PHS beats Nazareth, 7-1
The Parkland ice hockey team was back under the bright lights on the big stage, and it sure did impress. The Trojans scored three goals in the first period and the first seven of the game in defeating Nazareth 7-1 last Monday night at the PPL Center in Lehigh Valley Scholastic Ice Hockey League action.
The win was a welcome sight to a Parkland team that was searching for one after its game last week.
“We needed a win,” said Koby Staivecki. “Especially after last week when we tied Central. So the team was fired up to begin with. Another huge thing that contributed to our success was that the game was at the PPL Center. We only play two games there all year, so it is special when you get to play there.”
Six different Trojans found the back of the net in this one, led by two goals from Michael Schmitt.
Schmitt scored the opener 8:02 into the game after each team tried to find a rhythm on the AHL pro Phantoms team’s ice.
Josh Bower and Kyle Hoke also tallied goals in the opening period for Parkland (10-1-2, 21 points).
The second period was more of the same as three Trojans broke though scoring with Staivecki, Gus Schwartz and Larissa Schwartz all adding a goal each.
“Our game plan was to get lots of shots because we knew that they had a pretty good goalie,” Staivecki said. “So throughout the game, we were just putting a lot of pucks on net and they were going in. This helped because we were able to get underclassmen some goals and spread the puck around nicely. It was a good tune up for us as we head towards the playoffs.”
Parkland outshot Nazareth by a wide margin in each of the first two periods. It was 17-2 in favor of the Trojans in the first period and 16-2 in the second.
Schmitt scored his second goal 5:14 into the third period to push the lead to 7-0. But the Blue Eagles prevented the shutout with a power play goal with just 59 seconds remaining in the game.
A win like this on this biggest of stages for high school players could potentially help start another win streak for Parkland. They’re hoping so.
“I think it is great that we get the opportunity to play at the PPL Center because it is a great experience,” Staivecki said. “You walk in through the bottom of the arena and you get to be in one of the locker rooms to get changed. And then you head out on the ice and you just kind of have to take a deep breath because you’re not used to playing with 8,000 seats around you, in a big arena like that.”
Parkland next plays on Friday, February 1 against Easton at 7:45 p.m. at Lehigh Valley Ice Arena.