PHS beats NHS for title
If Northampton had hopes of forcing a winner-take-all Game 3 in the championship series of the Lehigh Valley Scholastic Hockey League (LVSHL), the Konkrete Kids would likely need a fast start. One much like Northampton had in Game 1.
Instead, seven-time defending champion Parkland was the one to hit the ice fast and never look back.
The Trojans scored the only two goals of the first period, held a 4-1 lead heading into the third, and held on for a 6-3 victory last Wednesday at Lehigh Valley Ice Arena. Parkland’s 2-0 sweep over Northampton awarded the unquestioned favorites their eighth straight LVSHL title and 11th in program history.
“I thought Game 1 was awesome,” said head coach Brian Ruff, who saw his team score a goal in the opening minutes of Game 1. “Especially jumping out and scoring the first goal. Holding that lead through the whole period was a huge boost for us. We played them pretty even that whole game.”
The tides, however, turned just a couple of days later after the two teams squared off at PPL Center in Allentown to open the series. Parkland got a goal from its leading scorer nine minutes into play. And after Jake Nimeh’s tally broke a scoreless game, Tim Doe punched in his 23rd goal of the season for a quick 2-0 Trojan advantage.
“Game 2 was a bit of a different story,” Reff said. “Getting down early was a bit disappointing, but our guys never threw in the towel and we played hard until the very end of the game.”
The Konkrete Kids, while down early, certainly didn’t quit. Andrew Hozza set up Anthony Belsky to get Northampton on the scoreboard just three minutes into the second half. Things looked bright for the underdogs.
It unfortunately didn’t last long. Jacob Folland quickly reversed the momentum back over to Parkland’s box with a goal from Louie Rivera. Then, Nimeh scored his second of the game and 23rd of the season to let out virtually all of the wind from the Konkrete Kids’ sails.
“It’s extremely difficult to match up with a team that has so many talented players,” Ruff said. “You can slow them down a little bit by playing the body, but you can’t be throwing your body around the entire game. That’s just physically and mentally impossible and improbable.”
Charlie Rongo scored back-to-back goals not even eight minutes into the third period to give the Trojans a commanding 6-1 lead. All that was left for the remaining eight minutes to tick off for yet another trophy to come home to Parkland.
Northampton’s leading scorer Garett Russell and Tyler Beslky added goals late in the third period.
While the Konkrte Kids’ season is now over, Ruff is pleased with how his team performed over the past couple of months. They were one of the last two teams standing and gave the Trojans all they could handle in each game this season.
“I truly believe we played exactly to our expectations,” Ruff said. “Myself and the other coaches told these guys from our very first practice this year that we believe we are capable of not only qualifying for the playoffs, but making some noise and taking a shot at bringing down the reigning champs. And that’s exactly what we did. So I don’t think we overachieved at all.”