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Ice hockey: CR South survives Parkland rally

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It wasn’t the debut that they’d been hoping for.

But they escaped with a win.

The Council Rock South ice hockey team defeated Parkland, 7-5, in the opening round of the Flyers Cup 2A on Tuesday at Grundy Arena.

The sixth-seeded Golden Hawks (14-5-0-1) advance to take on third seed Perkiomen Valley, an 8-5 winner over 14th seed Downingtown East, on Thursday at IceLine at 6:15 p.m.

It was an unexpectedly high-scoring affair.

CR South capitalized on the first power play of the game, when Bill Harrelson scored from Brennen Wright and Antii Auture barely three minutes into play.

Less than two minutes later, 11th seeded Parkland, which hails from the Lehigh Valley League, tied it up on a goal by Eric Dennis.

The rest of the period was all CR South, as Jeremy Purcell, Harrelson and Michael Roby each found the net to give the Golden Hawks a 4-1 lead at the end of the period.

The Golden Hawks extended their scoring streak into the second period with consecutive goals by Dave Mueller and Harrelson.

With just about three minutes remaining in the second period, Joshua Bower scored for Parkland, and the teams headed into the second intermission with CR South up, 6-2.

The third period is where it got dicey for CR South.

The Trojans scored midway through the period to make the score 6-3, then put in another on a power play close the gap to 6-4. With 1:45 remaining, they scored again to get within one goal.

Time was on CR South’s side. With 37.7 seconds remaining, Parkland pulled goaltender Vincent Byelick. Ten seconds later, Roby scored an empty netter to seal the win for the Golden Hawks.

“We made a lot of bad turnovers in the neutral zone and it ended up costing us, I think,” said Harrelson, a senior captain. “We were playing really weak there. We just need to control the puck, get it deep, play our game really because they knocked us off it a lot.

“We started losing our heads, taking some bad penalties and it killed us but we got the win.”

Building up the big lead wasn’t as beneficial as it could have been.

I think in the locker room we were already looking forward to the next game,” Harrelson said. “Some people weren’t focused on the game at hand and we needed to finish up.

“Now we’re looking forward to our next game. I really want to win this whole thing and I think we have a chance. I think we’re an overlooked team, sixth seeded, and we’re just getting our guys back now (from injuries) so I think we could have a nice run.

Parkland outshot CR South, 33-25.

Last Thursday, the Golden Hawks defeated Central Bucks South, 3-1, to claim the Suburban High School Hockey League 2A title at Hatfield Ice Arena.

Autere scored the first goal of the game in the first period for CR South on a power play. Purcell netted the other two in the second period to seal the win for the Golden Hawks.

“We haven’t beaten that team all year long,” said Purcell of the win over the Titans. “It was a huge buildup before the game and it finally paid off, which was nice.

“That gave us confidence coming into the game with Parkland, but I think maybe it gave us a little too much confidence. We thought we were on top of everything but we got knocked down a little bit and we realized we have to win the next game.

“That was a lesson learned for the next game. We’re going to come in a lot more focused.”

It is the second SHSHL crown for CR South, which won its first in 2010.

“What we did last week, we did not do this week,” CR South coach Joe Houk said. “We just have to regroup a little bit. Just the little things that made a difference that we didn’t do. We’ve got no mojo right now.

“I’ve been there before, where we were up by five goals and we’ve lost, 6-5, so I’m not sure that getting that big of a lead is so good. They (Parkland) had some good players and they knew exactly what they were doing. They were getting some pucks deep and Jimmy (Sweeney, the CR South goalie) was shaky, my defense was really shaky, I had guys just doing some stupid things.

“But we’ll regroup and see what happens.”


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