunities.”
The Patriots waxed Truman 10-0 in their season opener behind Phil McIntyre’s hat trick, and thumped William Tennent 10-2, where Gorman needed just 20 minutes to rack up four goals. Tyler Godown added multiple points in both games.
North Penn, who went 11-4-3 last year, was a tougher test. “We don’t change anything, but we always play the best that we can,” Chris McIntyre shared. “We act like we play those kinds of teams all of the time,” he added, pointing to the Knights’ locker room.
The Patriots returned to action Wednesday night against Lower Moreland. The game ended after press time.