HATFIELD TWP. >> It took some time for Pennridge to get going, but once the undefeated Rams hit their stride they couldn’t be stopped.
After falling behind by a goal, top-seeded Pennridge scored three goals in 7:44 of gametime and never looked back, cruising to a 5-1 win over third-seeded Council Rock South in the Flyers Cup AA championship Tuesday night at Hatfield Ice Arena.
Sophomore Colin Dachowski made things happen on the equalizer late in the first period. He intercepted the puck in the neutral zone and took a shot from the top of the right circle. His defender deflected the shot wide, but Dachowski stayed with it, carrying it behind the net and finding sophomore Kevin Pico in front to tie the game, 1-1.
“I stepped up, grabbed the puck,” Dachowski recalled, “made a move around the net, put a wraparound in front and Pico just buried it.”
“The first goal we were all shaky and stuff,” Pico said of falling behind. “Once we got the first one we knew what we were doing and then settled in from there.”
Less than two-and-a-half minutes into the second period, Pico netted the game-winner for the Rams (21-0-1). Pennridge’s Andrew Savona carried the puck into the Golden Hawks (16-2-2-1) zone and had it poked away at the top of the left circle. Pico was trailing, grabbed the loose puck and uncorked a wrist shot into the back of the net.
The lead doubled to 3-1 94 seconds later. Pennridge captain Jack Lowery blocked a shot near his own blue line and teammate Aeryk Lehrhaupt turned it into an offensive chance. Lehrhaupt raced up the left side of the ice and in on goal before finding Shane Dachowski on the far side for the goal.
Shane Dachowski made it 4-1 at the end of the second period. Lehrhaupt found him again, this time for a breakaway, and Dachowski went top shelf to give the Rams a comfortable three-goal advantage with 18:55 left in the game.
Colin Dachowski finished off the scoring with 4:08 remaining in the game. One second after a powerplay ended, Shane Dachowski crossed the puck from the left side of the goal and Colin was there to put it away.
The win gives Pennridge its first Flyers Cup in program history and sends them to the state championship Saturday against Penguins Cup champion Thomas-Jefferson at Ice Line at 2 p.m.
“It feels pretty surreal,” Pennridge senior goalie Ryan Pico said. “It’s insane. I don’t know how to describe it. I’ve never been here before, so it’s insane to finally win one.”
“I think it’s great, once in a lifetime for a lot of people,” Kevin Pico said. “Not a lot of kids get to go there, so it’s a great feeling.”
“It means a lot,” Colin Dachowski said. “We have a really good team, didn’t expect anything else.”
This was the fourth meeting between Pennridge and Council Rock South. The last two meetings were a 3-3 tie and a 5-4 overtime Pennridge win for the Suburban High School Hockey AA championship.
Ryan Pico made 45 saves in the game.
“We pretty much locked it down on defense,” he said. “They didn’t get a whole lot of chances. That made a pretty big difference and we were just able to keep scoring goals and keep our heads up even after we were down 1-0.
“I didn’t even realize (I had 45 saves). It just felt like a normal game – well a normal game with all the fans. It was insane. I’ve never played in front of that many people before and I don’t think I will again. It was surreal.”
Carson Lopez made 31 saves for the Golden Hawks. Blaize Pepe gave CR South a 1-0 lead 9:23 into the game courtesy of Julian Wagenmann and David Vergules.
Pennridge 5, Council Rock South 1
Council Rock South 100 – 1
Pennridge 131 – 5
G: CRS: Blaize Pepe. P: Kevin Peco 2, Shane Dachaowski 2, Colin Dachowski
A: CRS: Julian Wagenmann, David Vergules. P: Colin Dachowski, Andrew Savona, Aeryk Lehrhaupt 3, Jack Lowery, Shane Dachowski.
S: CRS: Carson Lopez 31. P: Ryan Pico 45.
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