5 goals and 4 straight wins, Knights take down Bucks and keep rolling in heart of season

5 goals on 32 total shots tallied up by the Knight's offense in the Thursday night face off

HATFIELD- Lacing up to hit the ice again following a two week break may hold it’s negatives on a team working in a bit of a groove, especially while riding on a 3 game win streak. However, this mid season break in the North Penn ice hockey team’s schedule wouldn’t hold them back. In fact, the Knight’s wouldn’t skip a beat at all.

“I was able to [cross the blue line], went top shelf and [the puck] went in [the net]. Definitely was glad to step up and get our team rolling again. Was important to get some even strength goals and getting our team going, scoring more [early on],” expressed Knight’s Ryan Cunningham.

The North Penn Knights(6-2-0) defeated the Central Bucks West Bucks(6-2-2-1) 5-1 in a Thursday night face off at Hatfield Ice Arena.

The North Penn junior defense man was the first to light the lamp in favor of the boys in black and blue, as North Penn jumped ahead early with Cunningham’s bar down wrister past the glove of CB West’s net minder, Jake Coddington. From then on, North Penn never looked back.

“It was a big goal getting that first one. It’s always good to get the lead and be able to play with the lead. Felt like early on we started a little slow throughout a 1-0 first period, but Cunningham definitely came ready to play and getting that first one for us was big. From that we were able to open it up in the second and get going,”stated Knight’s head coach, Kevin Vaitis.

The second period would indeed be the Knight’s strongest showing on the night as the defensive would allow only 6 shots on North Penn goaltender, Nick Ebbinghaus, who had a night of is own with multiple batted away wrist shots from impending Buck’s forwards. The period also included the best save on the night from the sophomore net minder, after Buck’s forward, Danny Poliak, would be denied of his fifth goal on the season following an upper body save from Ebbinghaus on the break away chance for the CB West senior. 

“[Ebbinghaus] played solid and had some great saves for us tonight. Sometimes when we get caught sleeping, he is able to stay on his head and have our back. There are times too when we gotta step up and get his back so it evens out and I felt we all played a great game [in front of him],” said North Penn’s, Thomas Boyle.

The assistant captain and defenseman would have been any goaltender’s best friend tonight as Boyle stood to be the main contributor to the defensive effort for the Knights. Multiple blocked shots and a sliding maneuver in front of the crease to deflect away a cross crease connection between Buck’s forwards on a CB West power play exemplified the hunker down play North Penn put up against their Central Buck’s foes. A total of 25 shots on net, and only one goal to show for it.

“We were able to match their physicality. They came out hitting hard and matching that was key. We were able to hit them and keep them pretty much at the red line all game and it’s great momentum and effort we want to keep going on our end of the ice,”explained Knight’s Captain, Tyler Greenstein. 

A defensive effort which the Knight’s quickly and consistently build off of when going from one end of the ice to the other with possession of the puck. North Penn capitalized multiple times when skating into Buck territory coming off of forced turnovers in their own end. Three total goals off the sticks of Zack Cline, Tyler Greenstein, and Quinn Holt, on eleven shots in addition to a non stopping physical play with open ice hits coming from Knight’s skaters like Holt and Josh Kaufhold set an exclamation mark at the conclusion of the second period, one that the Knight’s carried all the way to the final horn of the game.

“Definitely pleased with how the game started to go in the second period and on, and it’s play like tonight that we build upon heading into next week. Scoring two, or three goals when we get those opportunities to get things going like tonight in the second period is key for us,”said coach Vaitis.

North Penn and CB West traded one last goal to tally up on the scoreboard in the final period of the Thursday night square off, as Buck’s forward, Jake Lang, put a saucer shot just by the diving Ebbinghaus right before North Penn responded with just over two minutes to play in the third as Knight’s assistant captain, Josh Kaufhold had a one-timer ready to rip and wouldn’t delay picking up his 12th goal on the season, ending the night’s contest at a Knight’s 5-1 victory.

“It’s a great game and good momentum after putting up five goals tonight. [This win is] definitely going to help us in the Flyer’s Cup rankings and the goal is to just keep it going,” concluded Greenstein.

The Knight’s are back at Hatfield Ice looking to tack onto their four-game win streak next Wednesday, the 29th, as they face off against crosstown rival Souderton with puck drop set for 7:20p.m.

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