HATFIELD TWP. >> The Wissahickon ice hockey team was short on numbers but not in effort Monday night.
“I think one thing we’ve done over the years from having shorthanded games is I think we’ve played better with shorthanded,” Trojans forward Matt Wilson said. Coming out here, giving them our best effort, every single person’s got to be in the game when there’s only nine of us.”
Wissahickon, however, could not keep from ending up on the short side of the scoreline in its Flyers Cup A play-in round contest with Harriton.
The 12th-seeded Trojans cut a 3-0 deficit down to 3-2 in the second period, but the No. 13 Rams tallied four of the final goals to earn a 7-3 win at Hatfield Ice.
Alex Triester and Jake Gross both collected a goal and two assists for Harriton, which advances to face No. 5 Springfield-Delco in the second round 9 p.m. Wednesday at the IceWorks Skating Complex in Aston.
“We were real short a couple of players – couple concussions, then we had six forwards, unfortunately one of the boys had cramps,” Wissahickon coach Ken Harrington said. “One of my forwards, so we were running four out of five, but they’re a good team, they’re a good team, they were moving the puck well.”
Will Deverter scored the last two goals for the Rams and also earned an assist.
Wilson finished with a pair of goals for the Trojans.
“We had a young team this year. We only had three seniors. I think we battled pretty hard,” Wilson said. “I think penalties maybe took it away for us a little bit. But I think all around we kept our feet moving and we made it a good game.”
As for Wissahickon’s numbers, Harrington – in his first year as head coach after the previous two as an assistant on the team – is hopeful for a boost in the coming seasons.
“This year is the first year we’ve had a middle school team for what I understand like five years. And it’s like 23 strong,” he said. “And I heard next year we’re probably going to have two middle school teams.”
Harriton goalkeeper Alex Krauss stopped 15 of 18 shots while Wissahickon netminder Jake Modelevsky had 32 saves on 39 shots.
Triester put Harriton up 3-0 at 1:32 in the opening period, but Wilson found the back of the net with just 12 seconds left in the first.
“I just sort of kept my feet moving,” Wilson said. “Just drove to net and puck found its way in.”
Less than three minutes into the second, the Trojans made it 3-2. A puck sent by Sean Garry to the front of goal deflected to Jagger Doll and Doll placed a shot behind Krauss at 13:09.
But 41 seconds later Deverter connected with an open Jonah Remer in front of the Wissahickon net and the Rams regained a two-goal cushion. A Sam Kirby wrister at 4:01 made it 5-2.
Wilson pulled Wissahickon back within two early in the third as she got open space in the middle of the Rams’ zone and sent a shot past Krauss with 11:25 remaining.
“I saw the (defenseman) was sort of in front of the goalie there, he’s screening him there a little bit. Just threw it on net and found its way in right there,” Wilson said.
The Trojans pressed up the ice looking to pull closer, but Deverter proceeded to give Harriton a 6-3 edge by racing to a puck for a breakaway and beating Modelevsky at 7:32.
Deverter tallied his second goal on the power play with 18.7 seconds left.
“I think they were stressing the ice better than we were,” Wilson said. “And I think if we had a full team, it’ll be a little bit closer in the shots, maybe close in score, too. But they were stressing the ice better than we were.”
Nick Wert gave Harriton a 1-0 lead at 9:09 in the first period. Gross made it a two-goal advantage as he scored on a power play at 4:26 off a Triester assist. Wert and Gross picked up assists as Triester’s tally had the Rams up 3-0 with 1:32 in the first.