Big third period lifts Kennett over Plymouth Whitemarsh in Flyers Cup opener

WARMINSTER >> The Kennett ice hockey team had a third period to remember in the first round of the Flyers Cup Monday night.

The Blue Demons scored three goals in a one-minute and 50-second span to turn a one-goal deficit into a two-goal lead. They parlayed that momentum into three more third-period goals to knock off Plymouth Whitemarsh, 8-4, at Bucks County Ice Sports Center.

From the beginning it was No. 15 seed Kennett’s top line creating havoc. Ryan Johnson, Ryan Ganly and Luke Borman scored seven of the team’s eight goals — all except the last one with 23 seconds left in the game.

“We’ve been playing since we were six or seven years old as mites,” Johnson said. “That definitely helps with the chemistry and it obviously showed with all the goals.”

Ganly tied the game at three with 10:25 remaining. Johnson put his team ahead, 4-3, 39 seconds later and made it 5-3 71 seconds after that. Ganly scored again four minutes later to put the Blue Demons comfortably ahead by three with 4:12 showing on the clock.

“It was rough coming out at first,” Johnson added. “We got the lead out of our legs and once we got two right away quick we just kept going from there.”

Ganly and Johnson each scored hat tricks and each had three assists.

“This is a game that had a lot of back-and-forth,” PW coach Josh Aiello said. “You have to give (Kennett) credit, they came all the way up here — a far drive — and they competed the entire time. We were ahead and we needed to execute and shut them down, but a couple bad penalties and a couple breakdowns and the puck goes the other way and they score. Big games like this come down to who makes fewer mistakes and I think they capitalized on a few of our mistakes and that was the difference tonight.”

Luke Brzozowski put No. 10 seed Plymouth Whitemarsh in good position in the second period.

Trailing, 2-1, with a little more than five minutes left in the period, PW was on the power play. The Blue Demons stole a pass and were off to the races for a short-handed breakaway. Brzozowski skated down the puck carrier and dove to knock the puck away. He got to his feet, corralled the puck, carried it to the offensive end and found Chris Zawislak for the score to tie the game at two.

Less than two minutes later, Brzozowski got behind Kennett’s last defender just inside the blue line. He put a shot on net that somehow, someway, got through to give the Colonials their only lead of the game, 3-2.

Brzozowski finished with a goal and two assists and Zawislak scored a hat trick.

Kennett’s goalie Eric Eisel stopped 14 of the 18 shots he faced. PW goalie Cole Shula stopped 41 of 49 shots.

Kennett will face No. 7 Lower Merion in the second round Wednesday at the Skatium at 8:45 p.m.

The loss brings Plymouth Whitemarsh’s season to an end. Aiello is proud of what the team — especially the upperclassmen — accomplished.

“Overall the message I would send if I was to sit back and reflect on everything is — this is a team that these seniors when they were freshmen they had one win the entire year,” the coach said. “They come out every year and gradually do better. This year we finish 15-1 in the regular season. I’m proud of these guys. That’s a pretty far way to come. Tonight didn’t work out for us. (Suburban High School Hockey League) Championship didn’t work out for us, but I couldn’t be more happy with these guys and the seniors especially. Really, really proud of the seniors.”

Kennett 8, Plymouth Whitemarsh 4

Kennett 1 1 6 — 8

Plymouth Whitemarsh 0 3 1 — 4

Goals: K: Borman, R Ganly 3, Johnson 3, Halsted. PW: Zawislak 3, Brzozowski.

Assists: K: Johnson 3, R Ganly 3, Borman, Dreisbach 3, Eisel. PW: Brzozowski 2, Slowik.

Saves: K: Eisel 14. PW: Shula 41.

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