Mercy Rule comes 

in play! 

December 17, 2017

Austin Smith (@Smitie17)


The Mercy rule came into play for the first time in the 2017-2018 EPSHL season. The two teams were Berks South and Berks Catholic and Berks South made a statement with a 12-2 win. The game was ended with still over a half a period left in the third. 


Berks South was the team to have a showdown party on Friday December, 15 because of the explosiveness and 12 goals they were able to manage to put together.


It all started with just 2:12 into the game with a Brody Carson goal. 8 seconds later though Berks Catholic Parker Davis responded with the first goal of the game for Berks Catholic and the first goal of the season!


Berks Catholic for the first time of the season could say they were in the game because of the 1-1 tie. That tie did not last really at all. Derek Jopp chipped home a back hand rebound goal to make it 2-1 in favor of Berks South.


About six minutes later Matt Sacks would get a powerplay goal and his 4th of the season which made it 3-1 Berks South. This is when things started to get out of hand. Riley Muschick, Michael Smereck, and Ryan Duffy would score to make it 6-1. at the end of the 1st period.  


In the second period Berks South would keep the scoring with Brody Carson's second goal of the game and was a short handed goal. Just over 2:00 minutes after Trey Hayick would score to make it 8-1 and would be Berks South second shorthanded goal of the night. Berks Catholic tried to stop Berks South from scoring again and got there second goal of the night which made it 8-2. Berks Catholic's Mason Norotsky got the goal and Parker Davis had the assist on his goal.


Trey Hayick would score two more goals which gave him a hattrick. Jacob Shugar would assist on Trey's third goal and gave Shugar his third assist of the night. It was a special night for Trey Hayick to get a hattrick. Trey Hayick's dad has been battling throat cancer and wanted to come watch him play but could not. 


Trey Hayick was interviewed after the game for his 3 goal performance and his team's outstanding performance "We feel pretty good, we are getting pretty hyped before the game, hard warm-up getting good shots off and puck movement" said, Trey Hayick. " Trey was then asked about his hattrick. "One goal I had Shugar sauced it over a guy's stick and passed it to me. and just shot it in on a one timer". "Another goal I took the puck and, shot it topshelf."


In the third period Ryan Duffy would make the game 10-2 and then Eric Sowers would score a goal to put the game to a end with a mercy rule of 12 goals.


Coach Simmerman was not there at the game, so  assistant coach Patrick Dunion was asked about his teams great performance. "I was really happy about the performance, it's tough when the goal differential is that big and you kind of just want to end it to keep it from getting out of hand". "We just won a few games in a row and hopefully this a turning point for us" mentioned, Patrick Dunion. "Coach Kevin will be back for Monday's game, it's the hustle, it's the grind and first to the puck that they seemed to pick up in more recent games".


Coach Matt Conrad had some stuff to say about his team's performance," I thought it was important that we got a goal early in the game which was key, obviously you want to get that monkey off your back". "I don't think the effort was all there tonight, guys were not finishing there checks and we were not skating as hard". "We also may of took our foot of the  gas and did not get it going again" said Matt Conrad.

 

Berks Catholic only had six shots on goal but got 2 goals on those six shots but was no where near Berks South's 31 shots in the game.

 

Berks Catholic will take on Berks North Sunday December, 17 at bodyzone at 8:30pm

 

Berks South will take on Berks North as well Monday December, 18th at bodyzone at 9:30pm

 

 

 












 

 Twin Valley steals 

a point from Berks North

December 11, 2017

Austin Smith (@Smitie17)


Berks North fans were into really into the game early on which boosted there teams confidence and propelled Berks North  to a early 2-0 lead. The first person to light the lamp for Berks North was Alec Moyer on the powerplay. Shortly after then Dakota Milyo scored.


Fast action for Berks North led them to a 2-0 lead in the first. In the second period it was different scene. Twin Valley's Jake Spina opened the gate with there first goal of the night to cut the lead in half. 


Shortly after, Jake Spina would get his second goal of the game which tied it at 2. The game was full of penalties as the intensity was heating up as the game was tied. 


Later in the second period, Joey Cawley scored to make it a 3-2 game. The fight was on as Twin Valley was down by one. At the very end of the second period, Alec Moyer would put a late hit on Alex Stein which sturred things up. Jeremy Gonsorick would then cross check Alec Moyer from behind as both Alec Moyer and Gonsorick would end up in the penalty box. 


 Late in the third period Jake Spina was on a breakaway and fought off a player in the mix of the breakaway and scored the game tying goal. The third goal of the game would be Jake Spina's hattrick goal.


Each team would get a point out of the game which was much needed for Twin Valley to stay in the mix of things in the standings.


Jake Spina was interviewed after the game for his great performance in the game. "The first five or six minutes of the game we were not playing as a team, we were playing solo", said Spina.  


Jake Spina was asked about his game tying goal. " I just wanted to get to the net and get a puck on net, and it just took a lucky bounce and went in".


Coach Tim Meers was also asked about his team's performance on the comeback they had to tie the game up. "I think they played one of the better games as we got down." "They came back and that was a good tie", said Meers. 


The game got really physical towards the end. "There is a rival between us, and last couple years we have done pretty good against them." This year they got a pretty good team and there good and we are good " said, Tim Meers. 


Coach Rod Pearson of Berks North was asked about his team's performance. "We did what we wanted to do, we kept the pressure on and jumped out to that 2-0 lead ". "They played well, we had a few mental absences and gave up a couple of goals, and other then that it was a good all around game", said Pearson. 


Berks North's defense blew a 2-0 lead and had let Twin Valley crawl and tie it right up. "That's a good team over there, and they can skate and if you hesitate a split second they are going to be around you"  said, Rod Pearson. 


Berks North's next game will be a makeup game on Thursday, December 14th against Berks South at the Santander Arena at 7:30pm. 


Twin Valley's next game will be Friday,December 15th against Berks West at Body Zone at 9:30ish pm . 


 

All Saints' Massacre;
Mexeter Rolls 8-0 with Nine

December 02, 2017

Jason C. Croft (@JasonCCroft)


Mexeter put a clinic on the Berks Catholic Saints Friday night at Body Zone in an 8-0 finish that could have been much worse had Mexeter wanted it to be.


Mexeter enjoyed skating half speed during the game as the team only had nine skaters and a goalie with Scott Bolles filling in as head coach for the club with the absence of Dwayne Pugh.


Jeff Wertz did the same filling in for Matt Conrad on the Berks Catholic bench.


Mexeter enjoyed a 5-0 lead after the first period thanks to two goals by Gavin Pugh, and goals by Trey Paige, Ryan Lawes, and Jakob Bolles.


Pugh would finish his hat-trick with a goal in the second period. Hunter Shuey and Shane Bartle also got themselves on the scoreboard with meaningless goals by that point in the game.


Neither team would score in the final period of play. Mexeter mostly played a slow game of keep away on the very young Saints club that completely flopped from a season before.


"It really hurts when you graduate 11 kids, most of them in AA and higher," said Wertz. "After they got three quick ones on us in the first four minutes, called a timeout, settled them down, did well. We kept the puck outside, everything was working, the kids settled down we were working good in transition again. The second period, the wheel’s kind of came off a little bit."


Ryan Goldschmidt with the loss is having a tough year with the (lack of) talent in front of him from a year ago.


"I know it's frustrating for him," mention Wertz. "He is getting 2-to-3 times more shots this year. He is handling it well. He is playing very well in the net. He is seeing things and stopping shots. It's tough when they are bringing 2-to-3 guys down low and we can't get on them right away and they are slam dunking shots. Mentally he is taking it very well. It's kind of tough. He is upbeat, he just loves the game and loves to goaltend for these kids."


Goldschmidt one of the classier players of the entire EPSHL was one of the few players to make their way to thank the officials after his teams 8-0 defeat.


Kolin Grogesky earned the easiest of his now league leading three shutouts in the victory. 


Berks Catholic and Mexeter will both battle each other again in their next matchup over at the Santander Arena Monday night at 7:30 p.m. where the Saints will look for more productivity than they have had all season long and Mexeter will look to continue to dominate the league the way they have rolled through their first six games of the season.

Minnig Hatty Helps Twin Valley back to .500;
Berks South Still Pointless.

December 02, 2017

Jason C. Croft (@JasonCCroft)


Berks South looked much better than they had all season Friday night at Body Zone, however, still fell in defeat to the Twin Valley Raiders 5-3 thanks to a hat- trick and two shorthanded goals by Jimmy Minnig.


With 4:39 remaining in the first period of a 1-1 hockey game, Alex Stein took a double minor for slashing call in which would be a great start to a magical night for Minnig. Coming off of a hat trick in his most recent game, Minnig gave the Raiders a 2-1 lead with a shorthanded goal before taking an unsportsmanlike conduct call for jumping into the glass in celebration. 


Minnig served his two minutes and was out before Stein serving a double-minor. While Stein was still in the box, Matthew Sacks skated the puck down low where Minnig crushed Matt Sacks, took the puck, burst up the middle of the ice past all Berks South players, created a breakaway opportunity and finished deep allowing breathing room for the Raiders going into the locker room up 3-1.


"I got the puck, I got it deep, I got it on net and scored," said Minnig. "We all just get the puck deep, get shots on net, score some goals, win some games."


Matt Sacks who gave Berks South the lead 3:40 into the game cut the lead to a goal in the second period after finding a loose puck and an open net Hudson Mokrejs left after Michael Smerek created the chance with a shot from the right side circle.


"[Sacks is] capitalizing on some good scoring chances, said Kevin Simmerman. "He is working hard, he tends to hold onto the puck a little longer than he should, but tonight I told him he was the guy that needed to maintain puck possession and he did really well in the offensive zone."


Alex Stein who finished the game with eight minutes of penalties double up the score at 4-2 on a powerplay goal as Greg Brown watched after a weak roughing call was made moments beforehand.


The game started getting chippy after the Stein goal. Multiple stoppages of play would occur during the game for potential injuries to players.


The first incident came when Eric Sowers caught a hit that the refs ruled clean at the blue line. The Berks South bench was adamant that it should have been called an elbowing but was not.


Trey Hayick would cut the lead back to one goal before the chippiness restarted during a 4-3 game. Moments after he scored Hayick put a hard hit on Griffin Burns before the end of the second period.


The third period started with Matthew Sacks ending up head first into the glass in the neutral zone before Berks South head coach Kevin Simmerman started asking for a call in anger.


Jimmy Minnig would earn his hat-trick goal with 12:37 remaining in the game.


The chippiness continued from that point as Alex Stein ended up drawing a whistle for a potential injury on a hit. Bryce Doherty would also draw a whistle after what could have been a crosscheck to the head. During all four potential injuries the refs stopped play three times and had no penalties called on any of them. Only the hit on Matthew Sacks was play allowed to continue on.


"I thought they called a good game," Simmerman mentioned. "There was a couple good hard clean checks where they didn't call penalties. I think there was a couple where I was a little worried... maybe they should have called. They didn't think it was a penalty so it's fine. I think they did a good job though."


Berks South did get some pressure on Mokrejs late in the game with under 50- seconds left after a penalty expired and they were able to get goalie Gavin Emery to the bench. 


The flurry of shots late at Mokrejs wasn't enough however as the game sealed itself to a final at 5-3.


"We were getting ready to pull the goalie [sooner] but unfortunatley we took the penalty and that kind of screwed things up for us," Simmerman said.


It should be noted that Nick Cracchiolo scored the first goal of the night for Twin Valley to knot the game up at 1-1 during the first period of play.


Berks South had two opportunities with extended 5-on-3 time and couldn't score on either opportunity.


"They're pressing on that. They're not patient. With the 5-on-3 you really have to move the puck and work around and be patient. They were just impatient and we turned the puck over and it cost us," said Simmerman.


"It was pretty awesome. They stayed disciplined. We asked them not to chase the puck, we had to get into formation, get into shooting lanes and block shots and they did. They did a great job clearing and not allowing them to get good shots on goal," said Brad Stein filling in for a missing Tim Meers as Twin Valley head coach.


As for the game as a whole for Berks South;


"I'm happy with the way they responded [tonight] with what we worked on in practice. The things we talked about we weren't doing in games. I agree, probably the best team game we played all year," Simmerman finished.


"[Berks South] brought the game, we kept taking penalties and getting into penalty trouble and without those two shorthanded goals it could have been a different game," said Brad Stein.


Hudson Mokrejs stopped 16-of-19 shots for the Raiders while Gavin Emery stopped 13-of-18 for Berks South.


"Hudson is a great goaltender, he is the rock back there right now, as you've seen we've struggled a little defensively but Hudson is a rock back there," mentioned Brad Stein.


"He does a great job keeping the pucks out of the net. He is a real contributing factor for us in getting pucks deep, shots on net, scoring some goals, and winning some games," mentioned Minnig.


Berks South will get their next opportunity for their first win on the 8th of December as they take on the only other winless team the Berks Catholic Saints at Body Zone in the first of a Friday doubleheader.


Twin Valley will get another chance to get their pucks deep, in the net, and win potentially another game when they battle a feisty Tiger-Lynx team from Berks North the same night in the second of the doubleheader.

Mexeter hands Berks North first loss

in a offensive showdown

November 30, 2017 

Austin Smith (@Smitie17) 


It was a game to come see on Wednesday night at the Santander Arena in Reading. The two top teams Mexeter and Berks North clashed together hoping one of them would end up at the top of each other in the standings. Mexeter was the team to end up at of the standings when they beat Berks North 9-4 Wednesday night.


The game started out with Mexeter getting some early shots on goal and ended up with the first tally of the night by a Shane Bartle backhand goal who went from forehand to backhand  to get it past Sam Martini to make it 1-0. 


Alec Moyer of Berks North about 5 minutes later got a rebound shot and backhanded it in with a tap of his stick and tied it 1-1 for his team.


Mexeter came out of the gate in the second period and unleashed a fury of goals which put the game out of reach for Berks North later on.


It started out with a Joey Lucas goal top shelf from the top of the circle which made it 2-1 Mexeter. Not even a minute later and Alec Moyer knotted his second goal of the game coming in on a mini breakaway and slid it through arm of Kolin Grogesky which made it 2-2 and Owen Noll was the set up man for that goal.


Mexeter was waiting anybit longer to get the lead back again which Gavin Pugh had did. Offense poured on and four straight goals were scored coming from Gavin Pugh again as well as goal each from Joey Lucas and Ryan Lawes. Pugh would get the seventh goal of the game which was his hatrick goal. 


"I just went out and played like I normally do, but put in the puck this time." said, a happy Gavin Pugh. 


In the third period Berks North would get there 3rd goal of the night by Michael Mallozzi who was assisted by Dallas Weckel. Shortly after Joey Lucas of Mexeter would get his hatrick goal which made it 8-3. Mexeter had two guys with hatricks on Wednesday night. 


Owen Noll would get the 4th goal and the last goal for Berks North that night. Gavin Pugh would make it a 9-4 final with his 4th goal of the night.


Gavin Pugh would put four fingers up at his bench and goalie when he had scored his 4th goal. "It was more towards my bench and goalie because especially when they scored two goals,after we started to relax, I wanted to make sure we got them back for the goalie." said, Pugh. 


Coach Dwayne Pugh of Mexeter was pretty happy of his team's dominating performance. "I thought when were in there zone we had pretty good cycles, we had nice passing, some good shots, and it worked out." said, Dwayne Pugh. Mexeter scored a season high 9 goals and Dwayne Pugh was questioned where all those goal came from.


" We were just passing the puck well, putting it to the center of the ice and we kept shooting it from there, that's what I know, that's what I saw." said, Dwayne Pugh.


Berks North had struggled early on in the game to get there first shot on goal. Coach Rod Pearson of Berks North was asked some questions from his team's performance against Mexeter. "Our plan was to play exactly like they did. Forecheck, keep pressure on them and put shots on the goalie." said, Rod Pearson.  "They did, and we did not. "We just got out hustled in the game." 


" We were having trouble getting the puck out of the zone, we were chasing the puck around and we were outplayed in every aspect of the game tonight." said, a disappointed Rod Pearson. 


Mexeter's next game will be against a struggling Berks Catholic Friday, December 1st  at bodyzone at 9:30pm. 


Berks North's next game will be against a hot Berks West team Sunday, December 3rd at bodyzone at 7:45pm 








 Raiders get back on 

 the winning train! 

 November 28, 2017

 Austin Smith (@Smitie17) 


The Twin Valley Raiders get back in the win column with a 5-0 win over Berks Catholic Monday night at bodyzone. 


Twin Valley and Berks Catholic came into the game ready to play. Early in the 1st period both Berks Catholic and Twin Valley were moving there feet as both teams had the puck on there sticks. Seemed like Berks Catholic gave up early though as Twin Valley had a offensive frenzy with tons of scoring chances. 


Twin Valley was bound to get a goal at some point with all of there scoring chances, and they did. Alex Stein netted the first goal a little over 10:00 minutes into the 1st period. 


The Raiders wasted no time to keep adding on the goals as Jimmy Minnig got the second goal for the Raiders not even 2:00 minutes later. 


Twin Valley had then went on the powerplay for the first time of the night and Ben Cupo notched his first goal of the season giving Twin Valley a 3-0 lead.


A little over 5:00 minutes into the second period and Jimmy Minnig got his second goal of the game. Twin Valley's lead then extended to 4. 


Jimmy Minnig was the 1st star of the game for a reason as he scored his third goal in the game in the third period. The final score was 5-0 Twin Valley. 


"We did exceptionally well, a lot of puck movement, not a whole lot of individual stuff and just putting the puck in the net," said Jimmy Minnig.


Jimmy got three goals in the game which really showed the hustle of Minnnig on Monday night. "I just got the puck deep, shot it on net, scored some goals and now try win some games." said, a happy Jimmy Minnig." 


Berks Catholic had only five shots on goal total throughout the whole game! Twin Valley coach Tim Meers had pulled Hudson Mokrejs in the middle of the second period. He had only faced two shots in the game.  " I think they played well tonight, I think we played as a team, and last game I did not think we did and it bit us in the a**." said, Tim Meers.


Tim Meers had something to say abut why he pulled Hudson early and had put in JV goalie Steven Hobaugh in. " We have a second goalie and he needs to have some time and he is our JV goalie, but he is up here for emergencies and to backup our goalie and it was his time to play." said Meers. 


Berks Catholic only produced five shots on goal even though throughout the game they had some time with the puck. Berks Catholic also got shutout for the third game in a row and is still looking to find the back of the net. Twin Valley's defense was way too good as why Hudson only faced two shots and Steven faced three and kept the shutout with some nice glove saves at the end. 


 Berks Catholic head coach Matt Conrad had some things to say " I think we played a little better tonight, the guys were not running around as much, playing a little bit better position." "The score does not show that, but its improving and that's all we can ask for at this point." said Matt Conrad.


Ryan Goldschmidt did have 34 saves and was keeping his team in as much as he could do so, Berks Catholic just could not score and barley could get shots off. 


"What he has seen in the first three games, he is standing on his head, he is keeping us in games and he held us in there."


Berks Catholic will take on Mexeter this Friday night at bodyzone at 9:30


Twin Valley will look to win for the second time in a row as they take on Berks South for the second time of the season at bodyzone at 7:45


  









Streaking out West!

November 27, 2017

Jason C. Croft (@JasonCCroft)


Berks West defeated Berks South 7-1 for their third consecutive win at the Santander Arena Monday night.


The teams went into the final minute of the first period 1-1 before Berks West would run away with the game.


Black Petrasek gave Berks West the 1-0 lead with 9:20 into the game. Just over two minutes later Matthew Sacks knotted the game up with Berks South's first goal of the season on a powerplay.


"I told them, once we got the first one I was hoping for good things, the problem is we stopped playing, according to Kevin Simmerman, Berks South head coach.


Berks West would add a late period goal to make it 2-1 going into intermission thanks to a powerplay tally by Austin Lubak.


Berks West would add three goals in the second period from Cody Rotkiske, Alex Allgyer, and Declan Murphy.


Murphy's goal came from a backhanded shot from the left circle and found it's way past Jeb Kurtz.


Michael Heller and Trevor Lambert would add goals in the final period of play for Berks West.


"I think every game we are improving. We started off a little slow tonight and [Firestone] really helped us out in that first period and saved us, said Berks West head coach Mike Barone.


Reese Firestone stopped 14-of-15 shots he faced in his team’s win. Jeb Kurtz stopped 25-of-32.


"First of all I have an incredible defense in front of me. We have one of the best defenses in the league. I couldn't do it without [them]. I'd probably put this game on the defense," said Firestone after the game.


"He has been solid. He is awesome. He is really battling out there. I have two great goalies on this team and I feel comfortable with both of them," added Barone.


Berks West, who now has points in their last four games (3-0-1) will battle Berks North in their next matchup Sunday December 3rd. Berks North is the only team to have defeated Berks West during this young season.


"We definitely need more back-checking. We have to waste all of our energy in the first and second period and come out strong in the third period," said Firestone.


"Clean ourselves up defensively. We have go to back-check. We have to remember that first game, we didn't play three periods, we played two periods. We have got to play all three periods to beat [Berks North], they are a good team, said Barone.


Berks South will get another shot at their first win of the season when they play Twin Valley on December 1st.


"We played a team tonight that was willing to play," said Kevin Simmerman after the game. "They passed the puck They will willing to take the body, and quite frankly we got bullied today. They deserved to win that game and we deserved exactly what the final score was. I think we struggled all the way around. Penalty kill, I mean even strength we let them have puck possession, we weren't being disciplined in the zone and we weren't willing to take the body and it showed on the scoreboard," he added.


Mexeter's Defense Blanks Twin Valley in

an Impressive Win.

November 19, 2017

Ryan Malone (@RyMalone25)


On Sunday night, Mexeter was able to keep pace with the top of the standings with an impressive 6-0 victory over a very capable Twin Valley.


Mexeter's impressive fore-check propelled them to a dominant victory. When Mexeter Coach Dwayne Pugh was asked about his guys fore-check, he said, "I love the pressure. I always tell the guys to keep up the pressure and make them make mistakes".


A pretty quiet start to the game for both teams as it took until under 5 minutes to go in the 1st period for our first whistle. That first whistle of the game sent Mexeter to the PowerPlay on a weak interference call that could have went either way. However, Exeter took advantage of their chance as Jakob Bolles netted the first goal of the game on a great shot from above the circle on a goal that Mokrejs would love to have back.


After just a 1 goal 1st period, the late 1st period goal launched Mexeter into a scoring frenzy. They came out of the 1st intermission hot, Shane Bartle extended Mexeter's lead to 2 as he finished an easy chance in front from an assist by Cirba.


About the only positive from Twin Valley's night was the impressive 5-on-3 penalty kill that kept themselves in the game with 12:55 to go in the 2nd. Unfortunately for the Raiders, after the teams returned to even strength Mexeter's net front presence finally gets to Mokrejs as Joey Lucas tapped in his 3rd goal of the season.


After an unsuccessful PowerPlay for Twin Valley, David Cirba scored the goal of the night for Mexeter on a laser shot off the rush that found the top corner past Mokrejs. Cirba said, "I had space and I just took it, they allowed me the shot so I took it. That's what we have to do".


After Cirba gave Mexeter the 4-0 lead, Dominic D'Archangelo added insult to Injury late in the 2nd period with a goal of his own off the assist by Trey Paige.


Twin Valley seemed to struggle with Mexeter's forecheck tonight that resulted in a frustrating 3 periods for the Raiders. Mokrejs was a bright spot for Twin Valley tonight stopping 24 of 30 shots. However, Mexeter's Kolin Grogesky registers his 2nd shutout of the season and now through two games has yet to allow a goal.


After tonight's game, Mexeter improves to 3-0-1 and Twin Valley drops to 1-3-0 on the year.


The Last Perfect Team Remains

with a Dominating Performance.

November 18, 2017

Jason C. Croft (@JasonCCroft)



The Berks North Tiger- Lynx slaughtered Berks Catholic 8-0 in the Saints season opening game.


Dallas Weckel scored two goals for Berks North on the night both shots hammered from the point.


"The first one was a laser. Top shelf right in. The second one was also a laser. Don't know what to say about that, it just went in," said Weckel after the game.


Alec Moyer had one of the more impressive goals this season when early in the second period he skated past three defenders and then put the puck past the left side of Ryan Goldschmidt.


Ian Gibson, Owen Noll, Trevor Schaeffer, Joey Cawley, and Anthony Cinfici also all found the back of the net during the game.


The Saints played well with the Tiger-Lynx the first period only going into intermission down 1-0 after Weckel's first goal with 3:47 reamining in the first.

The wagon fell apart however when the team allowed a six goal second period including two on the powerplay and one as a powerplay had just expired.


The Saints a completely new team from a year ago had the delayed start of the season due to football. Even so, the Saints could be missing a few players for another three weeks as the football team continues it roll through the PIAA football playoffs.


"Last year we were a veteran team. We graduated ten seniors," said Matt Conrad. Obviously we had some big time players that set a bunch of records for the program, this year, we're on the other side of it. We are a completely young team. We had a lot of freshman who played their first game tonight."


The Saints only registered only 22 shots on arguably the best goalie in the EPSHL Sam Martini. Martini earned his second shutout of the season, this time four shots easier than his last.


"We preach defense to them. I think it runs over from the Twin Valley game. They played awesome defense that night," said Berks North head coach Rod Pearson. "I told them to just do everything they did against Twin Valley. Keep themselves between the goalie and the skater, they did a good job."

Berks North has now defeated the two clubs that played for the EPSHL title last season.


"I think it's good for this program. Their confidence is up. There's a lot of games yet. There's a lot of good teams in this league, I don't see anybody in this league being a powerhouse or walking away with it, it's pretty well balanced."


As for the Saints,


"We were playing out of position, we were missing four guys due to football, we had more defense than forwards so we had to move guys around, it was tough, but they played well early tonight. [Playing three weeks in] is not the difference in the game, but they had a few opportunities, this was their third game, so they are a little more familiar with each other. This was our first game tonight. We haven't had a ton of practices; our guys are just playing together for the first time," Conrad added.


The Saints (0-1-0) return to action Monday at the Santander Arena against Berks West (1-1-1).


Berks North (3-0-0) plays a makeup game against Berks South (0-3-0) on Thanksgiving-Eve at the Santander Arena.

Mokrejs Stops 56 for Twin Valley,
Not Enough in Loss to Berks West.

November 18, 2017

Jason C. Croft (@JasonCCroft)


Berks West earned their first victory of the season Friday night defeating Twin Valley 4-1 with three third period goals at the Body Zone Complex.

Hudson Mokrejs was not happy at the officials after Berks North took the lead early in the third period on a play that could have been blown dead for goalie interference.


The play looked as if three players (two Berks West and one Twin Valley) were in the crease as Jake Good found the puck to put in the eventual game-winning-goal. Twin Valley may have caused the jam-up in the crease however, allowing the goal to stand.

Mokrejs got up and immidately slammed his stick and went after the refs, however, quick thinking by the Twin Valley defense stopped Hudson from getting anywhere near the officials.


Play continued on and Berks West would score twice more late in the period to put the game on ice.

Austin Lubak put the game away with 1:31 remaining tipping in a goal off a point shot from Petrasek. After the tip-in goal, the Mokrejs was called for an unsportsmanlike penalty for throwing his stick behind him in anger. Eight seconds later Nick Barone put the puck in the net for his second of the season.


The teams went into the final period of play knotted at 1-1.


Alex Stein scored with 7:35 remaining in the second after clearing the puck which was in the Twin Valley defensive zone for nearly two consecutive minutes. He found the puck skated up the ice and fired a shot that found its way into the back of the net past Parker Johns.


"Alex Stein got an amazing shot that was a crazy ripper," said Johns.


The only Raiders lead didn't last long as Berks West scored only 21- seconds later when Ryan Bartusik grabbed a rebounder from a shot taken by Blake Petraek after the faceoff.


It should be noted, Twin Valley only had four skaters on the bench while at even strength.


Hudson Mokrejs had a remarkable game stopping 56-of-60 shots face as his team played in the defensive zone most of the game due to that very short bench.


"He played awesome, even the guys in front of him played really well," said Tim Meers after the game. "We only had ten players tonight. It was a 1-1 game up until five minutes left in the game. We just ran out of gas. When we don't have a full team it's going to be tough. I don't think you have an option [except to play more defensively]. You have to conserve energy," he added.


"[Mokrejs] played an amazing game. He could do all he could do, said opposing goalie Parker Johns after the game.


Johns allowed one goal facing 11 shots.


"We just played a good game, their student section has nothing on us. We made sure we had a lot of shots on net," Johns added.


"We talked about playing a full 48- minutes of hockey and when they do they can keep the offensive pressure all night long. That's exactly what they did, they played 48-minutes of hockey, said Mike Barone. "I kept telling the players don't get frustrated. We're going to get one in. Just keep creating traffic in front of them and we're bound to get one in, just keep the effort going. We did tire them out defensively. It takes a lot of energy out trying to play defense in your zone the entire night. I think we definitely tired them out," added Barone.


"They improving and playing their hearts out. With two lines, I have no issues with how they are playing," added Tim Meers on his shortened club.



Twin Valley (1-2-0) gets back to action this Sunday against Mexeter (2-0-1) at Body Zone.


Berks West (1-1-1) takes the ice at Santander Arena this Monday against the Berks Catholic Saints (0-1-0).

Mexeter slips by Berks South

with a 3-0 win, with goals from 

Gavin Pugh and Shane Bartle

November 13, 2017

- Austin Smith (@Smitie17)


For the second time of the season, Mexeter shut out Berks South and kept them off the scoreboard. The two games between Berks South and Mexeter were exactly a week apart.


The game started early with great action from both clubs. Both teams had a flurry of offensive chances and both defenses held up. The game was deadlocked at zero for the first two periods of the game. Eric Sowers and his line had multiple scoring chances in the game and looked like at times that Berks South was going get the first goal of the game and season before the 2nd period ended. 


The third period began and the goose egg that Gavin Emery had was broken. Just a little under 6:00 minutes into the third period and Gavin Pugh scored Mexeter's first goal of the game to give them a 1-0 lead. 


"I got the puck, gave it to my teammate Bartle who shot it back door and I tipped it down with my hand and just put it in," mentioned Gavin Pugh.


The 1-0 lead for Mexeter would not hold on for long as Shane Bartle scored just under 3:00 minutes later which made it 2-0 Mexeter. Jakob Bolles also had 2 assists in the game, assisting on both Gavin Pugh and Shane Bartles goal. 


Berks South was pressuring in the offensive zone, hoping to get some kind of goal to get within one. Mexeter was able to hold there ground. With only 48 seconds left into the game, Gavin Pugh got his second of the night being a empty net goal. The final score was 3-0 Mexeter.


"A faceoff win, a good tie up by Bartle, I got the lose puck, took it down, got it over the red line and took the shot and scored," said Gavin Pugh.


Mexeter would earn it's 2nd win of the season against Berks South and would shut them out for the second time in a row. Mexeter sits at the top of the standings right now with 5 points and Berks north being only 1 point behind Mexeter with also a game in hand.


Coach Dwayne Pugh of Mexeter had some things to say after the game. "I liked they way they were playing, third game of the season, and we are kind of firing on all cylinders already"." I mean I like it, they are moving the puck around, everybody is touching it, and they are sharing it"."You know, that's all I want to see so I think we are playing very well," mentioned a happy coach Pugh.


Josh Rowe would be the second goalie of the season for Mexeter to earn a shutout between the pipes. Both Kolin Grogesky and Joshua Rowe now each have a shutout.


"I thought he played good, I mean we kept the pressure to the outside, but their were a couple of saves that he needed to make and he did." "That's now one shutout for each goalie and so we are on a roll," mentioned Pugh. My gameplan is to let them play, I just tell them to keep the pressure up and pressure the other team you know and let it go from their." 


Berks South looked to be in the game the first two periods and a little into the 3rd. Berks South has yet to score a goal in the season. They have a lot of talent on the team and could be surprising to people that a puck has not crossed the line yet. Berks South although in the 2nd period had a questionable call on the ice whether or not the puck crossed the line with a scramble in front of the net because Berks South was starting to celebrate. The refs gave the signal and pointed towards the faceoff dot. 


"I think we played well all three periods, look we have had a couple of goals waved off." "I mean eventually they are going to start going in, I thought we played them pretty even tonight," mentioned Coach Simmerman of Berks South. "They had a couple of nice backdoor goals, and the empty netter," " I dont really count that". " I thought we played really competitive and they rebounded from a effortless game last week". 


Coach Simmerman waited to Pull Gavin Emery for the extra attacker with 53 seconds left." The puck did not get into our zone till like a 1:10 and then I was getting ready to pull him, then we had to stop until the puck got back in their zone," said Simmerman. " We had a lot of good scoring chances tonight, I don't think we are going to change much". "We played them pretty evenly and eventually they will start going in and once they do they will be fine". 


Berks South's next game against Berks North tonight at the Santander will be canceled due to maintenance work needed to be done. New date will be postponed and announced later. Berks South next game will not be until Monday November, 27th at the Santander Arena at 7:30pm against Berks West.


Mexeter will have a game next Sunday November, 19th at bodyzone at 6:45 against Twin Valley. 

Pure Natural Hat-trick Propels
Berks West Comeback

November 11, 2017

-Jason C. Croft (@JasonCCroft)


Berks West found themselves in a familiar situation Friday night at Body Zone, only the scenario was reversed from the week before.


Down two goals late in the game Berks West battled back to score two goals in the final four minutes of play including the game tying and pure natural hat-trick goal by Michael Heller with 18.6 left in the game to steal a point from Mexeter and end the game with 4 showing on each side of the scoreboard.


"Everybody was helping out, passing [well] and playing [well defensively] and they helped me out a lot. They helped me a lot get ramped up. We didn't want to lose again. We are a pretty good team, we just got to get the puck out sometimes," mentioned Heller after the night concluded.


"I just tell them to keep battling and pick up the pace a little bit and cut out some of the turnovers and get the puck to the net, this was a great character tie for [our] team to come back against this [Mexeter] team. This Mexeter team is a fantastic team. They all really battled back, I was impressed with what they did," mentioned Berks West head coach Mike Barrone.


Berks West called a timeout with 1:30 left in hopes to get goaltender Parker Johns to the bench as quickly as possible, however the team was not able to get Johns to the bench until Mexeter had a breakdown in clearing the puck with 37-seconds left in the game.


"We couldn’t get control of the puck in the offensive zone and there was too much play in the neutral zone and we couldn’t get the pucks in deep so I had to wait to get the puck in deep to get him out of the net," said Barrone.


The Mexeter breakdown did however eventually occur and it allowed for Michael Heller to grab the puck on his stick in the middle of the zone and fire a shot into the twine behind Mexeter starting goalie Joshua Rowe for the pure natural hat trick.


Heller earned his second goal scoring a shorthanded, backhanded goal up close near the crease with just over 3:45 remaining in the game to set up the crazy finish.


His first goal made it 4-2 with just over 9:00 remaining in the game and in the third period.


"[Heller] really stepped it up and came through for us. He plays hard every shift, in every game. I don't expect anything different than what he did out there," mentioned Barrone.


"I don't know, the whole team, they know more than I do about the players, I can tell you that's a fact," said a laughing Pugh on defending Michael Heller all game. "They know who to watch for I don't have to tell them, they know."


Mexeter during the game seemed very upbeat and seemed to be enjoying themselves on the bench the entire game especially while up 3-0 after the first intermission and 4-1 for most of the game.


"I told the kids, first period to put the pressure on them. We had only seven forwards so I didn't want to wear our guys out. I said if we can get up quick then we can lay back a little bit, which is what we did, but it probably cost us in the end," Dwayne Pugh mentioned. "I like to have fun, so I try to put that down to the kids so they have a good time while they're playing to, because, if you're not doing that, what the hell is the point. I keep it light on the bench, they keep it light so it seems to build better chemistry that way," said Pugh on how his team bench was all game.


Joey Lucas scored twice in the first period for Mexeter. He scored 6:00 into the game after working hard in the offensive zone to steal a puck on the right side of the rink and work his way in earning a grinding unassisted goal. He added a goal in the last minute of the period giving the team the 3-0 intermission lead.  Shane Bartle earned his third goal of the season from David Cirba and Gavin Pugh in-between the two Lucas goals. 


Nick Barrone cut the lead in thirds when he earned a clean up goal off of an Alex Allgyer shot that was stopped by Rowe's glove and left in the crease.

Gavin Pugh made it 4-1 during the second period scoring his first career varsity goal on assists from Shane Bartle and Dominic D'Archangelo.


"I like the way my team is playing," said Pugh. "They are moving the puck well. They are playing as a team, and right now, that's what I'm looking for. When we get into the playoff picture... when we get into the playoffs, when we're doing that, I think we'll be fine. I was happy with the way we played, I'm not disappointed. Maybe the kids are a little but they're not that upset because with as many kids as we had [playing] it's kind of tough, they're okay," he finished.


Both teams split a point tonight leaving only Berks North (2-0-0) and Berks Catholic (0-0-0) as the remaining two perfect teams this EPSHL season.


Mexeter is back at it Sunday against Berks South (0-2-0) who have been shutout twice in two games. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m.


Berks West plays Twin Valley (1-1-0) next Friday at 7:45 in the first game of a doubleheader.

 Two Goals Apiece from Cirba and Bartle Help Mexeter 

Steamroll past Berks South in their Opener

November 07, 2017

Austin Smith (@smitie17) 


David Cirba and Shane Bartle had 2 goals each in their win against Berks South 6-0 at bodyzone Sunday night. David Cirba also potted 2 assists which gave him a 4 point night. 


David Cirba's first point of the night was a shot of the pad of Gavin Emery, who kicked out a rebound right to Ryan Lawes who had a yawning cage to score. This was the first of many goals to come. Thirty seconds into the second period Shane Bartle got on the board for Mexeter which made it 2-0. One minute and 45 seconds later David Cirba got his first goal of the season with a awesome bar down shot from the top of the circle. Offense just kept pouring on for the Mexeter team later on in the game. 


"I thought they did really well". I mean we have couple of new kids on the team this year because we had a lot of seniors last year, but they moved the puck really well and I thought it was a really great first effort." said a happy Coach Dwayne Pugh of Mexeter.


Towards the end of the game the offense kept buzzing as Jakob Bolles, David Cirba and Shane Bartle scored leading the final score to be 6-0.Kolin Grogesky was sold in between the pipes while only facing 14 shots because of the sold defense Mexeter had. 


"I thought our defense was really good, I mean they picked the right times to move away and play the offensive position, and they did a really good job shutting down their offense" said Coach Pugh " I did not know they only had 14 shots, so they must of done a really good job"!, said Coach Pugh


Berks South just could not get anything past the defense of Mexeter. Berks South had a couple of good scoring chances , but the solid defense and Kolin Grogesky would not anything past into the net. The best scoring chance of the night for Berks South was when Michael Smereck had a 2 on 1 with Eric Sowers and Michael took the shot instead of passing it. Matt Sacks had a couple of ripping slap shots that missed wide over the net. Berks South really just looked tired and got beaten to the puck most of the night.


"I just don't think the effort was their tonight, we got outplayed, we got beat to every puck and it just showed on the scoreboard", said Coach Kevin Simmerman. "We were not winning any battles in the offensive zone, we were not able to maintain puck possession and I think it was a lack of effort game for us". 


Berks South will not play again until Sunday November, 12 what will be a rematch against Mexeter again. The game will be at 7:00 pm at bodyzone. The 0-2 Berks South should look to seek revenge against Mexeter, and to look on getting on the board with some goals as they have been shutout in their first two games. 


Mexeter will not get much of break as they host Berks West this Friday November, 10 at 9:30pm at bodyzone, which will be their second game of the season. 

Noll Nets a Hattrick with Two Goals Late 
To Lift North Over West 5-4

November 04, 2017

Jason C. Croft (@JasonCCroft)


Owen Noll lit up the lamp twice in the final 1:03 of the game to give Berks North a 5-4 victory over Berks West in an EPSHL season opener for both clubs Friday night at Body Zone.


Noll knotted the game up 4-4 with 1:03 left in the game thanks to a ripper off of a faceoff win in the offensive zone after play was halted moments before from a Reese Firestone save. The team didn't celebrate the tie game for too long as the refs dropped the puck moments later as the clock continued to melt.


Berks North gained control of the puck with their top line on the ice and Alec Moyer skated fast into the zone and behind the net with the puck. The puck eventually ended up on the stick of Noll again as he let a massive slapshot from the point ding off the crossbar and down into the history books with 41.7 seconds remaining in essentially a walk off victory over the team from the west. The goal also gave Noll a hat-trick to start the season.


"I feel great. I came up with a rough start. The end of the game was a bardownski so I'm hype right now," said a happy Noll after the game.


Berks West started the game up 3-0 thanks to early goals that got passed Sam Martini. Martini who did not get much help in the first period from his defense allowed goals from Morgan Perry, Cody Rotkiske, and Jake Good.


"We came out with alot of energy and we took it to them that first period," mentioned Berks West coach Mike Barrone. "They were casuing a lot of traffic in front of [Martini] which was causing him some problems and it worked well for us in the first period."


"We have a model, win every shift. Keep that model, get some pucks in on the goalie, lets test him and see what they got. Once they start coming in, they'll start pouring in," said Berks North coach Rod Pearson on keeping his teams hopes up down 3-0.


Two of those goals came after Martini faced a flurry of shots in a row and couldn't cover the puck or get a whistle with traffic in front. Perry and Good just cleaned up the trash in the front of the net. Rotkiske's goal was placed nicely into the top left corner over Martini's right shoulder.


The game could have gotten out of hand had Martini not been in net for the North. Martini stopped three breakaway opportunities during play as well as a penalty shot in the third period which would have buried his club. The unofficial tally was 51 shots faced for Sam Martini.


"He's awesome, he works hard every practice. We have another assistant coach that works with him religiously at practice. [Martini] is a hard worker and it shows," said Pearson.


Alec Moyer was the first on the board for the North when he used his speed to skate past Luke Jozwiak and he calmly slipped the puck past the left pad of Firestone. The goal came during 4-on-4 action with his teammate Noll in the box.


When Noll did get out of the box after a penalty kill, Moyer and Noll had a 2-on-1 in which Moyer found Noll across the crease for an easy put away goal.


"I was furious I got the penalty so I came out of the box looking to score a goal to get my anger off and I did," said Noll.


Moyer brought the physicality to the game for Berks North. During the game, he would continue to pest Berks West player Luke Jozwiak in what seemed to be attempts to draw a penalty. A disciplined Jozwiak ignored Moyer for the most part after they were in the box together in the second period for a brief time.


Michael Heller worked really hard throughout the game to finally get on the board after being stopped on breakaway opportunities. He made the game 4-2 in the second period.


Dallas Weckel brought his club to within one before the second period expired to help set up the historic finish for Berks North in the season opener.


"Our kids learned a lesson. They need to play a full 48- minutes of hockey," mentioned Barrone. "I don't like those turnovers, we have to clean that up and a couple of those goals at the end were just fantastic shots," he finished.


Berks North will next battle a Twin Valley team without Jake Spina next Friday night. The energy and intensity should be up as the Wyowood - Twin Valley rivalry from last season kicks off at 7:45 p.m. at the Body Zone.


Berks West will look to get in the win column immediately following that game Friday night as the West will battle Mexeter who will play their first game tomorrow night at Body Zone at 7:00 p.m.

Mokrejs, Twin Valley, Shutout
Berks South in EPSHL Opener

November 04, 2017

Jason C. Croft (@JasonCCroft)


The Twin Valley Raiders started their defense of the championship on the right track with a 3-0 victory in the EPSHL season opening game against Berks South Friday night.


The Raiders got on the board early in both the first and second periods before playing some back-and-forth hockey with the South.

Only 40-seconds into the game, new Raiders captain Alex Stein netted the first goal against Gavin Emery. Emery looked like he may have had the puck but it slowly rolled behind him and in.


Jake Spina netted the second goal of the night less than a minute into the second period on a tip-in goal from a Griffin Burns point shot. The puck tipped off of Spina's stick, hit the top crossbar and went back down and across the line.


"We wanted to use all five players in the offensive zone and that's how we are designed to set up. After we scored our two goals, we got away from that," said Tim Meers after the event.


Spina would eventually accumulate too many penalties and would be given a game misconduct. His fourth and fifth penalty was a double minor for a roughing and then a tripping penalty in the same sequence. The penalties will force Spina to miss Twin Valley's next game.


"We're going to have to move some people up from defense. We didn't have Nick Cracchiolo today, he will be back next week. This is the way it's going to be for every game and alot of these teams, every week you're going to see different lineups," Meers mentioned.


Alex Stein would add a put away goal for the Raiders on a shortened powerplay after Twin Valley came off of a 4-on-4 situation.


The game did have some controversy as the referees of the game told the timekeepers originally to play only 15- minute periods when EPSHL rules play 16-minute periods. The refs ultimately overruled former EPSHL president Shawn Shugar and said they would not add 3:00 to the end of the game.


"I don't think three minutes made a difference. We all get the same advantage and disadvantage. Their goalie really had an outstanding game and that was the difference. Play was very even throughout the game," Kevin Simmerman stated praising opposing goalie Hudson Mokrejs.


"He will be as good as he was last year. He is a good kid; he is a great goalie. A shutout again and he is the rock back there," mentioned Tim Meers.


"I think we have a good defensive team with Alex Stein, Jimmy Minnig and all them in the back," said Mokrejs after the game. "I'm pretty sure we will have a more defensive team this year. Missing a couple of seniors is pretty hard and we don't have four lines this year. We have a lot of strong players coming up. I think we will be fine."


The Raiders will be without one of their top scorers all season in Koby Howat who suffered a lower body injury in the offseason. Last regular season Howat finished with eight goals and eight assists and was a big part of the Raiders undefeated run through the regular season and cup run in the playoffs.


"He was one of our top scorers last year and obviously he would probably be one of the top this year. It hurts but we have the talent to pull it in," Meers mentioned.


As for Berks South, the combination of Daniel Boone and Wilson was a combination of the most penalized team and least penalized team from last season.

 

"[Discipline] is just setting expectations. The kids know what I expect. We're going to play an aggressive game but we don't allow lazy and dirty penalties," mentioned Simmerman.


Berks South will next play Sunday night in Mexeter's season opening game at 7 p.m. at Body Zone.


Twin Valley has off until next Friday night when they take on Berks North at 7:45 p.m. from Body Zone.