BRISTOL— All season long, Pennsbury has relied on offensive firepower for its success. The stakes were higher Wednesday night but the methodology was unchanged as the Falcons outgunned Council Rock South 7-4 in the Suburban High School Hockey League National/Continental championship game at Grundy Arena.
Brendan MacAinsh scored four goals and added two assists to help the Falcons (12-2-0-1), the top seed in the playoffs, to their first SHSHL title since joining the league for the 2007-08 season
It was an emotional moment for Pennsbury coach Ryan Daley, who, in his four seasons as head coach, has seen his team rise from the depths of the standings to the championship level.
“If you had told ne four years ago we’d be in this position, I wouldn’t have believed you,” he said. “No way. I couldn’t be prouder of this group of guys. Especially the seniors that were on that team as freshmen and saw the worst of it and now they’ve had the best of it. I just couldn’t be happier for those guys.”
MacAinsh is just a sophomore, so he wasn’t present for much of the Falcons’ rise from the ashes. But the night was no less special for him.
“It’s amazing,” he said. “It really is. To come in as a sophomore and win it in my second year playing. I didn’t get to play much as a freshman but coming in the second year (and helping the team win a championship) is a great feeling.”
After one period the Falcons and the Golden Hawks (9-4-0-2) were all even after Pennsbury’s Logan Doyle and South’s Kyle Schneider traded goals
After needing overtime to win their respective semifinals 24 hours earlier, both teams were impacted by the game’s physicality as the two officials essentially put their whistled in their pockets for most of the night.
The third-seeded Golden Hawks took a 2-1 lead when Julian Wagenmann poked in a rebound of Brennan Wright’s original shot 48 seconds into the second frame.
But MacAinsh tied the game at 3:20 and put his team ahead for good at the 5:11 mark, just 16 seconds into the game’s first power play.
Shane Siegmund extended Pennsbury’s lead with a shorthanded goal with 56 seconds remaining the second period. At that point, it was apparent that the Golden Hawks, who had just 13 skaters dressed, were running low on energy. MacAinsh went on to score two additional goals early in the first three minutes 10 seconds of the third period to extend Pennsbury’s lead to 6-2.
South coach Joe Houk saw the shorthanded goal as a turning point.
“Letting a shorthanded goal in with (56) seconds left in the second period, that’s like a final in the coffin,” he said. “Now, you’ve got to come back (down) by two. You’ve got to get the next one. The next period. we let them score right of the bat again.”
Schneider and Julian Sarne added power-play goals for South in the third period to make the final margin a little closer before Shane Siegmund scored for Pennsbury to wrap things up.
“You can look at it like you’re out of gas and stuff like that but I thought we didn’t battle hard enough tonight,” Houk said. “They won a lot of loose pucks, the harder you work, the luckier you get and they worked their tails off. They were the better team tonight.
Notes: Both teams will open Flyers Cup play on Tuesday at Hatfield Ice. Second-seeded Pennsbury will face number-15 Conestoga at 8:40 while the fifth-seeded Golden Hawks will take on 12th seed Avon Grove at 6:30 … Wednesday’s game was played in 17-minute periods with an ice cut after the second period.
Council Rock South 1 1 2—4
Pennsbury 1 3 3—7
First-period goals: Logan Doyle (P) from Andrew Falkenstein, 4:42; Kyle Schneider (CRS) from Bobby Gilbert and Blaize Pepe, 10:44;
Second-period goals: Julian Wagenmann (CRS) from Brennan Wright and Jeremy Purcell, Brendan MacAinsh (P) from Justin Marlin, 3:20; MacAinsh (P) from Reece Millman, 5:11 (pp); Shane Siegmund (P) from MacAinsh, 16:04 (sh);
Third-period goals: MacAinsh (P) from Nillman and Colin Michalak, 1:27; MacAinsh (P) from Eddie Bossler, 3:10; Schneider (CRS) from Wagenmann, 6:42 (pp); Julian Sarne (CRS) from Pepe and Wagenmann, 13:11 (pp) Siegmund (P) from MacAinsh, 16:01
Shots: Council Rock South 30, Pennsbury 37; Saves: Jimmy Sweeney (CRS) 30, Marek Jorgenson (P) 26
The Grundy Skate Shop is a full-service hockey pro shop inside the Grundy Arena, offering a great selection of equipment, brands and various services. We do a full range of repairs as well as offer custom hockey jerseys. Owner Bill Keyser, has over 25 years experience in the industry and specializes in skate sharpening, including profiling. Please visit our Facebook page or stop in and check us out!