HATFIELD TWP. >> Pennridge’s scoring potential materialized into a 12-goal night on Thursday.
“What I hope is that it becomes the norm for them,” Rams coach Jeff Montagna said after the 12-2 victory over rival Central Bucks West. “Not that I think we’re gonna beat teams 12-2, but that the guys realize (the potential) is there. We’re halfway through the season. Being young is not an excuse anymore.
“I hope that becomes their expectation, to play like that every single night.”
Blake Stewart and Jeff Manto each scored a hat trick at Hatfield Ice, helping the Rams raise their record to 5-5-0-0 overall and 2-4-0-0 in the Continental. Previously-unbeaten West, which got both of its goals from Luke Tremmel, dropped to 6-1-1-1 overall and 3-1-1-1 in the Continental.
“I didn’t really see (12-2) coming, but we just talked about it in (the locker room) – the first time we played them, I thought we should have won,” Montagna said. “We’ve just been preaching to do things the right way, and more times than none, it’s gonna go your way. And if it doesn’t, just keep going at it.”
For Manto, it was the first hat trick of his varsity career.
“It’s exciting,” he said. “It was a great feeling to have it all click tonight. It felt real good as a team.”
The Rams were as consistent as they were explosive, scoring four goals each period.
“Hopefully this gives us a confidence boost, to get the next three games going,” Manto said.
Youth is giving way to hard-earned experience.
“We just stick to the game plan and work as a team. We’re a young team and if we connect like we have been all season, we’re gonna get a lot of goals and put a lot of pressure on these other teams,” Stewart said. “We didn’t know much about each other at the beginning of the season and then the chemistry started going. If everything continues to work out like it did tonight, it shows we can beat most of the teams in this league.”
Leaders are emerging for the Rams.
“That’s the biggest thing we’re trying to get through to the returning guys, that they have to lead the way,” Montagna said. “They can’t fade to the background anymore. We’re only gonna go where they take us. They’ve been there. They have the experience. And they need to lead the team.”
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