Four blocks from where the SEPTA train line runs through Bristol, the Colin Abbonizio train ran through Grundy Arena.
Gathering the puck at his own blue line last Thursday, Abbonizio gathered steam, roared past two Pennsbury Falcons like a locomotive and scored four minutes into the second period. The goal extended Central Bucks South’s (3-1) lead to 3-0 in the Titans’ eventual 7-1 win.
“I lost the puck. It trickled over to one of their defensemen and I took it,” described Abbonizio, CB South’s captain. “On the second and third goals, my line mates and Dom Patrone really did that hard work for me to get that result.”
Abbonizio had a hat trick and Ryan Gingras scored twice. Daniel Kvecher and Harry McLaughlin also lit the lamp for South.
Gingras’ one-timer on the power play gave the Titans a 1-0 lead 76 seconds in. Gingras scored a second period goal just three seconds into another South power play.
“We have very good faceoff winners. The lane was wide open. I walked in and took a clean shot,” is how Gingras described the fastest goal of his career.
South dominated the first period, launching 20 shots on goal to the Falcons’ six, yet had only Gingras’ first tally to show for it.
“A lot of these guys know the system,” explained South coach Shaun McGinty. “It’s very fundamental and hockey. It’s trying to keep teenagers on course but at the same time we don’t break away, we try not to get nervous, we keep finding the puck and tell them the obvious things like sooner or later, things are going to break.”
South’s work paid off when Kvecher weaved through traffic to score a power-play goal 38 seconds into the second. South led 4-1 through two.
McLaughlin muscled in a sweet revenge goal early in the third; he was victimized by an earlier vicious Falcon hit that drew a double minor. South converted three of six power plays.
“Something coach always tells us is don’t retaliate, because you are only hurting your team,” Abbonizio reminded. “The best way you can somewhat retaliate is by putting points on the board.”
“On the power play, we like to get shots on net. The more shots, the more goals we get,” Gingras added.
South killed five of six Falcon power plays. Abbonizio’s shorthanded second goal midway through the third came on a rare three on five. Abbonizio’s final tally late in the third earned Patrone his fourth apple.
The South defense turned in another strong effort. Goalie Mason Moyer stopped 24 shots; the Titans have yielded just six goals all year.
“We’re really good at keeping the puck outside and letting me see the shots. We try and minimize breakaways,” Moyer explained. “But you don’t see a lot of shots.” Both Garrett Sklar and Matt Crouch disrupted Falcon breakaways in the first to render them harmless.
“We have a lot of kids on this team that give 110%. They don’t take shifts off and everyone works hard,” Abbonizio noted. “That is great to have on a team.”
Pennsbury (2-1) outscored their first two opponents 15-0. South, by far, was their toughest challenge. “If you start off 2-0 and have given up no goals, you’re doing something right,” McGinty pointed out. “Pennsbury is a good squad.”
Despite South outscoring Pennsbury each period, McGinty conceded the second to the Falcons. “We try to break the game up into three small games. We won two out of three and that’s the way we think about it: it’s not about the score, it’s about winning periods. It’s nice to see a lot of shared wealth on the scoresheet,” McGinty observed. Five Titans have four points this season.
South returns five of its top seven scorers from last year’s 13-4-2 team. They lose standout goalie Oscar Levin but Moyer, who saw significant action last year, is meeting the challenge.
“Our power play looked good tonight. Our goaltending played well,” McGinty concluded. “It’s a solid game and we’ll obviously take the win.”
South takes the ice on Thanksgiving Eve against North Penn.