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Hockey hopes to make push Hockey hopes to make push

Hockey hopes to make push

Thursday, December 7, 2017 by Jeff moeller Special to the Press in Sports

So far, Northampton’s hockey season has progressed as expected.

With a 4-1 loss to Freedom Monday night, the Konkrete Kids dropped to 4-6 on the season. Being in the finals of the Lehigh Valley Scholastic Hockey League (LVSHL) last season, the Kids are currently in third place.

“It was a pretty decent game,” said head coach Brian Ruff about the loss to Freedom. “But we just couldn’t get any offensive flow.”

Continuity has been a problem for the Kids all season. Coming off a loss in the finals to Parkland last season, Northampton expected to be back in the hunt all season.

However, the Kids haven’t been able to maintain a steady pace.

“It has taken us a while to jell,” added Ruff. “We’re not clicking on all cylinders right now. I believe we were getting ahead of ourselves and that is a big part of the problem.

“We have a good number of players back and we expected to just show up for games and win. Right now, we are struggling in all phases of the game.”

The Kids return Andrew Hozza, Nick Herman, and Darrien Ruch, all of whom were mainstays last season. Brian Narkavich is back in the nets for the Kids.

Northampton got a boost with the addition of newcomers Eric White and Aidan Cary. Ironically, both of them are the team’s top two leading scorers, White having 16 points (10 goals, six assists) and Cary with 8 (five goals, three assists).

Hozza (five goals, two assists, seven points), Herman (6-1-7) and Ruch (3-3-6) have started the season slowly.

“We added two excellent offensive players in White and Cary,” stated Ruff. “They both have done a nice job for us. I thought we were going to have a very good offensive team, but it hasn’t clicked for us yet.”

Ruff noted that the league lost a team from last season and the schedule has contracted a bit from last season. As a result, the Kids will have four more games remaining on their schedule until the postseason begins. With the upcoming holidays, the games will be stretched over the next few weeks.

Northampton’s next game is a rematch with Freedom Monday Dec. 11, one that prominently will figure in the standings. Ruff hopes his team realizes that time is of the essence.

“We have to put everything together soon,” he stressed. “We have the talent here, but we haven’t been able to reach our potential.

“But this one is on me. Our players should be performing better. We have tried a number of line combinations, and I have to continue to try and find the right ones that will get us going.”