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From the Main Line Times (By Bruce Adams):
LOWER MERION ELEMENTARY BULLDOGS WIN CHAMPIONSHIP
The Lower Merion Elementary Bulldogs – White Team won the Delco School Hockey League Elementary Upper Division championship Monday night with a 10-4 win against Springfield Elementary.
The scoring in the championship game opened up early for the Bulldogs with Parker Hoppy finding the back of the net at 2:53 into the first period. The Bulldogs maintained a comfortable lead throughout the game with goals from Owen Davis, Braden Fisher (two), Sam Flood, Toby Myers and Lucas Yenal.
Ben Rabinowitz led the team in scoring with a hat trick in their final game – scoring his last goal with one second left on the game clock. Goaltender Christian Mackey made 18 saves to secure the victory.
Lower Merion, led by team captains Esref Erkmen, Parker Hoppy, and Marco Mazzarelli, finished its regular season in first place with a 13-2-1 record. The team’s head coach, Brian Hoppy, was assisted by coaches Kadir Erkmen, Dan Flood, and Justin Mackey.
The Bulldogs tallied 121 goals during the season, while goalies Christian Mackey, Will Zeger, and Andrew Bachman allowed only 55 goals during the regular season. The team had several first-year Bulldogs, and one player – Toby Myers – has been a Bulldog for the last five years since he was in Kindergarten.
The Lower Merion Ice Hockey Club was established in 1970 with the entry of the Lower Merion High School team into the Inter-County Scholastic Hockey League (ICSHL). The team’s first uniforms were donated by NHL Hall of Famer Ed Snider, the late founder of the Philadelphia Flyers. Two of Snider’s sons, Craig and Jay Snider, played on that first team.
The Lower Merion Ice Hockey Club has also grown from one varsity high school team to an eight-team club including two High School varsity teams (boys), a girls’ high school team, a middle school team and four elementary school teams – two Under-10 teams and two Under-8 teams. The Elementary program is where the Lower Merion Ice Hockey Club has invested many resources and volunteer coaching time in player and skills development.
LOWER MERION HIGH SCHOOL ACES SEASON SUMMARY
The 2016-17 Lower Merion ACES Ice Hockey team began this season with a different mentality, a hungry mindset. After being selected 3 times in a row to compete for the Flyers Cup tournament and then dealing with a 2 win and 15 loss season last year, the team was hungry to get back into competition. We preached as a coaching staff to be hungry, face adversity and fight to bounce back quickly. We did not want to wait a few seasons to be labeled competitive again, we wanted it now...
In addition to having a full player roster of 21 athletes, Coach Dan Pike also added depth on the bench with the addition of coaches. Walker Scudder and Tony Stedeford played a vital role in molding the mindset of the ACES and helped to continually evolve our practice plans to keep the athletes engaged.
LM began the 2016-17 season with a couple big wins against Landsdale Catholic 13-1 and Bishop Shannahan 11-1, then tied Conestoga 4-4 before beating Sun Valley 7-2. As the ACES were starting to find cohesion amongst themselves and play with intensity, LM suffered a huge loss- when Captain Everhett Grimes went down after a knee to knee injury suffered with only minutes remaining in a LM won game.
In the next few games LM struggled to find offensive continuity and let some big Central League points fall away. The team struggled but learned how to battle for one another, turning the momentum of the season back in their favor.
With Grimes healthy again after a speedy recovery, only missing 4 games- LM rallied back and in the next 12 games went an incredible 9-2-1! The ACES were playing strong hockey, having fun and picking up momentum heading into playoff time. However first, LM would have to overcome one more obstacle, the final game of the regular season against an undefeated Haverford team, at the Skatium. So they did! LM outplayed the Fords and altered history defeating them by a score of 3 to 1 in dramatic fashion!
LM would enter the CL playoffs as the #3 seed in 'Central North', with an overall record of 11-5-2. Central League playoffs would begin for the ACES vs. Penncrest. Both teams wanted to move forward and brought their everything and unfortunately for LM, Penncrest would notch the go ahead goal with only 1:54 remaining in the third period to go up 4-3. Even though LM was knocked out of Central League playoff competition, they knew they had to have a short memory and keep their heads held high because they had bigger wins to fight for, the Flyers Cup title and a PIAA State Championship.
LM, among many other varsity hockey hopefuls traveled down to The Brick House Tavern in Willow Grove for the 4th Annual Flyers Cup Selection Sunday on February 26th in hopes of being selected to play in the tournament.
LM was selected as the #7 seed in the Flyers Cup 'A' bracket! The ACES then awaited their opponent as the 'play-in' rounds took place. Eventually, Kennet would advance to take on LM in round two of the Flyers Cup/ State Finals. Finally, Lower Merion would earn a home game in Flyers Cup play and take on Kennet, at the Skatium! With a packed house, the ACES knocked over the Blue Demons by a score of 6-3. LM would then move on to face Wc East the very next night at IceLine in West Chester.
East came out on fire and attempted to command the game, however LM was not going to go down quietly. Both teams battled deep into the game, with the score stuck at 3-3. Unfortunately, after a few tough LM penalties, East would take the lead and steal the momentum, finishing the game with a final score of 8-3. Despite a tough loss in the quarter finals of the State tourney vs. a strong West Chester East team, our ACES are very proud of our successes and how far we played into March.
In the last 5 years, the LM ACES have been selected to compete for the elite Flyers Cup tournament, 4 out of 5 seasons. This is a huge feat as only 16 teams were selected to represent the EPIHA (Eastern Pennsylvania Ice Hockey Association) and the single 'A' division of high school ice hockey this year! LM was previously selected as the #5, #5 and #10 seed before earning the #7 seed this year.
Senior Captain: Everhett Grimes, playing in only 14 Central League games notched 62 points (37 G / 25 A) and earned his 4th, 'All-Central League' ALL-STAR selection! Grimes came in second amongst all central league scorers, with senior co-captain and line mate Brendan Leonard sitting in the third spot for all central scorers with 58 points (23 G / 35 A). As a team, LM led the entire Central League in scoring with 111 goals for (GF).
It was overall a fun and successful hockey season. The squad learned a lot about themselves. We all did. We are hungrier than ever. I am extremely proud of our underclassmen who stepped up big this season and earned the chance to experience the post season. Players and coaches will absolutely miss our senior class and we appreciate all that they have done to build the LM ACES team and program.
If possible, we would kick off next season, tomorrow.
Coach Dan Pike-
LM ELEMENTARY MAROON WITH DRAMATIC OT UPSET PLAYOFF WIN!
Friday, March 10, 2017
Deft passing, tenacious defense, stingy goal tending, and an amazingly executed two-on-one breakaway, in overtime, allowed LM Elementary Maroon to edge Strath Haven, by a score of 1 - 0, on Friday, 10 March. The Bulldogs stunned the number 2 seed to advance in the DSHL playoffs. This Monday, Maroon seeks to avenge their first round playoff loss to Roman. If the Dogs continue to play like they did yesterday, Roman will get a formidable challenge. Go bulldogs!
MIDDLE SCHOOL BULLDOGS WIN COMEBACK THRILLER!
March 8, 2017 - A confident LM MS Bulldogs team took the ice tonight at Ice Works in Aston in the second round of the DSHL playoffs after an impressive first round 8-0 first round victory over Ridley.
The Bulldogs, however, fell behind 2-0 to rival Springfield. LM was able to stabilize the game on a beautiful goal by Tyler Seeley. Seeley received an on the mark break out pass and proceed to dangle two Springfield players before deking out the Springfield goalie. The Bulldogs tied the game with a Dylan Peterson goal and went ahead on a sweet feed from Alex Fusaro to Sean Tooke who buried a low shot from the slot. Goalie Ben Zangerle held firm in the net and made several key saves to nail down the win.
The Bulldogs next face a talented Roman Catholic that went undefeated during the regular season. Stay tuned for game time reporting on Tuesday, March 14.
ACES FALL TO PENNCREST 4-3
February 27, 2017
LM battled last night to the very last second in a dramatic and frustrating game, unfortunately resulting in a 4-3 Penncrest victory and ending the team’s Central League playoff run way too soon.
Your ACES commanded the tempo in the first period with a goal from Everhett Grimes with 2 minutes left. Then, line mate Skylar Dillon buried a goal of his own with only 34 seconds remaining- ending the first period with a 2-0 LM lead.
Penncrest would find the back of the net 4 minutes into the second period which woke up their large and loud student section. 6 minutes later the Lions would repeat and bring the game back to even at 2-2. LM thankfully rallied back and slammed in a goal quickly after to jump to 3-2 and steal the momentum, however the goal was whistled dead too soon and disallowed. Despite the adversity and frustration, LM continued to fight and would eventually earn that 3rd goal again with a power play beauty by Sam Pitonyak, assisted by the Leonard brothers. LM ended period two with a 3-2 lead.
The third period was a draining 16 minutes of intense hockey as LM battled for the win. Many, many LM chances almost sealed the deal and sparked a landslide of goals, however Penncrest would not quit and slammed in the tying goal half way through the third period bringing it back to 3-3. With only 3 minutes left, the Lions would charge the LM goal, dislodge the net and bury a goal which eventually was deemed, ‘a good goal’ putting Penncrest up 4-3.
LM then battled for the remaining 3 minutes, pulling the goalie and going 6 vs 5 for 1.5 mins attempting to notch a comeback. Unfortunately the puck would not find the back of the net and Penncrest would earn the victory and advance in the Central League playoffs.
As tough as it is to stomach, YOUR ACES need to pick their heads up and continue to put WORK IN because WE ARE NOT DONE..!!
LM plays NEXT Wednesday, MARCH 8th at 8:45pm at THE SKATIUM. That’s right LM, your ACES are the home team in round 2 of the PA State Finals, at the Skatium in Havertown, 7 minutes away from your highschool. ACES NATION, everyone, WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT AT THE RINK NEXT Wednesday..! Congratulations ACES PUCK and keep fighting for what is rightfully yours in your upcoming games.
-The ACES coaching staff thanks all 21 athletes for your hard work thus far, our managers and loyal fans in attendance for your continued attempts to mute the opponent’s fan sections. See you next Wednesday LM.
LMHS ACES UPEND SPRINGFIELD 7-6
February 2, 2017
The LM ACES knocked over Central League rival Springfield last Thursday night in a wild and dramatic game by a score of 7-6.
LM came out on fire in the first period and dominated the tempo. Brendan Leonard scored the first LM goal on a power play with 3 minutes left in the period. Then, freshman Alex Broder; with only 3 seconds remaining hears the bench yelling to shoot so he turns from the blue line and simply fires a shot on net that caught SF goalie Calin Losacco off guard to put the ACES up 2-0.
LM came out hot again in the second period and eventually established themselves a commanding 7-1 lead with pretty, hard working hockey. Everhett Grimes notched his first of the night but was soon followed up by Springfield’s Kevin Brown burying a power play goal, bringing the game to 3-1 LM. Half way through the second period, Grimes notched himself another goal putting LM up 5-1. Off the very next face off, Will Ebby followed up with a goal of his own ONLY 9 SECONDS LATER to put LM in the lead by a score of 6-1. Skylar Dillon notched goal 7 for the ACES and ended the second period on top with a 6 goal differential.
However, Springfield would not quit and dominated the third period slamming in 5 goals of their own in a dramatic comeback attempt. SF goals were scored in succession by Kevin Brown 4:39 into the third. Less than 2 minutes later, SF’s James Spence scored. Only 42 seconds later, Kevin Brown notched his third of the night which ignited the SF offense. Joe Cavaliere would score himself a goal 2 minutes later and was followed up by teammate Kevin Brown for his 4th of the night. However, Thankfully LM continued to battle and finished out the game on top earning themselves a big win and 2 Central League points.
LM goals were scored by Brendan Leonard with 1 goal and 3 assists, Alex Broder with 1, Will Ebby with 1, Skylar Dillon with 1 and Everhett Grimes with 3 goals and 1 assist. Luca Saleh stood tall in net and deflected many Springfield scoring chances while making 17 saves. Springfield net minder Calin Losacco played very well deflecting 20 LM shots. An exciting game for both sides, good hockey!
With the win, LM advances to 9-5-2 overall and takes on Harriton next.