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Ice hockey: Power-play goals lift CB West past Pennridge


The Central Bucks West ice hockey team passed a big test last Wednesday night.

CB West topped Pennridge, 4-3, at Hatfield Ice Arena in an early season meeting between the two programs.

It was as close as CB West team captain Christopher Trefz expected it to be.

“I knew it was going to be a competitive game,” said Trefz, a senior forward. “Their coach, Jeff Montagna, is my club coach so we’ve been talking about the game a little bit. He speaks highly of his team and he certainly didn’t lie about it.

“They were good, they were fast. They are young, so I would expect big things from them in the next couple of years. We have a little bit of an older team than they do so we might have underestimated them coming into the game. But I can’t complain. A win is a win.”

Pennridge got on the board first, when Jack Lowery took a pass from Jeff Manto and found the back of the net just 1:22 into play.

It was the only time the Rams would hold the lead in the game.

The Bucks tied it up exactly two minutes later on their first shot on goal, capitalizing on a power play. Keith Orlando scored the goal with an assist from Evan Hee.

CB West took the lead for good at the 9:00 mark in the first period when Sammy Poliak scored with assists from Jake Lang and Hee. That goal was also on a power play.

CB West scored again with 11:31 remaining in the second period on a goal by Jack Boland assisted by Daniel Poliak to take a 3-1 lead.

Pennridge closed the gap with just 17.5 seconds remaining in the period on a goal by Cooper White from Lowery and Aeryk Lehrhaupt.

Lang opened up the scoring for CB West in the third period, netting a goal with 8:07 to go from Hee. It was the third power-play goal for the Bucks in the game.

Pennridge showed its mettle with 1:01 remaining as Richie Shanks scored with an assist from Aidan Boyle while the Rams held a two-man advantage.

Down one man for the remainder of the game, CB West hung on for the victory.

“I give Pennridge a lot of credit,” CB West coach Dave Baun said. “I think they played hard and they’ve got a good team. They’re young, but I think we are, too. We’ve got five freshmen, five sophomores, five juniors and five seniors and next year we graduate those five seniors and we have five freshmen coming up.

“Half of our team is freshmen and sophomores and there’s only two sophomores who played last year so they’re new to what we’re doing, but there was a lot of things that I saw that I was happy with. Of course, I saw things that we can improve, too. I thought these guys were a really good test and our guys played well.

I’m absolutely looking forward to the rest of the season. I really like the group of kids we have. They seem to have a lot of fun together, they support one another, and that’s always good to see. It’s a good start.”

Three of CB West’s goals were scored on power plays.

“We were lucky to get some power plays but we have to tighten them up,” Trefz said. “We played well late in the game, aside from a dumb penalty by myself at the end. I tried to bat the puck and I got a Pennridge guy in the face. But I thought our penalty killing was tight except for a little slip up at the end when they scored. This was a good game.

“This game was definitely a wake-up call for us. It showed us things we need to work on in practice.”

The Rams are the defending Suburban High School Hockey League champions but graduated a lot from last year’s team.

“It’s a young team,” Montagna said. “We’re a good hockey team and I thought we deserved a lot better than that game. We had a ton of chances and we just didn’t finish. We let their best players get free and make the game 4-2.

“But I was proud of them. They kept coming and that’s good to see, especially when you’re down two goals.

“It’s really exciting to think about the potential of what these guys could actually become. It’s a long way to the end of the season. We wanted to get a win here but I told the team that how we get there is more important and the way we played is more important.

“I don’t want to say it’s more important than a win, but if you do things the right way, then more times than not it’s going to work out for you and they did things the right way. We had too many penalties, we couldn’t stay out of the box, but if you work the way they worked, and you keep coming the way they kept coming, nine times out of 10 you’re going to get the result you want.

“So short term, yeah, we wanted that win, but looking at the long term and where we’re going to be, and I think we’re going to be in good shape.”