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Ice hockey: Pennridge shuts out Quakertown


Quakertown and Pennridge met on Wednesday night in a Suburban High School Hockey League game at Hatfield Ice, but the ice hockey game took a back seat to more important things.

Pennridge played with a mission to win for classmates Lexi and Abigail Boleski. The sisters were in a car accident on their way to school on Friday, Jan. 17.

Lexi, 17, was taken to Lehigh Valley Hospital and is now home. Abigail, 15, was airlifted from the scene to St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia, where she remains in the ICU.

The Rams won the game, 10-0.

They ended the first period with a 4-0 lead. Aeryk Lehrhaupt and Blake Stewart each had two goals. They extended the lead to 9-0 after the second period. Lehrhaupt had two more goals and Stewart one, while Andrew David scored and freshman Dane Fitchett notched his first varsity goal, and shorthanded at that.

The final goal of the game was shorthanded, scored with 6:38 to go by Lehrhaupt.

Pennridge outshot the Panthers 47-21.

Ryan Pico had the shutout in goal for Pennridge, making 20 saves. Quakertown goaltender Austin Stoudt made 37 saves.

“We just got back to .500 in league play and we’re trying to get a playoff spot,” Stewart said. “We lost a lot of seniors from last year’s team. It was difficult to come back with a new group because we had a bunch of new players coming into the locker room and the chemistry was kind of low. We’ve been coming together as a team. I think we’re heading upwards. I have high hopes for us.”

Stewart and Connor Frisch spearheaded the fundraising efforts. Both players have classes with Lexi Boleski.

“It was hard to sit there and see no one at the desk she sits at,” Stewart said. “It was awesome to see the whole community come together for one game and just help each other out.”

Pennridge players wore yellow ribbons for the Boleski sisters.

“The yellow ribbons are for Abigail,” Frisch said. “The yellow ribbon stands for ‘come home’ so we want her to be able to come home as soon as possible. The main goal was to raise money and we were able to do that. We really wanted to give something to the family.

“It was great to see how much money we generated for the Boleski family. We need to thank the community. Without their support we would not have been able to do what we did.”

Pennridge had a 50-50 fundraiser and a raffle with proceeds going to the Boleski family. There is also a GoFundMe page for the Boleskis, set up by neighbor Jessica Hughes.

This is Quakertown’s first season in the SHSHL. There is no junior varsity and no feeder program.

“These games are kind of frustrating because it’s not the outcome we want,” said Quakertown senior Morgan Thrush, who also plays softball for the Panthers. “We’ve shown growth throughout the season but we’re not getting the results on the scoreboard the way we’d like to.

“It’s our first year in the league so it’s a new experience for us. We’re still trying to get adjusted. We’ve had some growing pains but we keep improving so there’s good steps there. Our first skate was in June but we really started to pick it up in August. I feel like since the beginning it’s grown 100 percent.

“We’ve come a long way and it’ll be interesting to see what else we can do this year.”

Thrush will major in exercise science at Delaware and play club hockey next year.

Quakertown presented the Rams with a check for $100 for the Boleski family.

“It’s always a good thing to contribute to such a good cause so we were glad to help out,” Thrush said.

It was also alumni night for the Quakertown team, and several veterans of the Quakertown program made appearances.

“It was awesome to see alumni come back and see where the program started so many years ago,” Thrush said.