WARWICK TOWNSHIP— A season’s worth of toil, sweat, and hard work paid off for Quakertown Friday night. Eric Orzehoski scored four goals and Austin Stoudt turned in a stellar effort in net as the Panthers bested Hatboro-Horsham 8-3 in a SHSHL American Division encounter at Revolution Ice Gardens.
The win was Quakertown’s first of the season after seven losses one of them in overtime.
“It feels great to get a win, finally,” Orzehoski said. “We’ve been improving throughout the entire year. To finally come out and win a game feels great.”
The Panthers took command from the start. Orzehoski scored a power-play goal just 1:49 into the first period. He added a second goal at 14:10 before Melanie Pezzano gave her side a 3-0 lead with 55 seconds left in the period.
Meantime, Stoudt, with the help of his defense corps, was keeping the Hatters (3-3-1-1) at bay at the other end of the ice.
“We’ve been taking about being better defensively,” said Quakertown coach Keith Krem. I think we were for a lot of the night and when we weren’t, Austin was pretty big in net and helped us out a couple times.”
Hatboro-Horsham coach Gianni Lafratta was impressed with Stoudt’s work.
“Goaltending was huge,” he said. “Give credit to their team and their entire coaching staff but the kid was on fire back there.”
Orzehoski completed his hat trick 5:50 into the second stanza and Jack Diliberto made it a 5-0 game with 21 second left in the period.
The Panthers were up 6-0 when Alex Howieson got the Hatters on the scoreboard 4:37 into the third period. Howieson later scored a second goal, sandwiched around an effort by Dominic Tarsi.
Orzehoski scored his fourth goal of the game in the final period, Diliberto his second, and John Connell added his first to complete the scoring for Quakertown.
Orzehoski had two assists, giving him a six-point night. Anthony Pagliei contributed three assists.
Krem said his team has been taking a back-to-basics approach of late and that mindset factored into Friday’s win. “We’ve had some talks these last few weeks about just simplifying our game,” he said, “and sticking to some good, basic, simple rules for ourselves. We did that, and we got rewarded with it.”
Krem pointed out that Orzehoski provides leadership for his team in addition to his skills. “When he playing well he’s consistent,” he said. “It’s a steadiness that takes over the entire team.”
Ice Chips—The Panthers outshot the Hatters 39-32 … No spectators were permitted at Friday’s game.
Quakertown 3 2 3—8
Hatboro-Horsham 0 0 3—3
First-period goals: Eric Orzehoski (Q) unassisted, 1:49 (pp); Orzehoski (Q) from Anthony Pagliei, 14:10; Melanie Pezzano (Q) from Orzehoski and Pagliei, 15:05.
Second-period goals: Orzehoski (Q) unassisted, 5:50; Jack Diliberto (Q) from Pagliei and Orzehoski, 15:39.
Third-period goals: Diliberto (Q) unassisted, 1:57; Alex Howieson (HH) from Aidan Esack, 4:37; Dominic Tarsi (HH) from Vince Tarsi, 5:41; Orzehoski (Q) unassisted, 9:04; Jack Connell (Q) unassisted, 13:18; Howieson (HH) from Jimmy Cortez and Vince Tarsi, 15:26.
Shots; Quakertown 39, Hatboro-Horsham 32; Saves Austin Stoudt (Q) 29, Mason Rash (HH) 31
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