Knights captains lead dominance over Panthers on ice


Erik Jesberger

Jeromy Porubski carries puck for North Penn across center ice.

HATFIELD- A perfect week of hockey for the North Penn Knights ice hockey squad, as back to back wins over conference opponents and 15 goals seem to have the boys in a bit of a late season groove on the ice. Especially when 10 of those 15 goals, are tallied up in the last game of the week with playoffs just a few fresh sheets of ice away.

“Coming back tonight after a great night last night for our seniors and playing against Quakertown, we wanted to jump on them early, never look back, and set the tempo right away that we are the better team. I felt like we did that with three goals right off the bat in the first period, and expanding it from there on out,” expressed Knight’s head coach, Kevin Vaitis.

The North Penn Knights (9-2-0) topped the Quakertown Panthers (1-7-1) 10-1 at Hatfield Ice in a Thursday night faceoff, which seemingly was over just as North Penn’s offense started heating up. 

“The first goal shows the importance of everything and sets an impression [to the play we have]. We are able to find each other and get off to a good start, and scoring the first on the night is great,” stated junior, Chase Mueller.

The North Penn defense man broke the scoreboard with a top shelf connection following a saucer pass from fellow underclassmen, Ryan Kaufhold; Giving the Knight’s a 1-0 lead at the 10 minute mark in the first period. Shortly after this first goal, more followed for the boys in blue as junior, Luke Van Why, and senior captain, Tyler Greenstein lit the lamp before the end of the first period. The first of three goals the captain earned himself on the night.

“Getting other people involved is important and crucial especially with the playoffs coming up, we want everyone to feel confident going into bigger games. Games like these are a great way to focus on passing, stick handling and the play you need for big games and we did a great job of that tonight with everyone involved,”said Greenstein.

Only 6 shots were thrown on North Penn goaltender, Nick Ebbinghaus, throughout the first two periods of play, as the lock down defense playing in front of Ebbinghaus, was that of a brick wall. Limited shot on net opportunities and multiple drawn penalties charged on Quakertown, 5 in total, allowed North Penn to play a man up and at their own pace throughout the whole contest on the ice. Highlighting that defensive effort in the Knight’s own end of the ice were juniors Jeromy Porubski and Luke Van Why. And for senior assistant captain, Tommy Boyle, his strong play on one end of the ice, produced even more once North Penn found themselves back in Panther’s territory.

“We all made sure and played well sticking to our game [on both ends of the ice]. Passing to each other and using each other to develop plays and keep our energy up had us all in a positive attitude and showed on the ice with the amount of times we found the back of the net,”stated Boyle.

Three assists and two goals on the night for the senior assistant captain exemplified the superior play North Penn held over Quakertown throughout the first two periods of play. North Penn connected with the back of the net five times in the second period, tacking on to their three goal lead coming out of the first period intermission. Those five goals, courtesy of seniors Josh Kaufhold, Boyle, Greenstein and freshman, Ryan Kaufhold, had the Knights comfortable heading into the final period of play, hoisting an 8-1 lead over the Panthers. Greenstein also went into the third period of play with a hat trick on the score sheet as a batted in loose puck off the stick of the captain, in the midst of a scrum in front of Quakertown goaltender, Austin Stoudt, solidified the hat trick for Greenstein in just two periods of play.

“We were on the power play and I was sitting back door with the sight of the puck popping out and I was able to put it in [through traffic]. You gotta appreciate [hat tricks] cause they don’t come too often. With Josh [Kaufhold] and Tommy [Boyle], they help me get there cause we have unreal chemistry and I love playing with them,”expressed Greenstein.

Two more goals were tallied up by Boyle and Kaufhold before the final horn on the night for North Penn as the 42nd and 45th shot put up by the red hot Knight’s offense went top shelf on Quakertown’s, Austin Stoudt, in net. A 10-1 victory that had all the positives a hockey team is looking to groove with, with the Flyers Cup Tournament playoffs on the horizon.

“We want to make sure we are playing our best hockey by the end of the season and we have two games left to make sure we are clicking on all cylinders. It’s gonna come down to these last two games and a big showdown with CB South for first place in two weeks,” concluded coach Vaitis.

The Knight’s will be looking to tack on to their nine game win streak as they hit the road to faceoff at Revolutions Ice Garden next Wednesday, the 12th, against Council Rock North at 7:20. 

Be sure to follow @NP Ice Hockey on Twitter for more team and season information on North Penn Knights 2019-2020 ice hockey.