Frozen Trojans prepare for playoffs
Every team wants to start fast. That’s an important part to winning any game.
The Parkland ice hockey team did just that. The Trojans scored five goals in the opening period, and rode that early cushion to a 7-1 victory over rival Emmaus last Monday night at the Lehigh Valley Ice Arena.
“It was definitely important for us to have that fast start,” said senior Jeremy Sell. “Anytime you can start fast and get out ahead, it gives you a much better chance at winning, and there is less to stress about. You play without as much pressure.”
Five different Trojans scored the five first-period goals. Sell, along with teammates Jason Dratch, Matthew Zager, Timmy Doe and Ryan Schantz all scored within a span of 6:45 in the first period to put a dent into the Emmaus game plan right away.
That first period proved vital for the Trojans. In the final two periods the Emmaus defense, led by goalie Toshan Doodnauth, kept the Trojans at bay. Parkland had 37 of its 54 shots during the second and third periods, but Doodnauth stood firm and buckled down. He finished with 47 saves, 35 of which came in those final two periods.
“He had a great game and he is a great goalie,” Sell said. “I know he robbed me on a couple shots I thought were going to be goals. That happened to plenty of other guys too. He really kept his team in it after that first period, and you could see they picked up their play because of him.”
The Hornet offense struggled to put pucks past Parkland goalie Matthew Yankanitch (11 saves). The Trojans controlled the puck a majority of time on their offensive end. The Green Hornets had just four shots in the second and third periods, including only one in the second.
Parkland got one to sneak by Doodnauth six minuted into the third period on a goal by Koby Staivecki, and then later scored with 25 seconds to go via a second from Doe, his team-leading 27th goal of the season. Doe is second in the league at the varsity level with 42 points (28 goals, 14 assists). Jake Nimeh is also in the top-five in fifth with 34 points (12 goals, 22 assists).
But there would not be a shutout as the Hornets’ Gavin Wolff found the back of the net with just nine seconds left.
Parkland is 13-0, atop of the Lehigh Valley Scholastic Hockey League standings. Emmaus is 6-6-1 and sitting in third place behind second place Freedom.
The Trojans wrap up their regular season within a week. They play Central Catholic/Bethlehem Catholic on Friday at 9:30 p.m. at LV Ice Arena, followed by the season finale against Liberty at 7:45 p.m. back at LV. on Monday.
“With these last couple of games, we just want to keep playing smart and together,” said Sell. “It’s important to play well at this time of the year, and we want some momentum heading into the postseason.”