By Rick Woelfel
HATFIELD—It wasn’t a flashy performance. But it was a model of efficiency.
Blake Stewart and Arek Lehrhaupt each scored twice to lead Pennridge to a 5-1 win over Central Bucks South in a SHSHL National/Continental matchup Thursday night at Hatfield Ice.
It was the second win for the Rams (2-1 overall, 0-1 in league play) in two nights.
Rams coach Jeff Montagna was pleased his team stepped up after a subpar, albeit winning effort against Central Bucks West on Wednesday.
“It was boring in a good way,” he said. “I have not been happy at all the first two nights (including an opening night-loss to Pennsbury), especially defensively. They did a really nice job just keeping things simple, and once we got the lead, not giving (South) a whole lot of life.”
Aidan Boyle got things started for the Rams when he beat Madison Ambler with a forehander from midway between the two circles 9:13 into the first frame. Lehrhaupt made it 2-0 at 11:50 with a shot from the edge of the right circle on an odd-man situation.
The Titans got on the board when Garrett Sklar beat Ryan Pico in the Pennridge net 6:31 into the middle period but that was all they could manage.
“We were outworked and outplayed,” said South coach Shaun McGinty, “and only a few players showed up. We need to win the corner battles and the battles in the defensive zone.”
Stewart restored the Rams’ two goal lead at the 7:59 mark of the period., then widened the margin with his second goal of the game 8:10 into the third frame. Stewart, who is the Pennridge captain, was pleased to see his team bounce back after an off night 24 hours earlier, but still wasn’t satisfied
“(Wednesday night) was pretty sloppy,” he said, “but we went home, we thought about the game and came out here and forced things that we needed to do tonight. It was much better, but without being on the ice very much, all that’s a little tough.”
Lehrhaupt finished the scoring with 1:09 left in the game.
The Rams are one of the most experienced teams in the SHSHL Montagna is counting on leadership from his veterans to help them reach their potential. “I told them ‘It’s on you guys’” he said. “Guys that have played for me for three, four years, they have to lead this team and have to set the example … and I didn’t think the first nights they did that.”
Montagna cited Stewart’s leadership abilities but also the responsibility that comes with wearing the captain’s C.
“He has to lead us and a couple of the other guys have to lead us,” Montagna said, “And they did that tonight.”
Pico and Ambler made 21 saves apiece. Ambler was in goal in place of veteran Mason Moyer who has been unavailable for the Titans’ first two games.
Pennridge 2 1 2—5
C.B. South 0 1 0—1
First-period goals: Aidan Boyle (P) from Andrew David, 9:13; Arek Lehrhaupt (P) from Jeff Manto, 11:50.
Second-period goals: Garrett Sklar (CBS) from Aydin Thierolf, 6:31; Blake Stewart (P) from Andrew David, 7:59.
Third-period goals: Stewart (P) from Richie Shanks and Boyle, 8:10; Lehrhaupt (P) from Manto, 14:51.
Shots: Pennridge 26, C.B. South 22; Saves: Ryan Pico (P) 21, Madison Ambler (CBS) 21.