Knights skate by Indians in crosstown rivalry game


Erik Jesberger

Tyler Greenstein battles for a face off win in the midst of 1 of the 4 power plays for the Knights

HATFIELD- In their 6th game of the season, and 2nd meeting with the “Big Red,” a dominate Knights offense was the theme in the Thursday night match up.  With 72 shots on net, 4 power play goals, and multiple players with multi goal games, the North Penn hockey squad skated off of the ice with a 2-game win streak at the halfway mark on the ‘18-’19 season.

The North Penn Knights (3-1-1) hosted the Souderton Indians at Hatfield Ice Arena Thursday night where tensions may have been similar, but the score was anything but the same. An 11-4 final score and 57 total shot differential was all she wrote in the matchup between the Knights and Indians, as an electric Knights offense stole the show from the very get go of the contest.

Erik Jesberger
Nate oh loads up for a wrist shot, tacking onto one of the total 72 shots tallied up by the Knights offense.

“The offense is really coming along and we have three lines that we can put out there anytime. When we can get all three lines going, that’s when we can be really dangerous and it’s what we need to play with some of the top teams like Pennridge and CB South,” explained Knights head coach, Kevin Vaitis.

It was North Penn lighting the lamp first after the puck dropped as senior, William Hughes, would pick up his first of three goals on the night. A third rebound opportunity finished by junior, Josh Kaufhold and wrist shot from the stick of freshman, Tony Tuozzo would follow up Hughes’ goal and give the Knights and very early 3-0 lead with just under 8 minutes still to play in the first period. Following a Souderton goal by Tyler Macphee, Hughes would respond with a back of the net finish on dribbler in the crease, getting under the pad of Indians goaltender, Jonathan Pritchard, hand trickling across the goal line for his second goal on the night.

“As long as I get in good position, guys like [Tyler] Greenstein and [Nate] Oh will find me pretty easily and they definitely helped me get the hat trick tonight, wouldn’t have been able to do it without them,” stated senior, William Hughes.

The Knights would head into the second period leading 4-2 over Soudy and while the defenses cleaned up for much of the first half of the period, the scoring frenzy would open up thanks to North Penn’s junior, Tyler Greenstein, as he collected his 19th goal of the season. Following up the junior’s goal would be seniors Jake Nelson and Nate Oh, who would connect with the back of the net thanks to a Josh Kaufhold feed and then a power play opportunity.

“We’ve been working hard in practice and on our offensive zone. Our defense comes with our offense and we skate as hard as we can in the defensive zone and with one of our goals being 20 shots every game, we continue to do it. I say you gotta work 100% on the ice every shift and every practice no matter what, even if they score you gotta keep your head up and always go as hard as you can,” said senior and team captain, Jared Albano.

Erik Jesberger
Andrew Zanoni stands in net keeping the Knights up with a multi goal lead

This under 20 shot limit for the Knights defense was successful again tonight as Souderton would skate off the ice with only 15 shots put up on Knights goaltender, Andrew Zanoni. Highlighting the exceptional defensive effort by the boys in blue were senior Eric Sarbacker and junior Thomas Boyle, who disrupted a wrist shot opportunity for the Souderton wingman and a blocked shot with the right leg on an Indian’s power play.

“We use our speed to our strength so every time we get possession of the puck in our defensive zone we look to quickly breakout and get on the attack and that’s what you saw tonight with the 11 goals we put up. Holding the other team to less than 7 shots per period is something we want to keep building on week after week,” stated coach Vaitis.

With a 7-3 lead heading into the last period of play, Hughes would cap off his hat trick with an open net finish thanks to the feed from his fellow senior, Jared Albano. With the five-goal lead, the North Penn hockey squad would refuse to let off the gas pedal as they tacked on an additional 3 goals, thanks to a Luke Van Why slap shot missile, Nelson back of the net power play finish, and Albano slap shot to find twine while also on a North Penn power play. With only one more goal put up by the Souderton offense contributed by Nicholas Szlavik, the final buzzer sounded with the home crowd headed back home happy.

“Next week we play Pennridge which is a huge game and we are just gonna look to build off of this, keep shooting the puck, give up a low amount of shots and we’ll be great,” said Albano.

North Penn hosts the Pennridge Rams next Thursday, the 20th, at 7:10 at Hatfield Ice Arena, in a must-see event, given that fact that the last meeting between the two ice hockey squads ended in a tie.