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Ice hockey: CB East rallies, falls to North Penn

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Despite facing a 2-0 deficit four and half minutes into the game, the host CB East Patriots twice came back to tie North Penn (7-2-3, 6-1-2 Continental) last Wednesday night at Revolution Ice Gardens.

But North Penn’s Jake Nelson punched in a final goal with 6:21 left in the game. The tally gave the Knights a 5-4 win.

“I loved the way we battled,” assessed East (7-3-1, 4-3 Continental) coach Ken Latchum. “We came out slow but there was no quit.”

The Knights’ Tyler Greenstein beat his man and scored his 17th goal at 11:56. North Penn scored again just 21 seconds later.

Sean Gorman’s goal with 4:18 left in the first got East on the board.

“Robbie Kern got a bounce, saw me breaking and chipped it out to me,” Gorman said. “I lost the puck a little bit but the goalie got fooled by it. I pulled it back the other way and jammed it home.

“It was a big confidence booster,” Gorman continued. “(North Penn) is a good team. Getting down 2-0 quick was unfortunate but we battled back.”

North Penn’s power play goal two minutes later gave the Knights a 3-1 advantage at first intermission.

A very different East team took the ice in the second period. Latchum spent the first intermission break speaking about defensive zone positioning. “I had five guys by the goal line,” he pointed out. “I was praying for the period to get over with so I could remind them of their responsibilities. The other part was taking the body if you’re the first guy on the puck. I don’t need you to blast the first guy into the boards. I do need you to make sure he doesn’t go anywhere with the puck.”

Connor Keiser gave East its own power play goal just 34 seconds into the period. “There was a shot on net and I crashed it, got the rebound, spun around shot it and scored,” Keiser described. It was his third goal of the season.

Gorman knotted it at 3 90 seconds later with his team-leading 14th goal. “We had a good team effort and we had two straight goals in two minutes. I think that built up our momentum,” Keiser said. “We have to get off to a better start in our games.”

The Patriots had momentum on a penalty kill several minutes later. Not only couldn’t the Knights get a shot off, but the Patriots’ Nick LoCastro nearly scored a short-handed goal.

“We got our sticks in the lane and got our bodies down for Matt Ogo,” Gorman said. “He played great. We’re all teammates out there so if we have to take one for the team, we will.”

North Penn scored at 5:38; East goalie Matt Ogonowski kept it at 4-3 when he stoned Nathan Oh’s breakaway 30 seconds later. Ogonowski had 26 saves on a busy night.

With 3:42 in the second, Tyler Godown centered a pass to Phil McIntyre, who found the back of the net and tied the game at 4.

East had a two-game win streak entering Wednesday. Gorman had two goals in a 4-3 Jan. 2 win at Souderton. Four different Patriots scored at home on the 9th in a 4-2 topping of William Tennent. The Patriots play Council Rock North this Thursday.

“A lot of the younger kids are coming on now,” Latchum said. “Sean is a freshman and Connor is a sophomore. I thought Chris Mangiacapre had a great defensive game and he is only a sophomore. The future is bright.”


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