Hockey team wins showdown
Coming into Monday night's game at the Steel Ice Center in Bethlehem, the Parkland ice hockey team had been having easy time dispatching opponents. But the Trojans were in an unfamiliar position last Monday, having to come from behind.
Dan Hertia's hat trick, and two second-period goals from Brett McHale sparked Parkland to an 11-5 come-from-behind victory over Phillipsburg, which came into the game tied with the Trojans (10-0) at the top of the standings.
Anthony Spina and Ian Semon quieted the crowd by putting the Stateliners ahead early in the first period with two quick goals. Parkland skated back to the bench after 16 minutes of play not knowing what happened and in unchartered territory, trailing to an opponent in the Lehigh Valley Scholastic Hockey League.
Whatever was said by Trojan head coach Gerry Chandik sure worked for his team. The Trojans came out on fire, scoring six goals and outshooting Phillipsburg 20-6 in the second period.
"We didn't have a good warm up and so we didn't start strong," said Hertia. "We were too offensive-minded and leaving the zone too early. We made some changes in the second period. You have to be strong defensively and go from there."
McHale opened up the scoring after three straight shots with the puck kept in the Stateliners zone. McHale added his second goal of the period after Patrick Boore wristed one through the legs of goalkeeper Zach Saylor.
Boore and Benjamin Zager scored the last of five straight Parkland goals to put the Trojans in the lead for good. Hertia found the back of the net with 10 seconds left in the period, and the Trojans quickly turned things in their favor, leading 6-3 after two.
"We knew after the first period when we were losing that we had to pick it up," said Hertia. "This has never happened yet this season, so it shouldn't happen now.
"We're one of the best teams, if not the best team in the league, and we need to consistently show that. So it was good we came back."
The teams traded two goal streaks within the first ten minutes. Hertia and Connor Breinich tallied goals for the Trojans, and then Tyler Lapshanski and Ryan Odowd answered for the Stateliners, making it a three goal deficit with just over five minutes remaining.
But senior captains Ryan Dumbach and Morgan Bensinger, along with Hertia, finished off Phillipsburg, each scoring a goal.
"Since the beginning of the year we've always kept the same lines and have always had good chemistry," said Hertia. "Because of that we always know where each other is. This gives us a little breathing room, but it doesn't mean that we can let up. We have Emmaus next week so we just have to keep it going."
The Trojans are back on the ice Monday night at 8:30 against Emmaus at the Steel Ice Center in Bethlehem.