The Sewickley Academy Panthers Varsity Ice Hockey team opened the 2017-2018 season at home against the Beaver Bobcats at RMU Island Sports Center on October 2nd with a dominant 13-0 victory.
Several Panther players debuted in their first game as members of the varsity team, including senior defenseman Grant Recker, junior forward Logan Fullerton, freshman forward Joseph McEnroe and freshman goaltender Thomas Sykes.
The 1st period started slow for the Panthers, with much of the play in their defensive zone. As the period wore on, the Panthers found their game legs and struck first capitalizing on a power play opportunity when junior forward Andrew Beck scored at 9:53 off an assist from senior forward Michael Hertzberg. The period ended with the Panthers leading 1-0.
The Panthers started the 2nd Period on the penalty kill after taking a penalty late in the 1st Period. However, the Panthers turned the man disadvantage into a distinct advantage that started a 2nd Period scoring spree that began with four short-handed goals in a span of just 1:04. Senior Michael Hertzberg started the scoring with an unassisted goal just 11 seconds into the period and followed up with another goal 33 seconds later off a beautiful head man pass from sophomore defenseman Chris Martian. Junior forward Matthew Hajdukiewicz scored an unassisted goal just 8 seconds later, and junior Andrew Beck capped off the short-handed scoring with an unassisted goal at 1:15 of the period. The Panthers would continue the offensive onslaught in the period when Michael Hertzberg registered a hat trick scoring his third goal of the night at 4:14 off an assist from junior defenseman Jackson Paul. Junior forward Tommy Gordon followed with his first goal of the night off an assist from Andrew Beck at 7:44. Junior forward Jack Duggan scored a goal at 9:03 with an assist from Hertzberg. Hertzberg would chip in his fourth goal of the night fourteen seconds later at 9:17, off an assist from freshman forward Joseph McEnroe. Junior Matthew Hajdukiewicz completed the scoring in the period with an unassisted goal at 12:53, his second of the night. The Panthers ended the 2nd Period with a total of nine goals and a commanding 10-0 lead.
Tommy Gordon began the 3rd Period by scoring an unassisted goal, his second of the night, at 2:46. Andrew Beck registered the second Panther hat trick of the night, when he scored his third goal of the game at 13:41 of the period off an assist from Jack Duggan. Joseph McEnroe ended the Panther scoring for the game when he scored his first varsity goal at 15:14 of the period off assists from sophomore forward Ben Mohan and Michael Hertzberg.
Freshman goaltender Thomas Sykes gave a solid performance in his first varsity start between the pipes, earning a shutout in the process of turning away all 28 shots that he faced on the night. The defensemen played superbly; Chris Martian, Grant Recker, Henry Meakem, and Jackson Paul blocked shots, cleared pucks, and made timely poke checks that resulted in a limited number of quality scoring opportunities for the Bobcats.
Areas for improvement:
1.Reducing the number of shots our goaltender faces 2. Improving defensive zone coverage 3. Improving the breakout