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Balanced attack propels ice hockey

Depth has been a key component for the Parkland ice hockey team. There may not be a player at the top of the league charts in scoring, but the balanced from the top to the bottom of the line up gives players time to stay fresh.

The Trojans attack with several different lines, all of which are capable of scoring. That efficiency showed last Friday night as six different players recorded goals in an 8-4 win at Lehigh Valley Ice Arena.

Parkland (11-0-1) scored three consecutive goals in under a two-minute span and quickly held a 3-0 advantage. Jake Nimeh opened the scoring at the 7:45 mark. Eric Johannes tallied a goal just 28 seconds later, and Louie Rivera added one with six minutes to go in the first period.

“Our coach always tells us from the beginning that we want to start fast,” Johannes said. “That’s our biggest strength, because we can attack with many different players. If teams are hanging around and sticking with you, you don’t know what could happen. We try to get as many away early as we can.”

But just as it looked as if the Trojans were going to win in a rout, Andrew Kaeser and Andrew Spease brought Becahi/Central/ND back into it with goals before the end of the period.

Parkland used another quick three-goal succession in the second to take back a commanding 6-2 lead. An own goal was the only scoring Becahi/Central/ND had in that frame as the Trojans stout defense showed its force.

“We have the mindset that we want a shutout every game,” said Johannes. “It may not be too realistic, but that’s our goal every single game. We do anything that it takes to get there, whether that’s blocking shots or taking hits. We work hard to not give up goals. The focus is on team defense.”

Devon Gyecsek did his part to keep his team close. He made 27 saves, some of them highlight-reel dives saving what looked like sure goals.

Andrew Loomis made the score 8-2 midway through the third period. Then Kaeser and Lance Orourke added two goals in the end for Becahi/Central/ND. Kevin Giltz made 25 saves and recorded his first career goal as he was credited for the own goal.

The Trojans’ next game is Monday, January 25 against Easton.

PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZParkland's Nick White controls the puck during Friday's game against a team made of players from local Catholic high schools.