HATFIELD TOWNSHIP—On some nights, a single occurrence can turn a hockey game on its axis and send it in an entirely new direction. So it was at Hatfield Ice Wednesday night.
Leading by a goal in the waning moments of the second period but facing a two-man disadvantage, Plymouth Whitemarsh not only successfully killed both penalties but scored a shorthanded goal to boot and went on to a 7-4 win over previously unbeaten Wissahickon in a Suburban High School Hockey League American Division encounter.
Colin Franzoni and Dean Keller scored two goals each and Ben Yuter made 33 saves in goal but the win was made possible in large part by what happened late in the middle period and early in the third.
Keller had just scored a goal to put the Colonials up 4-3 when, with 2:08 left in the middle period, Franzoni was sent to the box for high sticking. With 51 seconds left in the period Desmond Brock was corralled for a hooking infraction, leaving Plymouth Whitemarsh two men short for 46 seconds.
As the clock wound down inside the final half minute of the period the Colonials iced the puck. Two Trojans headed back to retrieve it but the Colonials' Jake Weikel got to the puck first behind the Wissahickon net and spotted Franzoni waiting in front. The junior proceeded to put the puck past Trojan netminder Michael Henderson with nine seconds left in the period.
"I just busted all the way (down the ice) Franzoni said. "(Weikel) got the open pass, I shot it and it went in."
Franzoni' second goal of the game didn't mean the Colonials (7-3, 4-3 SHSHL American) could rest easy. Dan Glazer scored for Wissahickon (6-1-2, 4-1-2) 56 seconds into the third period to bring the Trojans within a goal at 5-4. But Gavin Mulligan and Keller scored goals at 6:14 and 12:26, respectively, to give the Colonials some insurance.
The winners were outshot 37-24 but Yuter, a junior, was on top of his game. He said the key was maintaining his concentration. "Just staying intense the whole time and just watching every shot in," he said,"and just seeing where everyone is, and just playing every shift like it's my last."
After losing a 13-8 shootout to Lower Moreland last Thursday, Yuter said it was important for he and his mates to step up Wednesday night.
"It was very important," he said, "because we've always had a big rivalry against Wissahickon. They're undefeated (prior to Wednesday) and we just need to show them what's up and who is boss in this league."
That issue won't be settled until season's end but Wissahickon coach Ken Harrington acknowledged Plymouth Whitemarsh was the superior team on this occasion.
"They were outworking us over and over," he said. "We weren't adjusting; they were collapsing on us and we weren't adjusting."
After going through the first half of the season undefeated, Harrington said his team has some work to do. "We looked real sluggish," he said. "A couple guys were under the weather, they were game time decisions, but no excuses. They're were outworking us and the one-on-one battles, they won a lot of them."
Plymouth Whitemarsh 2 3 2—7
Wissahickon 2 1 1—4
First-period goals: Colin Franzoni (PW) from Ben Lucas, 9:10; Bryan Gary (W) from Sean Gary, 9:31; Peter Troy (PW) from Dean Keller, 15:06; Sean Gary (W) from Bryan Gary and Nick Hussa, 15;36 (pp).
Second-period goals: Aidan Keith (PW) from Troy, 5:43; Bryan Gary (W) from Sean Gary, 11:55; Keller (PW) unassisted, 12:29; Franzoni (PW) from Jake Weikel, 15:49 (sh).
Third-period goals: Dan Glazer (W) from Ty Schaffer, :56; Gavin Mulligan (W) from Desmond Brock, 6:14; Keller (PW) from Franzoni, 12:26.
Shots: Plymouth Whitemarsh 24, Wissahickon 37; Saves: Ben Yuter (PW) 33, Michael Henderson (W) 17
By Rick Woelfel www.hockeyhappenings.wordpress.com