Bucks County Herald

Ice hockey:

CB South drops Pennridge to win fourth straight league title


CB South captured its fourth consecutive SHSHL championship last Thursday. The Titans took care of Pennridge, 8-3, behind Joe DeLaurentis’ hat trick. Both squads entered Flyers Cup action this week.

Evan King doesn’t have the gaudy stats of a Matt Stoll or a Joe DeLaurentis.

Through 16 games played, the Central Bucks South senior had “only” five goals and seven assists to his name. Still, head coach Shaun McGinty heaped praise on King – and on all of the Titans, really – for buying into the team concept that has made CB South the champion of the Suburban High School Hockey League (SHSHL) for four years running, culminating in last Thursday evening’s 8-3 triumph over Pennridge in the league final at Hatfield Ice Arena.

“Is it special for the seniors?” McGinty asked. “Of course it is. It’s their time, but it’s also the team’s time. I’ve been blessed to have a few of these seniors, Joey, Stoll, Kinger, for four years, and they all play a role.

“King’s been a third- or fourth-line player every year and he’s never said a word; he just does his job,” McGinty continued. “Joey’s been on the top line. Stoll’s been up and down. (Tyler) Boylan missed the one year and then he came on for three years. Everyone has a role; everyone does a job. It’s all about the team. There’s no individuality and we go from there.”

The Titans, the top seed in the SHSHL playoffs, jumped on the second-seeded Rams early in last week’s finale, taking a 3-0 lead into the second period and growing it to 6-1 on DeLaurentis’ third goal with 6:11 remaining in the second.

“Tonight,” Pennridge head coach Tom Coyne said, “the first five minutes were good, but it seemed like when they punched in that first goal, they just capitalized with another and it went downhill from there.

Special teams were a big factor. Our power play couldn’t get on track; theirs was smoking hot. They came to play.”

Patrick McGinley deposited a pair of goals and added an assist for the Rams. Nick Eissler scored Pennridge’s third goal; Michael Eissler had a pair of assists.

“We certainly wanted to make a statement tonight,” said Coyne, who coached CB South to state titles in 2014 and ’16 and took over Pennridge midseason. “We just came up real short on that one. I give Shaun and his crew credit.”

Titan Colin Abbonizio had the same line as McGinley: two goals, one assist. Nick Morelli, Stoll and Boylan each had one goal. Reis Braccio handed out two assists. Tim White made 21 saves for CB South; Pennridge’s Luke Stranick made 27.

“We have four good lines of forwards and we have five solid defensemen,” King said. “A lot of teams just don’t have that – and we have that depth.”

The Titans are 19-2 overall; the Rams are 15-4-1. Half of Pennridge’s losses were suffered at the skates of the Titans, whose four-peat in the SHSHL tournament was a program first, DeLaurentis noted.

“It’s just been awesome every year,” said DeLaurentis, who exited last Thursday’s contest with 56 points, second only to Stoll’s 59. “It’s the same awesome feeling. We did win the league, but we still have the Flyers Cup (which got under way on Tuesday), we still have states coming up, hopefully.”

“It’s nearly impossible, honestly,” Boylan added on CB South’s four-year reign as the king of the league playoffs. “It’s kind of amazing how we can work that hard and keep up the hard work as a team and never give up.

“When it’s our turn to step up,” Boylan continued, “we always seem to step up and tonight it was just go time. It’s like a normal game for us. We really put our hearts out there and we made it happen as a team.”

The Titans are the top seed in the Flyers Cup in Class AA. They were scheduled to open against No. 16 Boyertown on Tuesday (result unavailable at presstime). The Rams, seeded fourth, were slated to see No. 13 Central Bucks East on Tuesday (result unavailable at presstime). The final will be back at Hatfield on Thursday, March 15.

CB South and Pennridge could potentially meet for a third time in the Flyers Cup semifinals on Tuesday. If the brackets go chalk, McGinty knows his Titans will have another fight on their hands to advance.

“We were fortunate to come out on top [last Thursday],” admitted McGinty, whose squad also beat the Rams, 8-6, on Jan. 17. “Tom and his boys did a great job. They’ll do well in the Flyers Cup – and that’s where our heads are now.”




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