Twin Valley Wins 2017 EPSHL
Championship After Defeating Saints
March 03, 2017
-Jason C. Croft (@JasonCCroft)
A five goal second period propelled the Twin Valley Raiders to the 2017 EPSHL Championship Friday night over the Berks Catholic Saints 5-2 in front of the standing room only crowd at Body Zone.
"I've been in a few championship games over my career and this is right up there with the best of them. It's so exciting. These kids have earned it all year," said Twin Valley head coach Tim Meers. "This has probably been one of the best group of kids that played as a team that we have had in a long time. They deserved it and they played their game."
"There is no better honor than this," said Twin Valley captain Connor Meers. "I couldn't have asked for a better team, coaching staff. It's been the most thrilling experience, something I've waited for for a long time."
"It was so great," said Hudson Mokrejs. "I love it. I love the student section that came out, they were chanting MVP. I was just doing it for this team, it's a great team we have here."
Kyle Lark scored the first Twin Valley goal on the night 52- seconds into the second when he had a 2-on-1 opportunity and elected to shoot the puck over the shoulder of Ryan Goldschmidt and into the net for an unassisted goal.
34- seconds later Twin Valley made it 2-0 with Jake Spina found Nick Cracchiolo who buried the puck home.
"We told them to be patient, which they did, once they got the one, the other one came real quick after that, said Tim Meers.
Berks Catholic had multiple opportunities that they just couldn't catch a break on. The Saints had a puck roll near the goal line behind Hudson Mokrejs that was cleared away, and another opportunity from Dalton Hirneiesn who Mokrejs robbed with a snag on what was a wide open corner of the net.
Luke Andreyo finally did get the Saints on the board cutting the Twin Valley lead in half to 2-1 at the 7:44 mark of the period. The puck was another one that looked like it barley crossed the line, however, the Saints bench celebrated as the refs pointed for the goal.
The Saints celebration wouldn't last long as the Raiders
quickly responded with a goal 1:16 after Andreyo's.
Koby Howat and Jake Spina had a 2-on-1 together when Connor Meers found Howat. Howat's decision to shoot and not pass was the correct one as Goldschmidt couldn't stop his shot from getting past.
Jake Spina would get on the board with 1:49 left in the period for Twin Valley on a breakaway. Spina slipped past all the Berks Catholic players unnoticed and Howat passed it up through everyone for the breakaway that Spina buried.
The Raiders would add another goal 39- seconds later to make the game 5-1 going into the third when Kyle Lark had an open net after Stephen Pelle sent the puck across the crease.
"My teammates helped me a lot. I couldn't have gotten that second goal without a pass from Stephen Pelle so it really helped me out," said Lark.
Matt Conrad would call timeout to stop the bleeding at this point of the game with barley over a minute left in the second period.
"We just wanted to settle them down there," Conrad said. "You never know when. There is no signs on when to call the timeout. It did settle them down, we came out with a quick goal in the third, it just wasn't enough."
The third period goal by Reed Hirneisen came 32- seconds into the final period, however, the Saints couldn't slip another past Mokrejs and the Raiders would go home champions.
"That was a great job by Berks Catholic, said Connor Meers. "I played against Reed, Gundersen, Dalton, and Joe Mazzo since freshman year. Even Daniel Genetti. It's been amazing playing with them. I just got to say, for everybody that I have played with and against thank you very much, it's been an honor playing in this league, playing for this team, thank you very much."
Ryan Goldschmidt who had a fantastic playoff run stopped only 20-of-25 tonight.
Hudson Mokrejs stopped 32-of-34 shots in another outstanding performance in his teams championship victory. These were the only two goals he has allowed in now the past four games.
"He has been lights out. Best goalie in the league. He has played phenomenal all year. After that loss, our first loss all year, he has been lights out," said Tim Meers.
"I think I played out of my mind tonight. My defense was very strong tonight. They were stopping shots for me. I think my offense really kept us in this game scoring goals," stated Mokrejs.
Next step for Twin Valley is to defend their league title next season.
"Next year we are obviously going to miss our captain Connor Meers and all of our seniors, but I feel like we will still be strong with Jimmy [Minnig] and Alex [Stein] and Jake [Spina] and Koby [Howat] next year and we're definitely going to come out strong," said Mokrejs.
"The goalie comes back, we lose some seniors, we have a couple of kids coming up and they are going to be more seasoned for next year," said Tim Meers.
The Saints were visibly disappointed with the loss especially some of their seniors.
"We wanted to come out and win tonight, I'm really more disappointed for the boys. They worked hard the second half of the season the way they flipped the script. It hurts to see them, they way they are hurting right now, but we didn't give up. We played well, they just played a little better, said Conrad.
What is next for the Saints?
"A lot of turnover, said Conrad. "We have ten seniors; we will see what we have coming in. We have a good young group, freshman contributed this year. Riese Grim will be a senior next year, he is a big part of the team. We will worry about next year in a couple of weeks when we get rolling again."
EPSHL Championship Preview:
March 1, 2017
Jason C. Croft (@JasonCCroft)
Berks Catholic and Twin Valley are set to battle Friday night in the EPSHL Championship game at Body Zone at 8 p.m.
The Raiders finished the regular season undefeated at 10-0-4 before being upset in the second- round of the EPSHL winners- bracket by Berks Catholic. The Raiders bounced back winning their next three matchups (all elimination games) via Hudson Mokrejs shutouts.
The Raiders finished the season with a +33 in goal differential scoring the second most goals in the league (55) behind Daniel Boone (61), and allowing the least amount of goals in the regular season (22).
The Saints were plagued with injuries for much of the first
half of the EPSHL season. Austin Kolson was taken out with a hand injury in the
first game of the season, and Alex Gundersen was taken off with an upper- body
injury December 16, 2016 against Mexeter in a 5-0 loss.
The Saints started the season with a 1-5-1 record before turning it around with a six game unbeaten streak that spanned from January 11- February 13, 2017.
The team finished the regular season 4-6-4 but are 3-0 in the EPSHL playoffs behind brilliant goaltending from Ryan Goldschmidt and offense from their first-line.
Both teams are shortly removed from defeats in the EPSHL Championship.
The Saints lost last season to Daniel Boone in the EPSHL title game 7-4 thanks to a Dylan Sacks hat-trick and six total points.
The Raiders lost to Daniel Boone two seasons ago in the title game 2-1 when Brendan Rivoli put the puck past Eric Schmidley in overtime.
Players to watch for:
Berks Catholic - Reed Hirneisen, Dalton Hirneisen, Alex Gundersen, Ryan Goldschmidt, Joe Mazzo, Daniel Genetti
Twin Valley- Hudson Mokrejs, Kyle Lark, Connor Meers, Koby Howat, Jake Spina, Alex Stein, Stephen Pelle, Dominick DeRemigio
What to expect:
Although both clubs have increased the amount of goals they have scored each playoff game, Ryan Goldschmidt and Hudson Mokrejs have been outstanding
during the playoffs and if those two can keep up what they have been doing,
expect a low scoring affair between the two clubs.
With a healthy lineup for Berks Catholic, either team could come out as victors Friday night.
Mokrejs Earns Third Consecutive Shutout
As Twin Valley Clinches Spot in Championship
February 28, 2017
Jason C. Croft (@JasonCCroft)
Twin Valley advanced to the EPSHL Championship game with a
5-0 victory over Mexeter Tuesday night at Body Zone behind Hudson Mokrejs'
third consecutive shutout.
The Raiders last won a championship when they took the BSIHL crown in 2005-06 although they played in three title games in the past six years.
The Raiders will meet Berks Catholic Friday night at 8 p.m. for the title at Body Zone.
"If it was a game like Daniel Boone (two years ago), we went into overtime. We won four championships before that, it'll be a good game," said Tim Meers.
Mokrejs stopped all 21 shots that came his direction in the victory.
"Obviously [the Berks Catholic] loss was not good on me. I came back I worked hard and I just wanted to let no more goals in for playoffs, said Mokrejs. " I think this was one of the best defensive games we played all year. They were blocking shots not letting anyone through them, it was great for me," Mokrejs stated.
Though Twin Valley started off quick again Tuesday night out-shooting Mexeter 8-1 in the first 14:00 of play, they couldn't get a goal in the first stanza.
"We started a little slow, said Mexeter coach Dwayne Pugh. "I thought we picked the pace up toward the end of the first. I thought we continued to carry it. Then they scored that first goal and it kind of slowed down a little bit."
The Raiders were able to score their first goal when Stephen Pelle put a rebound goal past Josh Rowe who was playing outstanding for Mexeter all night.
"I thought it was nice. I was in front of the net and I just got the rebound," said Pelle.
Mexeter pulled Rowe at the 7:59 mark of the 2nd period for Kolin Grogesky.
1:29 later Jake Spina put Twin Valley up 2-0 with a 4-on-4 even strength goal past Grogesky.
Twin Valley went into the second intermission up 2-0 and stormed out quickly netting three goals in 40- seconds, including two Kyle Lark shorthanded goals.
Nick Cracchiolo made it 3-0 when it may have bounced off his leg and past Grogesky. While celebrating his goal, Cracchiolo took a high sticking penalty hitting a Mexeter player in the face accidentally.
Kyle Lark then scored two shorthanded goals for his team 13- seconds apart from one another sealing the fate of Mexeter.
"I think I mentioned it yesterday. We expected the same game that we played yesterday. The team we just played is probably the best defensive team we played all year. They are tough to score against and they have really good goal-tending. In my opinion [Simmerman] is the best goalie and [SV/Wilson's] defense is the second best. To me both games are about the same. We had to buckle down and play defense and get our opportunities which we did," said Meers.
Josh Rowe stopped 10-of-11 shots for Mexeter. Kolin Grogesky stopped eight of the 12 shots he faced.
"They are both good goalies, said Meers.
"That was predetermined. They had already discussed it before the game that they were willing to play half each. That was between the two goalies," said Dwayne Pugh.
"[Being eliminated], it sucked," said Pugh. "I told them we had a good season, I had a great time coaching them. For the kids that were leaving I was sad that we didn't get to the finals for them. The guys that aren’t leaving, hopefully I will see them next year. I would love to coach this team again, I love coaching."
While Mexeter will pack their bags for the final time in the EPSHL season, the Twin Valley Raiders will get set for their most important showdown of the season.
"I think we have to work hard and focus on more defense
than offense," said Pelle on the championship game.
"We can expect to come out hard against them," said Mokrejs.
Mokrejs Earns Second Consecutive Shutout
As Twin Valley Eliminates SV/Wilson 4-0.
February 27, 2017
Jason C. Croft (@JasonCCroft)
Twin Valley avoided elimination and ended the season of SV/Wilson thanks to Hudson Mokrej's second consecutive playoff shutout.
Twin Valley got on the board early thanks to an Alex Stein goal 2:00 into the elimination game Monday night.
"I saw there was open space, so I took the ice and shot around the defender, used him as a screen and it gave us momentum throughout the game," Stein said.
"Anytime you lead you can sit back and play a little defense and tighten things down," said Tim Meers.
"I told them stick to the game plan, said Kevin Simmerman. "We've had close games with them all year. I wasn't worried about a one goal lead. I think we came right back; it was 1-0 for a long time."
Both teams played solid defensively for the two periods as Twin Valley went into the second intermission with only the 1-0 lead.
The Raiders were able to score again early in the third period thanks to a Griffin Burns tip-in goal at the 3:32 mark of the period.
About 4- minutes later Koby Howat put a goal in the top shelf of the net increasing the Raiders lead to 3-0 at which point Kevin Simmerman called time out from SV/Wilson's bench.
"I told them we are going to have to get aggressive. We
had plans to pull the goalie if we could. The plan was if we got an offensive
zone draw we would take him out and if the puck came out, we were going to
change him on the fly which we did. We were doing what we did to get ourselves
back in the game."
SV/Wilson pulled Chad Simmerman with about 5:00 left in the game while they had the offensive zone faceoff and threw him back on the ice mid-play to make a stop on the Raiders.
The team didn't attempt to pull him again until about two minutes later when they were on the powerplay. The plan did not work this time however, as Kyle Lark put a short-handed empty-net goal to seal the victory for Twin Valley.
"They are on a roll. They had their loss which I think
helps them and now they know they have to play better in the defensive zone and
we are one step away from where we want to be," said Tim Meers. "I
told them going in, we have to be patience going in. We cannot go crazy and be
too offensive minded. We had to pay attention to defense first. I wouldn't have
been surprised if it would have been a 1-0 game."
Hudson Mokrej's stopped all 17 shots that came toward his net to earn his second consecutive shutout.
"I think our defense did good blocking shots for me. The shots that they did get weren’t that hard for me tonight," said Mokrejs.
"It's been all year. He is a great goalie. Our defense is solid, it's a shutdown defense with us, said Stein.
Stein was quick to complement the opposing goalie Chad Simmerman as well, who stopped 19-of-22 shots keeping his team in the game.
"He is a really good goalie; it was tough to get the puck past him," said Stein.
"We just had an emotional talk in there," said Kevin Simmerman after his team was eliminated. "It was a great team. I think we were the most disciplined team in the league and we respected the game. They were a great group of coachable kids. For the seniors we had some sad goodbyes for the kids that are coming back I told them I plan on coaching again so hopefully I'll see them next year."
The Twin Valley Raiders will play Tuesday night at 6:15 p.m. at Body Zone against Mexeter for a chance to advance to the EPSHL Championship game Friday night. Both Mexeter and Twin Valley have lost to Berks Catholic during the playoffs. The Saints await the victors of Tuesday night's game.
Saints Advance to EPSHL Championship Game with
6-2 Victory over Still Breathing Mexeter.
February 27, 2017
Jason C. Croft (@JasonCCroft)
Berks Catholic advanced to the EPSHL Championship game with a 6-2 victory Monday night at Body Zone over Mexeter.
Berks Catholic will return to the championship round for the third time in four seasons and second consecutive season.
The club last won a championship in the 2007-08 season as a combination team of Holy Name and Central Catholic (before the schools merged).
The Saints score quick and early taking a 4-1 lead into the first intermission.
Dalton Hirneisen scored the games first goal of the game grabbing his own rebound 48-seconds in.
Alex Gundersen netted the next two Saints goals at the 5:43 and 8:30 marks of the period.
Both goals came from in front of the net. The goal which put his club up 3-0 came off a pass from Reed Hirneisen when Hirneisen ripped it to his stick which tipped it in the open net.
"We knew we had to come out quick. We started out slow in games this year, but I think in the playoffs we really stepped it up and started getting on teams early," said Gundersen.
Toby Jonson who was noticeably Mexeter's best skater Monday night got on the board putting a puck past Ryan Goldschmidt with a lot of traffic in front.
Jacob Hannum put his team in front 4-1 before the intermission.
"That's exactly what we wanted to do, the first couple of shifts of the game, they really took the pace over, to get that lead early in the game, that put us in a better spot when things got out of sorts halfway though," said Berks Catholic's Matt Conrad.
"I told them we weren’t skating hard enough. We were letting them dictate the play and to pick up the pace, I thought we did that a little bit, but then penalty troubles, said Mexeter coach Dwayne Pugh.
The game and more specifically the second period got ugly with penalties being handed out left and right by officials.
The second period alone had five Mexeter players end up in the box and six Berks Catholic kids.
The only goal on the powerplay and in the second period came
for Berks Catholic when Dalton Hirneisen netted his second of the game 11:46
into the period.
Mexeter had their chance on a 5-on-3 later in the second period and couldn't score as Reed Hirneisen killed about 20-seconds of the 54- second 5-on-3 by skating behind the net with the puck.
"It's a playoff game, it's late in the playoffs, I think you want the kids to decide it. There were multiple 5-on-3's both ways. All in all it didn't effect the game one way or another, it just slowed the pace down especially in the second," said Conrad on the penalties.
"Maybe some of them could have been called, might not have been called. There were a couple that should have been called, but the only thing we could do is react to what happens and take it from there," said Pugh.
Toby Jonson put his second of the night in past Goldschmidt when he found a puck loose on the left side of the net and poked it past Goldschmidt's pads.
Alex Gundersen earned a hat-trick even- strength goal on a 4-on-4 right as a long 4-on-3 disadvantage expired for Mexeter.
In total Mexeter suffered 12 penalties in their loss and Berks Catholic suffered nine.
Ryan Goldschmidt allowed only two goals for the third straight playoff game stopping 24-of-26.
"He is seeing the puck. Goldschmidt is playing well, but it's the team as a whole, they are keeping the guys wide for the most part. He is making the big saves when he needs to," said Conrad.
Kolin Grogesky stopped 35-of-41.
"Some of those goals we were giving up were not his fault," said Pugh. "A couple of them were not good coverage as far as I could tell. Bad coverage on our end. We were letting them skate around the net and leaving their guy open on the back side. I can't really blame him for those goals."
Mexeter will take on Twin Valley Tuesday night in an elimination game and EPSHL semi-final at 6:15 at Body Zone.
"We have to pick up the pace, mentioned Pugh. "We are skating way too slow, we aren't playing anything like we were at the end of the season. If we play the way we can, we should be fine. "
Berks Catholic will await the winner of the Twin Valley- Mexeter semi-final and will play one of those teams Friday night in the EPSHL Championship.
"Hopefully we get the win this year," mentioned Gundersen. We obviously get another chance at it this year. We are just going to stay in the mindset and keep everything moving strong as we are now."
"Hopefully winning for this senior class its three championship games in four years. We haven't finished. Our goal really all season has been to win the last game of the season and we have that chance Friday night," Conrad stated.
Back-to-Back Defending Champions Eliminated
At Hands of SV/Wilson 5-1
February 24, 2017
Jason C. Croft (@JasonCCroft)
The Daniel Boone Blazers/ Garden Spot were sent home after suffering a defeat to SV/Wilson Friday night at Body Zone 5-1.
Goals for SV/Wilson came from Trey Hayick, Jake Shugar, Josh Watterson, Austin Lubak, and Morgan Perry.
Trevor Cicala scored the lone Daniel Boone goal.
SV/Wilson did a fantastic job of keeping Jamie Burns and Dylan Sacks wide, making it hard for the two to get good shots toward the net.
"Our plan was to take away from the middle of the ice. We asked our defense to play tight and we asked our forwards to protect the house and they all did a very good job. They followed the game plan well," said Kevin Simmeman.
The game got extremely ugly at the end which included multiple ejections.
After the Lubak goal in the third period, Watterson jumped on the glass in front of the Daniel Boone student section causing Jamie Burns to grab him by the head and take him out. Anthony Zabala then took off his helmet and went full force into an opposing player.
Zabala and Burns were ejected from the game, however Burns took it to himself to make sure he congratulated all four men in stripes after the game.
"Things got out of hand. I didn't see everything. All I can speak to is my team. I thought we handled it well. We didn't take any dumb penalties and we respected the game, said Simmerman.
The EPSHL did not post statistics of this game their website afterward.
SV/Wilson will next take on Twin Valley Monday night in an
elimination game. They are the only team to tie Twin Valley twice and they did
so with two different goalies (Simmerman
& Gavin Emery).
"Hopefully we can do better than tie them. We are going to play the Wilson/ Schuylkill Valley style," said Kevin Simmerman.
Twin Valley Ends Wyowood's
Season with 3-0 Shutout
February 24, 2017
Jason C. Croft (@JasonCCroft)
The Twin Valley Raiders defeated Wyowood 3-0 in the first elimination game of the 2017 EPSHL playoffs Friday night at Body Zone.
The game was very physical especially in the first and final periods.
"That was part of the plan. We knew they had a hard game last night and they like to play physical game to begin with so we figure maybe we give them a little bit back and see if we can tire them out. It seemed like for awhile we were doing what we wanted to do, but things changed a little in the second period and it was hard for us to get our feet after that," said Steve Sowers who was acting coach for Wyowood Friday night.
Conner Meers got the first goal of the night when Jake Spina
found him with an open net with less than a minute left in the first period.
Though no teams scored in the second period as Hudson Mokrejs and Sam Martini did well to keep many shots from going past them.
Alex Stein and Meers both added goals in the third period for the Raiders in the victory.
During the game Alec Moyer was probably the fastest skater for Wyowood. He drew multiple penalties on Twin Valley as well as earned one himself.
"That's what we need," said Sowers. "We need our guys going hard, driving the puck wide, and making people pull us down. That's what I like to see from all my players."
Moyer however, also was visibly frustrated after the game as Jeremy Gonsorick and Moyer went at it after the handshakes were over.
Moyer angrily attempted to get to the Twin Valley locker room after the game but was successfully held back by Scott McGoldrick.
Sam Martini played really well to keep Wyowood in the game. He stopped 33-of-36 that came his way.
"[Martini] always has a great game. We owe a lot to him. We had a very successful season and he was a big part of it," Sowers mentioned.
Hudson Mokrejs earned the shutout stopping all 24 Wyowood shots that came his way.
"I think our undefeated season was getting ahead of us and we were getting a little cocky, said Mokrejs after the game. "After that loss we really switched it into gear, and we really came out tonight and we wanted to win this game."
"They both played good. [Martini] is a terrific goalie and [Mokrejs] after last night played out of his mind, said Tim Meers.
"We wanted to set the tone of the game, I thought we had a plan and we started to execute the plan and Twin Valley looked a little gas after playing a hard game last night so I think we kind of got dropped down to their level for a little bit," said Sowers.
While the Wyowood season will end, Twin Valley will take on SV/Wilson Monday night in another elimination game at Body Zone.
SV/Wilson was the only team to tie Twin Valley twice in the
Wyowood finished this season with more wins than they have ever had as a club.
Berks Catholic Advances Past Twin Valley
With a 5-2 Upset Win.
February 23, 2017
Jason C. Croft (@JasonCCroft)
Dalton Hirneisen scored two goals Thursday night as Berks Catholic handed Twin Valley their first lost of the season in the EPSHL Quarter-Finals.
Though looking outplayed for most of the beginning of the game, the Raiders were able to score the games first goal of the night when Kyle Lark hit the top center of the net just below the crossbar 4:01 into the second period. The puck actually hit the crossbar and came out but struck net beforehand.
"We were outplaying them, they got a goal, nobody said it was going to be a shutout coming in so we bounced back pretty strong from that," said Matt Conrad.
Dalton Hirneisen scored his first goal of the night at the 11:09 mark of the second period. He scored by cutting across the top of the crease and sliding the puck past Hudson Mokrejs on the right side after Riese Grim gave him the puck.
Reed Hirneisen gave the Saints a 2-1 lead when he scored 2:22 later on a breakaway opportunity.
The Saints would commit two minor penalties within the next
few minutes leading to a Twin Valley 5-on-3 powerplay.
During the Raiders 5-on-3 advantage, Dalton Hirneisen took the puck up ice for Berks Catholic and cut across sending the puck through the five-hole of Mokrejs giving the Saints a 3-1 advantage.
Stephen Pelle would get the goal back 20-seconds later on the same 5-on-3 advantage bringing the Raiders to within one goal going into the final period of play.
The Saints outscored the Raiders 2-0 in the final period thanks to goals from Alex Gundersen and Riese Grim solidifying the victory over the Raiders.
"[I feel] pretty good," said Dalton Hirneisen after the game. "We've been wanting to beat this team for awhile now. It's good to beat the unbeaten team in the league. [The game] was much faster. Our line especially played with the pace we needed to beat this team, that was big for us."
"What they did in the regular season is impressive," said Conrad. "Playoffs are a new season. We are playing our best hockey right now and I think that showed tonight. A full- 48 minutes, I couldn't be prouder."
"Like I told you in the beginning of the year it's tough to go undefeated and unfortunately we felt it in the playoffs," mentioned Tim Meers.
Hudson Mokrejs stopped 16-of-21 Berks Catholic shots.
Ryan Goldschmidt stopped 15-of-17 shots from the Raiders.
"Yeah, I would say both teams came to play," said Conrad. I mean the atmosphere was good, it was definitely playoff hockey, both teams came out hitting, fast game, the speed was definitely up a notch. [Goldschmidt] made some big saves early, especially very early in the game to give us momentum. We started to dictate the game a little bit more. I can't say enough about how that kid has been playing the past month."
Twin Valley will have a quick turnaround as they play in an elimination game at 6:15 tomorrow night against their rivals Wyowood.
"We talked to them about that and we are good," said Meers. "They are passionate, their goal is to get to the championship and win it, they will be back, they will be ready. We have to play our game, that's all. When we play like a team we can beat just about anybody. We had a lot of opportunities that we just didn't put in the net. We had a couple opportunities where we had the goalie beat and we just couldn't put it in the net."
Berks Catholic gets the weekend off and will face Mexeter in the EPSHL Semi-Final round of the winners- bracket Monday night at 6:15. The winner of the game Monday night will play in the EPSHL Championship game.
"If we play like we did tonight, we are going to be a tough team to beat, said Dalton Hirneisen. "It's going to be tough for Mexeter but they are a good team, it'll be a good game."
"[Expect] the same thing, said Conrad. Fast, fast fast. We are not going to change a thing. We have it really well right now, hopefully we will get the same result."
Bartle Nets Winner Past
Zabala with 2.4 Left.
February 22, 2017
Jason C. Croft (@JasonCCroft)
With ten seconds left on the clock in a 3-3 game, Shane Bartle stormed down the left side of the ice looking to just get a shot on net before overtime. Overtime wouldn't come...
Bartle's shot went past Anthony Zabala and into the net with only 2.4 seconds on the clock as the entire Mexeter bench and their few fans erupted in the stands to the disbelief of the packed Boone Squad, the bench of the Blazers, and Zabala himself.
"I was going insane. It was crazy. I didn't know what to do. I was just so happy that I scored. I mean it was pretty much an overtime goal, it's a great feeling in the playoffs," said Bartle.
With 34.1 seconds left in a tie game, Daniel Boone head coach Alan Axford called a timeout giving both teams a rest.
"We just wanted to win [the faceoff] and if we couldn't win it cleanly just ice it down. We got it down there, and they came back and it was just a fluke goal. It shouldn't have happened, said a visibly shaken Alan Axford.
"I told my center not to let them shoot the puck up the wall and out of the zone because that's all they do on every faceoff," said Dwayne Pugh. "Eventually they got it out of their zone anyway but they didn't get what they wanted, the quick breakout is what they always look for."
The Mexeter 4-3 victory moves their team to the semi-finals of the EPSHL winners- bracket against the winner of Thursday night's Twin Valley- Berks Catholic game.
"I think we have to step it up [going in]," said Bartle. "I don't think we played the greatest today, a little sloppy, but if we step it up I think we can beat any one of those teams."
"Hopefully [we bring] a little more pressure than we did this game," said Pugh. "We played a little bit too much back trying to prevent them from scoring and we weren't putting enough pressure up front. Hopefully we will adjust and put more pressure on the other team when they come out of their zone."
The Blazers got on the board first in the second period when Trevor Cicala sent Jamie Burns the puck on his second breakaway of the game. After being stopped by Josh Rowe on his first, he wouldn't be denied on his second. The puck looked like it slipped under the pads of Rowe and in to give the Blazers the 1-0 lead at the 6:03 mark of the second.
Mexeter would get two goals back in 23-seconds thanks to the Bolles brothers about four minutes after Burns' goal.
Jakob Bolles got Mexeter on the board first with a goal that ended up in the top corner of the next past Zabala.
23- seconds later Ian Bolles, who had already sat 4- minutes due to two penalties, was also able to get the puck past Zabala.
Trevor Cicala would tie the game up for the Blazers 1:13 later when Dylan Sacks and Burns found him.
Ryan Lawes made the game 3-2 going into the third period when he netted a goal at the 12:21 mark of the period.
The three Mexeter goals and one Boone goal all came within a timespan of 2:09.
Jaime Burns was able to knot the game up at the 6:35 mark of the final period when he backhanded a shot into the top right corner of the net Rowe was protecting.
Both Zabala and Rowe had good games in net for their respective teams.
Zabala stopped 26-of-30 shots Mexeter took, while Rowe stopped 19-of-22 shots that Boone took.
"That was one of the best games I've ever seen [Zabala] play," said Bartle. I think we shot a little too much high glove side, that's probably his best attribute."
"We let the goalies decide [who starts]," said Pugh. They are young men now, they went over their schedules and see who could play. [Kolin Grogesky] is playing next game so whoever wins between BC and Twin Valley he has the next one."
Mexeter will have off until Monday when they battle for a chance to advance to the EPSHL Championship Game.
Daniel Boone will have to battle in an elimination game Friday night against SV/Wilson. Their game is the second of a doubleheader at Body Zone Friday night.
For Those You Don't Notice;
A Thank You to the Team Managers
Jason C. Croft (@JasonCCroft)
February 21, 2017
They usually start their night gathering water for the players on their respective teams and finish their nights in either sadness or euphoria depending on how their team finishes on the ice.
Three teams bring with them a very special group of team managers that help the team run errands before, after, and throughout the games.
Berks Catholic, Mexeter, and SV/Wilson are the three clubs that have the help of team managers.
The Mexeter girls, Mary Stratton, Maggie Lutz, and Lily Zeigenfuse enjoy what they do wanting to carry on the legacy of two former Mexeter managers Hannah Fassbender and Ashley D'Archangelo.
"Yes, we fill the water bottles at practices and the
games," said Lutz.
Stratton chimed in, "We also eat all of the cheese fries as well as take our chance on the ice and shoot some pucks [at practice]."
The three girls jokingly enjoying the interview stated together;
"We fill water bottles, set up the pucks, make food for after the games for when they win... only for after they win. They never lose... maybe the score-sheets say otherwise, but to us they are always winners."
As for being apart of the team,
"The guys are like our little brothers, or... same age brothers. We're our own little team, [but] the coaches love us."
"We have team managers?" Mexeter head coach Dwayne Pugh joked after a game.
"[They] are great, he continued. "They bring [the team] snacks, they bring them cookies, I think they do a good job. They do alot of work that normally a coach would end up doing, so they relieve the pressure on that and then they do the score sheets during home games, I couldn't ask for any better.
"They do a lot of stuff that the team doesn't congratulate them or say thanks or anything, Pugh continued. "The team is a bunch of ingrates."
"I think it's nice to have them they are always here supporting the team and they make good cookies, I love them, everybody loves them, said Shane Bartle.
"I think it's really nice to have team managers, not every team has one so I think it's good to have them. They make us cookies and they feed us every game," Anthony Valloniio Cinfici added.
"The fact that we have the team managers is very great," Gavin Pugh said. "They show up even when other people don't. The cookies as everyone else said are amazing. It's truly a gift to have these managers. They like to mess around occasionally and they definitely keep me in line. They are [also] relatively funny."
With the Saints are team managers Jamie Kissinger, Hunter Hirneisen, Emily Goldschmidt, and Rachel Taylor.
"My brother is the goalie for the team that's why I started being the manager," said Emily Goldschmidt.
Hirneisen also is associated with the team because of
" My brother and cousin play [on the team]," she stated.
Kissinger is involved based on a relationship with one of the players.
"I think the hardest part is when we are losing we feel like we should be on the ice helping because we feel apart of the team," Hunter said.
"I like being with the team and being apart of it. We always hang out and talk to them," Goldschmidt added.
"We fill water bottles, we do face-offs, we do shots. We put the banner up before the games, we get their sticks," the three of them said.
"The team managers, we wouldn't be able to do what we do without them, said Dan Genetti. "If we don't have water, we wouldn't be hydrated. If we aren't hydrated we're not going to be able to stay on our game. The managers keep us in the game."
"It's such a great thing that we can constantly have water throughout the game," Austin Kolson said. "They keep all our stats. They get everything down for us. It's incredible because they don't have to do this, they ask to do this for us."
"It takes a load off of our back. They don't have to be out here spending their time around hockey goons. It's a really good thing," added Mark Neidert.
Saints head coach Matt Conrad only had good things to say
"They are a huge help, whether it's before the game or after the game. We can focus on the hockey, on the guys in the locker room. I mean everything is ready for us. It's unnoticed a lot of the time, but we certainly notice and it makes our lives a lot easier," Conrad said.
For SV/Wilson, Julie Brubaker and Aleyna Orth are at the games as managers.
"I personally give them pep talks because I know sometimes they get really down on themselves because they are hockey players," said Orth. "Mostly we just do the maintenance stuff that if they run out of water after games, just stuff like that. I just like the sport, so I thought I'm around it a lot anyway so I may as well get involved and help with it."
Mostly I enjoy is that I am super defensive of them, because I will defend any of my players as if I was on the team," Orth added.
"Just behind the scenes work, said a humble Brubaker. "Nothing that special. [I got involved because] I used to play and I just wanted to stay connected with it. I played for Berks Catholic in elementary and middle school and then I went to Wilson."
The most difficult part is that they all smell gross," Brubaker quietly joked.
"They are kind of the unsung heroes, Kevin Simmerman said. "The idea is I don't have to think about it and they take care of things before the game, they come to practices, they do water bottles, they make sure the benches are ready to go, we appreciate everything they do for us."
"They do a lot for us. They are really there for us. They bring the bottles, bring our banner for us. They keep us loose before games, said Josh Watterson.
The three groups of girls put a lot of time and effort into their respective clubs and without them the three teams wouldn't operate as smoothly as they do. Although the time and effort they put in is a lot, all three of the teams appreciated the hard work they put into the 2016-17 EPSHL season.
Boone/GS Defeated Wyowood 8-3 in
Shortened Game Due to Player Injury
February 20, 2017
Jason C. Croft (@JasonCCroft)
A scary situation at Body Zone led to the Daniel Boone/ Garden Spot vs. Wyowood game being called with over eight minutes remaining in the game.
While going into the board, DB/GS players Ryan Duffy and John Peterson put an illegal hit on Wyowood's Gavin McGoldrick.
McGoldrick went down immediately and wouldn't move from the ice surface after his head was hit.
Paramedics had to be called to the scene while both teams waited in their respective locker rooms for news. This is the second time in two years McGoldrick was stretchered off with an apparent head injury.
Wyowood coaches, Dainel Boone coaches, the refs, and league president Shawn Shugar all agreed to call the game in favor of Boone who had an 8-3 lead at the time of the incident.
Boone earned the 8-3 victory thanks in part to Jamie Burns and Dylan Sacks who each had hat-tricks. Burns finished with five goals in the shortened game and Sacks with his teams other three.
Daniel Boone took a 2-0 lead into the first intermission.
Alec Moyer scored 52- seconds into the second period on a bad angle shot that hit the back of Zabala's skate and went in.
After Moyer made it 2-1, Burns and Sacks made it 5-1 thanks to three goals in six minutes.
Michael Smerek scored a Fluke goal for Wyowood when a turnover off of Smerek's stick ended up in the back of the net.
Burns scored the other way shortly after making the game 6-2 going into the final period of play.
Sacks and Burns each added another goal in the final period, and Ian Gibson scored for Wyowood before the game was called with about eight minutes remaining in the game.
Anthony Zabala stopped 21-of-24 shots that came his way in 40 minutes of play.
Sam Martini stopped 19-of-27 before he was pulled with 39 minutes of play. Chris Brown played one minute and didn't face a shot.
Wyowood will play Friday night in an elimination game against the loser of the Twin Valley- Berks Catholic game which is taking place Thursday night.
Daniel Boone looks to continue to defend their back-to-back EPSHL championships when they take on Mexeter in the EPSHL winners- bracket semi-final.
"We kind of all stepped up. Everyone I put in there put 110%, maybe a little too much. It's just unfortunate the way it ended. I would think the same. I think we are definitely a playoff team. They come prepared for these games. Against Mexeter, there is the rivalry there. We will try to get our heads together after this unfortunate ending and focus on the next, said Alan Axford after the game.
Berks Catholic's Shooting Gallery
Just Too Much for Simmerman.
Jason C. Croft (@JasonCCroft)
February 20, 2017
Berks Catholic rallied from a one goal deficit twice to defeat SV/Wilson in the first round of the EPSHL winners- bracket 3-2 Monday night at the Body Zone.
The Saints scored their game winning goal with 2:23 left in the game when Reed Hirneisen took the puck from one end of the ice to the other and finished past Chad Simmerman who played a fantastic game in net.
"Going into both [second and third] periods we were actually down by a goal and I told them both times don't change a thing you are doing," said Saints head coach Matt Conrad. I knew we had a lot of shots, I didn't realize we had that many after the second (41), but I said keep playing the way you're playing and you'll get your opportunities and that's how it worked out."
Both SV/Wilson's goals came on powerplays (2-for-2). The first and only goal in the first period, came from the stick of Brenden Brown when Jake Shugar found him open. Brown fired the puck to the right side of the net and past Goldschmidt. Josh Watterson also earned an assist.
The Saints Dan Genetti scored 3:12 in the second period to knot the game up at 1-1. Genetti shot a puck on Simmerman, who made a fantastic first save. Genetti then followed up with his own rebound as he skated past the net. His stick caught the puck and the biscuit sled past the red line and in.
SV/Wilson would earn another goal on the powerplay when Jake Shugar put the puck past Goldschmidt from near the right circle at the halfway point (8:00) of the game. Shugar was found with space by R.J. Crowell and Brown.
"They took advantage of [the powerplay]," said Matt Conrad. "I think we just need to challenge a little bit more on the blue line when we are short handed. If we stay out of the box maybe they don't get any goals in the game so the key for us is to maybe just stay out of the box and not worry about it.
The Saints Alex Gundersen tied the game 2:57 into the final period at 2-2. Gunderson had a wide-open net when Reed Hirneisen threw the puck across the crease. Simmerman was busy with Hirneisen and no defender was on Gundersen leading to the goal.
Though he allowed three goals, Simmerman stopped 58-of-61 Berks Catholic shots in the game.
"I don't know how many saves he had, but he played great," said Reed Hirneisen. "We got a lot of shots and we just couldn't get them in, and we finally squeaked a few in.
"We planned to shoot the puck a lot. 61 is probably a bit more than I expected," said Conrad. We were moving the puck well passing well getting the shots from very good scoring angles, but Simmerman really did stand on his head and kept them in the game.
Ryan Goldschmidt also had a good game for the Saints, but didn't stop nearly as many as Simmerman. Goldschmidt stopped 17-of-19 SV/Wilson shots.
The victory for Berks Catholic moves them to the second round of the winners- bracket where they will meet up with an undefeated Twin Valley Raiders Thursday night at Body Zone.
"We tied them last time we played them. They are a good team, they have a good goalie, but I think if we bring it, it will be a good game, so we will see," said Reed Hirneisen.
"We are looking forward to it, said Conrad. "Obviously they haven't lost a game this year. If we play the way we played tonight, we are going to be a tough out no matter who we play in the playoffs."
SV/Wilson will move to the first round of the losers- bracket where they will wait for an opponent to be determined Wednesday night. SV/Wilson will play the loser of Wednesday night's Daniel Boone vs. Mexeter game.
Dylan Sacks Lifts Boone over Berks
Catholic With a Double- Hat Trick.
February 17, 2017
Jason C. Croft (@JasonCCroft)
Dylan Sacks netted six of his teams seven goals in a 7-5 victory
over the Saints Friday night at Body Zone.
"It's the most goals I have ever had in a varsity game, Sacks said afterward. "I think it's the playoff mullet. It's what I like."
"He kind of wanted to approach this as a playoff game and he brought the intensity," said Alan Axford.
Sacks gave his team a 2-0 advantage to start the first period.
Trevor Cicala set up Sacks for his first goal with a beautiful pass in front. Sacks had an open net to shoot at as Goldschmidt couldn't do anything in the position he was in.
Sacks second goal came from Liam Harner and Trevor Lambert.
The Saints fought back to even the game at 2-2 going into the first intermission.
Reed Hirneisen showed his accuracy skills with a shot into the top right corner of the net from the point past Antony Zabala.
Daniel Genetti knotted the game up with a shot from above the right circle that got through multiple players in front. Mazzo and Gunderson earned assists on the goal.
Sacks got his hat trick goal 17-seconds into the 2nd period when Burns found him.
The Saints again tied the game 3:01 into the second period when Reed Hirneisen attempted to center the puck to a teammate, however, the puck hit the skate of a Boone defenseman and went past Zabala for Hirneisen's second of the night.
Sacks earned his fourth goal of the game when Burns carried the puck around into the zone and around Goldschmidt's net and centered it for a wide-open Sacks who put it past Goldschmidt.
Joe Mazzo tied the game up with a shorthanded one-timer goal from the point set-up by Reed Hirneisen. The goal came 6:34 into the middle stanza.
Sacks earned his fifth of the game when Burns gave it to him at the point and he snipped it past Goldschmidt at the 10:59 mark of the period.
Burns scored 15- seconds later for Daniel Boone to make it 6-4.
At the 15:05 mark of the second period Dylan Sacks earned his sixth goal of the game on a breakaway that went in on his own second chance. Burns led him with the pass.
Reed Hirneisen also earned a hat trick in the game scoring his third goal with only 27-seconds remaining in the second period.
Somehow, that was all of the scoring as neither team was able to put the puck in the net in the third period of play despite the fact that Boone had three powerplays and Boone had one powerplay in the final period.
Ryan Goldschmidt kept his team in the game even though the score sheet would say otherwise (18-of-25).
"It was breakaways, two-on-ones, two-on-[zero's] , backdoor, you name it defense breakdowns, when I say defense I mean team defense. He was hung out to dry, he did make some big saves to give us the opportunities," said Matt Conrad after the game. "Those goals aren't his fault tonight.
"We wanted to play our game, the way we have been playing, Conrad continued. "We didn't really say that our game plan was to shut [Sacks/Burns] down. Obviously we knew they were dangerous, we wanted to keep them wide, keep them contained outside, but we did the exact opposite of that tonight."
Anthony Zabala was given the start as a last second decision. He finished with his first win of the season stopping 36-of-41.
"We were talking about it, and they kind of thought we would make a late minute change and go with [Zabala]. I think [the playoffs] will be another game time decision," said Axford.
The victory for Boone gave them their third of the long season and set the playoffs for themselves and Berks Catholic.
The Saints will play SV/Wilson at 6:15 Monday night in their first playoff game.
Daniel Boone will get Wyowood at 8 p.m. Monday night.
When asked if his team was ready for the playoffs, Conrad didn't think so;
"Right now I would say no. That was our worst game of the season by far, we really need to turn that around by Monday or else it's going to be a quick playoff season for us."
Alan Axford and Dylan Sacks both think the Blazers are ready after finishing last during the regular season.
"I say going in we just need to get on a win streak, said Sacks. "We're on a one game win streak, so we're going in the playoffs playing Wyowood who we wanted to play, so I think we'll do good."
"As best as we're going to be at this point. If we are at least peaking, we are peaking at the right moment, said Axford. "I think this was the game that seemed to have more energy, just everybody. I think that is what we are going to need going into the playoffs is the energy attitude."
Twin Valley Completes 14-Game Undefeated Season
With Tie in Battle of #1 and #2 Seeds.
February 15, 2017
Jason C. Croft (@JasonCCroft)
Twin Valley completed their undefeated season with a 1-1 tie with Mexeter thanks in part to a goal 10- seconds into the game from Kyle Lark.
After reaching out to multiple sources from the league, nobody is really sure if any team has ever finished undefeated since the start of the EPSHL in the 2008-09 season.
The last undefeated team that could be tracked down was from the 2004-05 Berks Scholastic Ice Hockey League (BSIHL). The Boyertown Bears finished that season with a 14-0-1 record.
The league folded after the 2007-08 season and was replaced by the EPSHL.
"It's just an accomplishment to be undefeated," said Hudson Mokrejs after the game. Obviously we already had that first-place spot, but our really big goal this year is to win the championship, but undefeated is a bonus."
Larks first period goal 10-seconds in was his fifth goal in two games.
"I don't even know what the hell happened," said Dwayne Pugh. "I saw the faceoff, the center tied-up the guy, everybody else kind of looked at the guy, he went in the zone. Somebody fell over, the shot went off the crossbar."
"[Lark] has missed a few games, he is now coming back and is playing where he should be," said Tim Meers.
Lark's goal was countered in the second period by Anthony Vallonio Cinfici in the second period when he was set up by Ian Conroy and Dallas Weckel.
Although Mexeter dominated most of the second period, the team couldn't get the puck back in the net for a second time, with their best chance coming around halfway through the period when Ian Bolles sent a shot wide with Mokrejs down in the crease.
"I thought they were outplaying us," said Tim Meers. "We settled in during the third period, I thought the tide changed a bit. The second period and the halfway through the first they were coming at us better than we were coming at them."
Both teams played a clean game with only two penalties called (one each team) the entire night.
Shots were also even with Twin Valley holding the advantage 24-23.
Hudson Mokrejs and Kolin Grogesky stood tall in net each only allowing one goal.
[Mokrejs] is a critical part of the team," said Meers. "Without him we wouldn't be where we are right now. It's a team game and I think the players in front of him help him out as well."
Mexeter had mixed up their lines a lot throughout the game and defensemen were playing in offensive spots for the majority of the game.
"It was a meaningless game," said Pugh. "We were already in second place so it didn't matter if we lost so much but they were pretty much free to do what they want to and they sure as hell did."
Tim Meers echoed similar words.
"[The] game was meaningless, for [Twin Valley] they wanted to go undefeated but at times they were playing pond hockey out there."
The teams each have earned a bye. Mexeter will be the #2 seed and Twin Valley the #1 seed with a regular season championship under their belt.
"All of them. Mexeter, Wyowood, SV/Wilson, they all have good goalies and we are going to have to bare down," said Meers.
"I told them when we hit the playoffs lets not screw up the first 15- seconds and we will be alright," said Pugh.
Mexeter's first playoff game will be on February 22nd at 9:15 p.m. They could potentially play either Daniel Boone, Berks Catholic, or Wyowood in that game.
Twin Valley will start their playoff run on the 23rd at 8:45 p.m. They
could play SV/Wilson, Berks Catholic, or Wyowood in their first match.
All Playoff games will be played at the Body Zone.
SV/Wilson Clinches 5th Spot With
Victory Over Boone
February 14, 2017
Jason C. Croft (@JasonCCroft)
SV/Wilson celebrated senior night with a 4-2 victory over the Daniel Boone/GS Blazers thanks in part to four unanswered goals in the game.
While trailing 1-0, SV/Wilson got their scoring going.
Declan Murphy scored with only 33 seconds left in the first period to tie the game at 1-1 going into intermission.
Brenden Brown was the lone goal scorer in the second period.
Brown added his second of the night in the third period when Joshua Watterson found him for powerplay goal.
Stephanie Christman scored her first career varsity goal 6:30 into the final period to put SV/Wilson up 4-1.
"I didn't know what happened," Christman said. "I saw it after and I was shocked."
Boone was able to add another goal 50-seconds later thanks to Dylan Sacks second of the night, however, that was all they could grab before falling.
"I think we had a solid game tonight," said Kevin Simmerman. "We did all the little things right. I wasn't happy giving up the second goal, other than that I thought it was a solid effort and everybody played really hard and I told them to make our seniors proud tonight and they did, they had a good effort for our seniors."
Jamie Burns missed the end of the second and the majority of the third period when he was given a two and ten for boarding. Not liking the call and yelling expletives at the refs earned him another two minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct.
"It's mostly the two and the tens and then the incidental mouthing-offs," said Alan Axford on some of the penalties that Burns takes. "We are trying to keep that to a minimum.
Axford also defended his player stating, "It's unfortunate they pick up a two and a ten but they are getting hacked on pretty good during the games so I think sometimes it's just out of frustration."
Anthony Zabala stopped 15-of-19 shots but it wasn't enough for his first win of the season as Chico Simmerman stopped 19-of-21 on the other side of the ice.
"[Zabala] has only been playing for two years. There is a little improvement [for him]. Jeb [Kurtz] was out tonight with a fever so we had to go with him. Hopefully Jeb will be available [for Friday]," said Axford after the game.
When asking the two coaches who they would rather have come playoff time.
"You've seen all season anybody can beat anybody, so I think you need to be ready to play anybody and I think it's anybody's tournament," said Simmerman. "I think the rest will be good, it's a long season, but they know what to do. We have been working towards playoffs all year. I just told them to stay mentally sharp and be ready to play Monday
Axford echoed Simmerman's words stating that his team would have to step up their game no matter who they end up playing in the first round.
"We have to use the momentum of this game going into the playoffs," said Brenden Brown. "[Wyowood and Berks Catholic] are both pretty solid teams and both have a couple of good guys. [I'd rather] Berks Catholic because [Wyowood] has a better goalie I'd say."
Daniel Boone/ GS still has one more meeting before the playoffs begin for them. They will take on Berks Catholic Friday night at 9 p.m.
Undefeated Streak Reaches Six,
Wyowood's Bye Hopes Crushed
February 13, 2017
Jason C. Croft (@JasonCCroft)
The Berks Catholic Saints defeated Wyowood 5-3 Monday night at Body Zone ending Wyowood's chance at earning a bye in the playoffs and increasing their undefeated streak to six games.
The two clubs battled out a close one for most of the night, however, Wyowood struggled with speed to start the game.
Austin Kolson took advantage of the slow Wyowood start and found the back of the net 2:45 into the game. The goal came off of a rebound in front when Riese Grim put the biscuit on net.
Berks Catholic thought they had a second goal early, however, the ref waved what would have been a goal off because the net came off the moorings moments before the puck crossed the line.
Wyowood's Owen Noll would earn his 10th goal and solidify himself as Wyowood's top goal- scorer this season when Michael Smerek found him 6:56 into the first.
Alex Gunderson would sneak a goal past the right pad of Sam Martini after a crazy rebound just over halfway through the first and the teams would enter the locker room with Berks Catholic up 2-1.
Dalton Hirneisen gave his team a 3-1 advantage when he found himself on a break and put the puck top shelf over the shoulder of Martini.
Brody Carson was flying on the ice all game, and it finally showed for Wyowood when he scored 32-seconds after Hirneisen cutting the lead of the Saint down to one goal going into the final stanza of the game.
Reed Hirneisen would increase the lead back up to 2 goals when he scored just 2:57 into the final period.
Carson again would cut into the Saints lead when he scored his second goal with under four minutes remaining in the game.
Wyowood pulled their goalie late in the period and were unable to score to tie the game from that point.
Alex Gunderson was awarded a goal with 0.1 seconds left on the clock when he put the puck across the empty net line finishing the game at 5-3.
"I think earlier we were playing our game, we were playing our aggressive style we have been playing here the past few weeks," said Matt Conard. "We got away from it a little bit with some of the calls in the second. We got out of our rhythm being short-handed multiple times, [but] we did what we needed to get the two points."
Ryan Goldschmidt finished the game stopping 23-of-26 shots that came his way.
Martini stopped 28-of-32 that came his way.
"I've been telling these guys all season, if
Goldschmidt sees the puck, he is going to stop it and that is what he has been
doing the past couple games," said Conrad.
"I think it's all about communication, [my defensemen] feel comfortable around me and I trust them and they trust me, said Goldschmidt after the game. "It's trust and communication. I felt good going into the game. I saw the shots pretty well, it's all I can ask for."
The Wyowood loss gave Mexeter the #2 seed and the bye. After the game we caught up to Mexeter assistant coach Scott Bolles who had this to say;
"It's something we have been working hard for. You get the second seed; you play one less playoff game which is pretty important with how much parity there is in this league. Anyone can beat anyone, so one last game you have to play is an advantage."
Berks Catholic can clinch the #3 seed based on tie-breaking EPSHL procedures with a win against Daniel Boone in the season finale.
"At this point we don't really care where we finish, but obviously we want to keep winning, so hopefully if we win we are the three seed, but we haven't lost in six games now. We are playing our best hockey at the right time of the year and we are hopefully going to keep riding that the next couple of weeks," said Conrad.
The regular season finale is scheduled for February 17th at 9 p.m.
After the game, Wyowood coaches were not available for interview.
Kyle Larks Nets Four as Twin
Valley Easily Takes Care of Wyowood
February 12, 2017
Jason C. Croft (@JasonCCroft)
Twin Valley took care of Wyowood handily Sunday night at Body Zone with a 7-1 victory thanks in part to a Kyle Lark four-goal night and a natural hat-trick.
Twin Valley had only a 1-0 lead after the first period before the onslaught began. Lark scored first for the Raiders.
The second period Twin Valley outscored Wywood 3-1.
Ashley Murry would get the eventual game-winner thanks to a rebound she found from a shot by Stephen Pelle.
Koby Howat netted a rebound goal as well to make it 3-0 Twin Valley.
Wyowood would get the goal back quickly when Murry sat in the box for tripping.
Owen Noll earned what would turn out to be the only Wyowood goal of the game ten seconds into the powerplay. Nick Krasley and Trent Gehringer were awarded assists.
Lark would score his second, third, and fourth goal in a row for a natural hat-trick.
His second goal came in the second period from Connor Meers.
His third goal came in the third period on a powerplay after the second scrum of the night broke out between the two clubs.
His third goal came from Koby Howat at the 5:02 mark of the final stanza in the game.
Dominick DeRemigio scored a meaningless goal with less than eight seconds remaining in the game to finish the massacre.
Lark finished the game with five points (4G, 1A).
"Unfortunately, [Lark] has missed a few games because of his travel team, and this is what we expected of him all year and he was on cue, said Tim Meers. "He is one of the better players in the league."
Wyowood was not happy with the refs in the game as well as the scheduling the league made leading up to this game.
Give or take around half of the varsity Wyowood players played a JV game right before the game against Twin Valley leaving some questions about player safety.
"I knew a couple of my defensemen were dead-legged," said Josh Rankin an assistant coach with the team. "It's just ridiculous that happens. There is no way that should be allowed to happen. Obviously some of our better players were in the JV game too and you could just tell they were running out of gas. A lot of these guys are travel players too, so had a game yesterday, a game this morning, and then two games tonight, that's just hard on them, that's not right. We had to come out and battle but it is what it is, it's not right."
During the game two major scrums broke out. The first one
involved Greg Brown and Dominick DeRemigio in the first period.
After a whistle, Brown was crosschecking DeRemigio who got frustrated and used his one hand to quickly push away Brown with a closed glove.
The refs only gave a double-minor to each of the players for roughing.
"What I saw was Dominick, there was a hit on him, and then Brown came up and caught him under the chin with a stick cross-check and they were pushing back and forth. I think the refs called it right," said Tim Meers after the game.
"The kid punched him in the back of the head," said Rankin. "I saw that clear as day, but it was also dumb of Greg to do [what he did]. It is what it is. It's emotional but we have to have cooler heads there. Both of those were stupid."
The second scrum involved Alec Moyer who came out of nowhere and leveled a Raider to the ice after Gavin McGoldrick took a roughing penalty. Jake Spina instigated Moyer by tapping his stick multiple times in the direction of McGoldrick after the penalty was called. Spina was given an unsportsmanlike conduct call.
Both starting goalies (Hudson Mokrejs and Sam Martini) were pulled during the game for different reasons.
Mokrejs who only allowed the one goal was pulled to give Steven Horbaugh playing time with under five- minutes to go.
Horbaugh stopped all four shots he would see.
"We just wanted to give him some experience," said Meers. "He is a young goaltender who is learning. He has only been playing goalie for three years, and we thought we would get him a little time in there."
Sam Martini was pulled after allowing six goals, however, he was taken off the ice due to illness. Chris Brown replaced him stopping nine of the 10 shots he saw.
"He wanted to play he always wants to compete. [Martini] is a good kid and a great goalie. He was sick and again he is a travel player that had to play a lot of hockey this weekend and then to get a Sunday night game it's tough," said Rankin. "[Brown] did well coming in real cold in the third period like that. He made some nice saves. He did a good job, he fought well in there so I am proud of him."
Twin Valley and Wyowood are both getting set for the playoffs with each team having one game remaining on their respective schedules.
Wyowood plays tomorrow at 6:15 against Berks Catholic in a must win game to stay alive for the #2 seed and a bye.
Twin Valley plays Mexeter Wednesday night at 9:15 p.m. in a game Mexeter will need to earn at least a tie in to earn the #2 seed an a bye if Wyowood wins Monday night.
Both games will be played at Body Zone.
"I think we are starting to amp up for the playoffs, said Tim Meers. "We knew this game was going to be tough. We knew Wyowood needed this game to move up in the standings so we kind of were treating it as a playoff game."