By Rick Woelfel
HATFIELD— A fast start gives a hockey team a lot of momentum. And Central Bucks West had all the momentum Friday night. Joey Rokovich scored a pair of first-period goals and the Bucks went on to a 6-1 win over Souderton in a SHSHL Continental matchup at Hatfield Ice.
The win left the Bucks (7-0) as the only unbeaten team in the SHSHL’s Class AA bracket.
Rokovich made his presence felt early on. The junior found open ice on the left wing and beat Souderton goaltender Joshua Smith just two minutes after the opening faceoff. His second goal came just 2 minutes, 10 seconds later off a left-wing faceoff in the Souderton defensive zone.
“It felt real good,” Rokovich said. “They’re a good team so it was good to get those two in quick. We just got off to a good start.”
That was all the scoring the first frame but Dalton Karl found the back of the net for the Bucks just 31 seconds into the second. Tucker Forte made it a 4-0 game at the 4:53 mark. All evening long West seemed to have an abundance of open ice to work in.
Souderton (4-3-1, 4-2-1 in the league), which had a four-game unbeaten streak snapped, seemed to have trouble keeping up. “We had zero emotion,” said Souderton coach Matt Montagna. “And honestly, they got a good old fashioned whupping. They got beat. West had balance and they had better matchups all night.”
West coach Dave Baun applauded his team’s workmanlike effort. “We try to have everybody involved in the offense,” he said. “We try to move the puck up the ice well.The plays are orchestrated. The players are going where they’re supposed to be. It takes less time when you know where your guy’s going to be.”
Karl scored his second goal of the game 1:25 into the third period before Gabe Evans got the Big Red on the scoreboard by beating Jeremy Kennard with a rocket from the right wing with 4:18 left in the game. Shawn Philipps finished the scoring for the Bucks with 3:13 remaining.
Kennard took over the third period for Jonah Brous, who stopped 21 shots. Kennard turned away eight in the final frame.
“When (Kennard) went in the game the kids were just cheering for him,” Baun said. “Those types of things make a difference to a coach, when the kids are all pulling for one another.”
Notes: Karl had two assists to go with his two goals. All seven goals in the game came with the teams at full strength.
Souderton 0 0 1—1
C.B. West 2. 2 2—6
First-period goals: Joey Rokovich (CBW) from Jack Boland, 2:00; Rokovich (CBW) unassisted, 4:10.
Second-period goals: Dalton Karl (CBW) unassisted, :31; Tucker Forte (CBW) from Shawn Philipps and Karl, 4:53.
Third-period goals: Karl (CBW) from Forte, 1:25; Gabe Evans (S) from Joshua Reeves, 11:42; Philipps (CBW) from Forte and Karl, 12:47.
Shots: Souderton 30, C.B. West 37; Saves: Joshua Smith (S) 31; Jonah Brous (CBW) 21 and Jeremy Kennard (CBW) 8.
Records: Souderton (4-3-1, 4-2-1 SHSHL Continental Division); Central Bucks West (7-0 overall and in the division)