With only a handful of regular-season games remaining in the Pioneer Conference season, it’s safe to say the eventual outcome will ride on the sticks of two high-scoring forwards from the combined Owen J. Roberts/Phoenixville squad.
Senior Kevin Hatten (OJR) and junior Bobby Batten (Phoenixville) have combined for 59 points thus far in powering the Wildcats to an 8-4- 0 record (6-1-0 Pioneer). With 12 points (two points awarded for a win, one for a tie), OJR/Phoenixville sits atop a tightly contested playoff race.
The season-ending playoff tournament sees the top four of six total teams qualify for a single elimination showdown. OJR/Phoenixville sits three points clear of Spring-Ford (4-2-1 Pioneer) and St. Joe’s Prep, an ice-hockey-only member of the conference (4-1- 1 Pioneer).
With Hatten out of the lineup Friday night, Batten took control, registering a hat trick and two assists in leading OJR/Phoenixville to an 8-4 victory over Perkiomen Valley. Johnny Kettelle (Phoenixville) registered four goals of his own in a breakout performance against the Vikings.
Goaltender Max Hunt stopped 32 of 36 shots on the evening. Hunt has been credited with all five conference victories for the team, posting a sterling 2.06 goals-against average in six total games.
The OJR/Phoenixville squad hasn’t looked back in the past six weeks after a turning-point 4-3 OT victory over Spring-Ford on December 14. Hatten and Batten each registered two goals in the contest, with Hatten tallying for the game-winner just over two minutes into overtime.
This week, OJR/Phoenixville will battle Boyertown on Friday night in a game with serious playoff implications for both squads. At 4-2-0 in the conference, Boyertown can all but clinch a top-four finish with a win, while OJR/Phoenixville can move closer to the regular-season title and top seed in the playoff tournament. A yet-to- be-determined makeup game with St. Joe’s Prep and rematch with Perkiomen Valley will round out the conference slate for the Wildcats.
Week in Review
After a tough loss to St. Joe’s Prep, Spring-Ford got back on track with a 10-0 win over Great Valley Friday. Playing without leading scorer Carson Porkka, Spring-Ford got a hat trick from Damien Carty plus three points each from Joey Temoyan and Liam Rose. Matthew Magee turned aside 20 shots in earning the shutout victory.
In non-conference action, Boyertown fell 9-2 to Malvern Prep, while Perkiomen Valley lost to West Chester Rustin by a score of 11-4.
The Hill School saw its eight-game winning streak come to an end Saturday, dropping a 2-1 decision to Gunnery. This Friday, the Blues (14-6-0 overall) return to action at home against Academie St. Louis of Quebec City. The game will also serve as the program’s annual Pottstown PAL Night.
This Week’s Schedule
Thursday >> Boyertown at Spring-Ford, 8:30 p.m., Oaks Center Ice.
Friday >> Academie St. Louis at Hill School, 7:00 p.m.; Monsignor Bonner at Spring-Ford, 7:15 p.m., Oaks Center Ice; Boyertown at Owen J. Roberts, 9:00 p.m., Oaks Center Ice.
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