With win at Wissahickon over SCH, GA hockey stays unbeaten in league

by Tom Utescher
Posted 12/30/21

With schools closing for holiday break on Friday, an ice hockey contest in Chestnut Hill drew a lot of student supporters that afternoon. A sizeable home crowd for Springside Chestnut Hill Academy …

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With win at Wissahickon over SCH, GA hockey stays unbeaten in league

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With schools closing for holiday break on Friday, an ice hockey contest in Chestnut Hill drew a lot of student supporters that afternoon. A sizeable home crowd for Springside Chestnut Hill Academy strolled over to the Wissahickon Skating Club, and fans also turned out for visiting Germantown Academy.

The score was only 1-0 in GA's favor at the end of the first period, but the Patriots picked up momentum and had all five of their goals on the board before a late marker by senior Brooks Norpel of the Blue Devils locked in the final score at 5-1. GA received a hat trick from freshman Shane Tronoski and two goals from sophomore Colin Rink.

SCH senior Lucas Poltorak had a busier day in goal than Germantown junior Dominic Saputelli, as the visitors piled up a 74-24 advantage in total shots.

The final score actually was a fairly respectable outcome for Springside Chestnut Hill. In their only previous game, the Blue Devils had suffered a 12-2 defeat at the hands of Academy of the New Church, a team which lost to GA, 5-4.

The Patriots had begun play in the Independence Hockey League (which includes most Inter-Ac League teams) with a 5-2 win over Haverford School. In two separate stints as GA's coach, faculty member Matt Rominger has been with the program for seven seasons. He was also an assistant coach for GA's highly successful boys' soccer team this fall.

SCH has a new head coach in Julian Madden, who played hockey for Connecticut College from 2002 to 2006.

Last Friday GA controlled the puck during the opening minutes, its possession interrupted briefly when SCH junior Hunter Rexford made a rush up the right wing and got of a shot that went wide to the left. The Patriots hampered themselves with a roughing penalty, and the Blue Devils followed suit with a hold in the middle of the period. Neither team scored on its power play, though.

Germantown senior Jake Dierks came close to getting the visitors on the board with under three-and-a-half minutes left in the first period, hitting a pipe.

SCH's Norpel left the ice on an elbowing penalty with 2:55 on the clock, and this time GA capitalized, with Tronoski scoring unassisted with 2:23 remaining. Although the Patriots got off more than two dozen shots in the opening period, the tally was just 1-0 at the end.

That score held up more than seven minutes into the second round, then with 8:51 remaining the Patriots got the eventual game-winning goal from Rink, who was assisted by juniors Declan Connaughton and Walker Schwartz.

This was the beginning of a very productive three-minute stretch for the Patriots.

The count rose to 3-0 at 6:26, when Tronoski netted his second goal with an assist from junior Drew Schwartz, and a fourth goal was added just 27 seconds later by Rink, on a shot set up by Walker Schwartz.

It was 4-0 for the start of the final period. SCH was bound to get worn down a bit, with just nine skaters on its side of the scoresheet and twice that number available for the Patriots. Due to ice-time constraints, the third period was shortened to 10 minutes.

Just over a minute in, Tronoski completed his personal hat trick to round out the scoring for the visitors. Drew Schwartz and junior Rocco Ippoldo assisted on the play. Springside Chestnut Hill would avoid a shutout, though. With 4:38 remaining, Norpel scored from in front of the goal, the puck reaching him by way of Rexford and junior Phil Huang.

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