It’s still early in the season, but it’s always something special when perennial SOL Continental Conference powers Hatboro-Horsham and CB East do battle. Monday night’s game was no exception.
The outcome in this one wasn’t decided until East goalie Sean McGovern came up with one last stop as the final horn sounded, preserving a 6-5 win for the Patriots.
“It’s definitely keeping your cool and knowing we have prepared enough all season long for that kind of moment,” senior defenseman Tyler Butler said of the game’s final dramatic moments. “We all have confidence in Sean back in goal, and we knew he would be able to take any kind of shot they got off.”
The save was number 13 of the night for McGovern, who had four of those stops in the game’s final two minutes. “Sean played great in goal – he had a ton of great saves,” said Matt Milici, who led the Patriots with two goals and an assist.
And for a Patriot squad that had twice fallen to the Hatters last year – their only losses in SOL play, Tuesday’s hard-fought win was sweet indeed.
“It’s definitely a boost of confidence,” senior Matt Schmidt said. “It’s a big rivalry for us, and to come down here and get a win the first time we play them is definitely a good feeling for the whole team and the coaching staff because we work hard.
“A win like this versus a team like Hatboro that we’ve been neck-in-neck with for a couple of years feels real good.”
This one was a battle from the outset. The Hatters – thanks to a pair of Brendan Mulligan goals – led 2-1 at the end of one period, and they took a 3-2 lead into halftime.
“We just kept throwing the ball right to (goalie Marc Poust’s) stick,” said Milici. “He knew where we were going. We just weren’t moving the ball top shelf at all. That was our fault.”
Third quarter goals by Matt Vetter and Milici (Vetter assist) put the Patriots on top 4-3, but the Hatters had an answer.
Pierre Armstrong (Zach Erwine assist) scored the equalizer with 2:38 remaining in the period, and Nick Paci scored his second goal of the game in the final seconds of the quarter to put the Hatters on top 5-4.
That lead stood until Schmidt connected with 5:58 remaining in regulation to knot the score, and 42 seconds later, Heim scored a goal that turned out to be the game winner, this time using a Milici assist.
“We finally figured out how to play this keeper,” Heim said. “Marc Poust (18 saves) is a great goalie.
“We started shooting a higher percentage (in the second half), and the shots started falling. That’s exactly what we needed. We were getting the defensive stops and the face-offs too. Those are real key parts of the game and helped us take the victory tonight. It’s always great to come to Hatboro and get a win.”
Not to be overlooked were the standout performances of both defensive units. For the Patriots, Jack Bauer was credited with four ground balls and one caused turnover while Will Dempster had three ground balls and one caused turnover. Dustin Buchanan had two ground balls and two caused turnovers, and Heim had three ground balls.
The Hatters’ defense was anchored by Jake Cresta, Keith Cameron, Matt McPoyle, Ryan Moore, Jack Morris and Poust. Cameron was credited with four ground balls.
Spring-Ford 11, Perkiomen Valley 10
Kevin Todd and Zach Hare posted hat tricks as the Rams rallied for a clutch victory.
Down 9-7 heading into the fourth quarter after trailing 7-4 at the break, the Rams turned up the pressure with a 4-1 burst in the final frame to stay perfect in three PAC-10 starts. Alex Marte had one goal and five assists for Spring-Ford (3-1 overall), which also got three assists from Todd and 13 saves from goalie Matt Messerle.
The Vikings (0-1 league, 2-1 overall) were led by Sean Tornetta with three goals while Connor Dee and Ben Mindardi added two strikes apiece.
Loyola Blakefield (MD) 9, St. Augustine (NJ) 5
Joe Eisele scored twice for the hermits in the defeat to the defending MIAA champions.
Moorestown 15, Rumson-Fair Haven 10
The No. 1 Quakers rallied from a one-gal deficit at halftime as Marie McCool scored four goals.
Conestoga 14, Upper Dublin 12
Maggie Friel scored four goals and Maggie Stetson had three goals while Abby Lord added two goals and two assists to lead the Pioneers to the win.
Julie Cross had five goals and an assist and Taylor D’Ginto contributed four goals and two assists while Rachel DiFrangia scored three goals for the Cards.
Souderton 14, Wissahickon 8
Natalie Bulgier led the Indians with four goals and an assist and Chessie Rahmer had three goals and two assists.
Emily Vervlied paced the Trojans with two goals and two assists.