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Bensalem skates past North Penn

HATFIELD TWP. >> North Penn drew even with Bensalem in the second period Thursday night and looked to be on the verge of making its charge.

But instead it was the Owls who would break the game open and skate to a 5-1 win at Hatfield Ice.

Still, there was plenty for North Penn to learn from in this contest, especially with rival Pennridge on deck.

“Too many breakdowns,” Knights coach Kevin Vaitis said. “We didn’t play well enough as a team: forwards, the defense, goalie…It’s gotta be better than that. Any given night, anybody can win, and tonight (Bensalem) came out, had jump and was ready to play. They wanted it more and we didn’t do a good enough job.”

Bensalem raised its record to 3-2 on the season and will next face Council Rock North at Grundy, Wednesday night at 7:20. North Penn (1-5) has Pennridge Wednesday at 7:20, back at Hatfield Ice.

North Penn talks during a timeout in its game with Bensalem on Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021. Kev Hunter, MediaNews.

After Alex Hood scored the first of his three goals for Bensalem less than a minute into the contest, North Penn worked its way back and eventually deadlocked things at one apiece with a shorthanded goal by Justin Yothers, assisted by Nolan O’Toole. The goal came with 16:39 left in the second period.

But after that it was all Bensalem, which pieced things together for three goals in the second to break it open.

Two goals by Danny Mackley were sandwiched around another tally by Hood, and it was 4-1 Owls.

“When we got down 2-1, 3-1, it turned into all individual play,” Vaitis said. “We weren’t moving the puck. And when that happens, you’re not gonna win. You’re not gonna beat teams one on five. You gotta move the puck and we didn’t do that tonight.”

Hood completed his hat trick in the third period for the Owls, scoring unassisted with 3:50 to play.

Ricky Gonzalez stopped 33 of the 34 shots he faced to secure the win for Bensalem. Nick Ebbinghaus made 23 stops for the Knights.

North Penn gets right back to work.

“Next week we play Pennridge, and they’re the best team in the league, so this should be a good wake-up call,” Vaitis said. “Because if not, you’re gonna get smacked in the face next week. So we gotta learn from this quickly.

“We’ll get back at it Monday practice, and there’s a lot of stuff we can work on. We gotta come out next week and do a better job of playing a team game. Pennridge has three or four lines that they can throw out there. They move the puck well and have great goaltending and great defense so we gotta be ready.”

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