Council Rock South has played just one complete game all year.
That isn’t coachspeak for all phases of hockey coming together. It is a literal statement.
CR South (6-0) beat Central Bucks East (4-2) 11-1 last Wednesday night. It was the fifth time in the first six Golden Hawks games where CR South ended a contest early.
“There are a couple of newcomers but a lot of these guys have been playing together for the last two or three years. They knew where they needed to be this year and they’ve worked hard,” said head coach Joe Houk. “We’re deep. We’re not just one line. We’re three and a half lines deep. We have six solid defenders and two good goal tenders.”
“We’re just playing together: moving the puck up the boards and clearing it out,” added co-captain Kevin Koles. “We’re doing the little things right.”
Gavin Nisenzon scored on a rebound when the game was just 29 seconds old. Illa Mukhin, who had a hat trick, scored from the left wing to make it 2-0. Jake Weiner, who had his third hat trick in four games, made it 3-0 with a shot from the right wing 12 minutes in.
“It is our depth and our hard work. We like to get pucks deep and forecheck hard,” Nisenzon credited. “That really tires defenses out.”
Three South goals in a 2:14 span between the end of the first and start of the second periods put the game out of reach. The Golden Hawks did not go more than seven minutes between scores. Koles, who had five assists on the night, closed the game with the 11th goal.
“We want to keep it level headed. We want to be not too high or not to low. We want to just to be in the middle and keep it moving along,” Houk said. “We’re going to go up against some good teams. We have Souderton, Pennridge and some other teams we haven’t seen yet. We’re looking forward to the rest of the season.”
Seven Golden Hawks have double digit points on the year led by Koles (10 goals, 14 assists), Weiner (11 goals, six assists) and Blaize Pepe (eight goals, seven assists.)
“It feels great to have (depth) and we move the puck well,” Weiner shared. “We’re a close team and that helps us. All of us came through middle school and we grew up together. We all played club together.”
Nisenzon credited “positivity on the bench. Last year we got into penalty trouble,” he said. “This year, we want to play for something more.”
The Golden Hawks have won two of the last four Suburban High School Hockey League titles. Last season, CR South won the SHSHL National and defeated Pennsbury in each of their first three meetings. Yet the Falcons rallied from a 4-1 deficit to upset South in the Flyers Cup semifinals, the fourth time the teams collided.
“I think this group takes every opponent the same way,” Koles said. “We always think that they are the best team in the league and we always have to show up playing our best.”
CB East quickly got the loss out of its system. The Patriots beat Neshaminy 6-1 on Friday behind a pair of goals from both Corey Kosick and Jaden Young. It took Kosick just six games to rack up a dozen goals this winter. East next faces rival CB South on Friday.
The Golden Hawks face unbeaten Pennridge in a marquee matchup on the 13th. CR South played Souderton, whom it has already mercy ruled, in a Wednesday late game.
Houk wants to keep his team even-keeled, but CR South is well aware of the substantial talent on their roster. “Last year we got knocked out early and we want our revenge,” Weiner admitted. “We want that state title.”