HATFIELD TWP. >> Thomas Boyle put the North Penn ice hockey team back ahead late in the first period. The Knights then put things away in the second.
After Boyle broke the 1-1 tie with Pennsbury, North Penn went off for five goals in the second period — including a pair in the last minutes — to hold a 7-1 edge after 32 minutes and cruised to a 10-4 SHSHL AA victory over the Falcons Thursday night at Hatfield Ice.
“Tommy’s goal there at the end of the first there really set us up for the attack in the second,” Knights coach Kevin Vaitis said. “And we were really able to sort of turn it on there in the second period,”
Boyle earned five points in the contest, the sophomore defenseman scoring twice while collecting three assists. Andrew Galetta added two goals while Jared Albano had a goal and three assists as the Knights had 12 players record at least a point.
ICE HOCKEY: End 1st Period @NPIceHockey 2, Pennsbury 1. Falcons pull even on a power play goal by Jake Machlovitz, but NP retakes the lead on Thomas Boyle’s goal that trickles in. pic.twitter.com/R98ZHT2Vc0
— Mike Cabrey (@mpcabrey) December 1, 2017
“Well, we knew the team wasn’t too strong but we knew we had to come out hard and that we had to play as a team and not individual. And I think that’s what worked out for us,” Boyle said.
Nathan Oh had a goal and two assists with Tyler Greenstein finished with two assists for North Penn (3-2-0), which outshot Pennsbury 48-20. North Penn has scored at least eight goals in all three of its victories.
“I was very happy with how we played offensively. We put a lot of pucks in the net there,” Vaitis said. “Early on, I thought their goalie (August Dous) played very well, keeping them in the game. I think it was a matter of time before pucks just started to go in and that’s what we saw.
“The nice thing was it was a balanced attack. There were a number of guys that chipped in which is something that’s good to see.”
Galetta had the Knights up 1-0 at 8:48 in the opening period but Jake Machlovitz pulled Pennsbury level at 2:39 when he scored with nine seconds left on a power play. But Boyle gave the lead North Penn for good with 1:07 left in the first as he took a pass from Albano in the slot and got just enough on a shot to slide the puck under Dous, through the crease and into the goal.
“I saw the wide-open net, but there was a guy coming, so I couldn’t fully shoot it,” Boyle said. “But I just threw it in and saw what happened.”
Boyle had two assists in the Knights’ five-goal burst in the second period, then earned his third assisted on Oh’s tally that made it 8-2 at 9:15 before blasting in his second goal with 6:54 remaining.
“He had two goals and three assists for us. Really all over the ice offensively helping out,” said Vaitis of Boyle “Even a number of the assists that he had, sort of setting up the plays that led to a number of goals was a big key for us. Any time you can get a D that can chip in with some assists like that, it’s always good for the offense.”
Ryan Cunningham scored on a shot Dous couldn’t keep a hold of to make it 3-1 North Penn at 12:46 in the second period. Fifty-four seconds later, Jake Nelson gave the Knights their fourth goal.
Galetta found the back of the net for the second time at 5:44, speeding to the net and putting a puck in up high with a back-handed effort.
— Mike Cabrey (@mpcabrey) December 1, 2017
Goals four and five of the middle period came in the final minute. Luke Van Why slapped in a shot from the point at 50.1 seconds then with 20.3 seconds to go Alex Stevens put in a rebound for a 7-1 Knights advantage.
“When we can get our offense going we’ve shown some of the things we can do offensively,” Vaitis said. “It’s just a matter of getting that going throughout the game.”
North Penn stretched the margin to seven twice in the third as it bounced backed from a 7-0 loss to Central Bucks South last Wednesday. Despite the Knights getting into a 3-0 hole after a period, Vaitis like the effort his side had early against South and was looking for that again Thursday night.
“I talked to the team before the game, the way we played in the first period with some of that intensity is what we needed to carry over into tonight,” Vaitis said. “And for the most part we did a pretty good job of that. “There were some points in the game where I think we left the foot off the pedal a little bit and that’s what we talked about afterwards is in situations like this you got to sort of have the mentality, foot on the pedal and not let up.”
Jack Boyle, Moshe McNally and Erik Eisler also scored while Jake Sieger had a pair of assists for Pennsbury (0-6-1).
North Penn’s next game is back at Hatfield Ice as they take on Council Rock North Dec. 8. The Knights face La Salle II Dec. 14 at Hatfield then end 2017 with a rematch against CB South Dec. 20 at Revolution Ice Gardens.
“The one thing we want to get going is our special teams a little bit, right between our power play and our penalty kill,” Vaitis said. “We want to strengthen up defensively in our zone a little bit. Offensively, we’ve shown we’ve been able to put pucks in the net, if we can get our special teams and our defensive zone improved, we’ll been in good shape going into the second half of the year here.”
Pennsbury posted the first goal of the third period as Jack Boyle struck at 9:32. Oh, however, gave North Penn back the six-goal edge just 17 seconds later and Thomas Boyle’s second goal made it 9-2. After McNally scored at 5:39, Albano registered the Knights’ 10th goal at 4:36 off a George Boyle assist. The Falcons’ Eisler put in the last goal with 2:51 remaining.
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