Trojan ice hockey team takes league title
After nearly completing the 2019-20 season without a loss, the Parkland ice hockey team dropped a game and was held without a goal when Northampton beat the Trojans 4-0 last Friday night in the Lehigh Valley Scholastic Ice Hockey League regular season finale at Lehigh Valley Ice Arena.
The Trojans (13-1-2 overall) had not lost or been shut out in their first 15 games this season. Parkland was coming off of one of its two ties this season, a 2-2 draw against Phillipsburg.
Despite the loss, the Trojans were still crowned league champions for another year.
“It’s been a tough stretch for us to end the season,” said Parkland head coach Chad Loomis. “We played against some really good teams that were playing good hockey at the right time. We’ll regroup and we know we have more games to play. It’s nice to be able to reflect on being season champs though, and I’m proud of the kids.”
Northampton, playing in front of a large crowd of supporters for both teams, was the aggressor from the opening puck drop.
The Kids (11-4-1) scored the game’s opening goal just 2:31 into the contest via Aidan Carey off of two quick passes by Ryan and Alyssa Wruble. Northampton doubled its lead a little more than seven minutes later when Braden Pychinka netted his team-leading 13th goal of the year to put the Kids into a two-goal lead after the opening period.
“They (Northampton) did a good job of capitalizing on opportunities they had in front of our goal,” Loomis said. “When they scored two in-a-row there at the start that really put us in a hole.”
After a scoreless second period, the Trojans continued to threaten Northampton’s net, but continued to have their efforts turned away by Noah Smargiassi, who recorded 26 saves and his second shutout this season.
In the third period, the Kids added onto their advantage. Zach Lower found the back of the net 5:30 in, followed by a power play goal from Ryan Wruble 1:30 later to push the score to 4-0. Northampton’s defense continued to hold firm for the final nine minutes to earn the victory.
Northampton outshot Parkland 29-26 in total shots on goal. Trojans’ goalie Vincent Byelick finished with 25 saves.