Appo defeats Hodgson/Caravel 3-2 in DHSHL championship
by James Witherite
While Nathan Panchisin’s last-second goal in the middle period gave his Appoquinimink Jaguars a 3-2 lead over the Hodgson/Caravel Silver Bucs in Tuesday (Feb. 14) evening’s Delaware High School Hockey League championship game, it was the penalty-killing unit who iced the title, protecting that lead up to the final buzzer with only a quartet skaters left on the ice for nearly the last four minutes of the game.
“They really stepped up,” said Appoquinimink coach Jordan Legath, whose Jaguars were unscathed through all four shorthanded situations they faced through the evening. “We pressured some of their star guys, and I think they struggled a little bit with the pressure we put on. Quite frankly, I think we just outworked them, and that’s what gave us the success.”
It took the Jaguars some time to gain their momentum, as Jacob Woodruff connected for the Silver Bucs just 91 seconds in. Appoquinimink’s Campbell Garrison and Hodgson/Caravel’s Zack Landreth would trade goals in the fourth minute of the first period.
Despite trailing 2-1 through the first period, the Jaguars bounced back after the intermission to gain offensive-zone control through much of the middle frame. Ryan Baccino recorded a power-play goal at 6:54 in the second period to tie the game, connecting on a one-timer from just above the left dot. Panchisin’s last-second go-ahead goal then came from just in front of Hodgson/Caravel goalie Kevin Love, as he redirected a long shot attempt from Jonny Schwarz into the left corner of the goal just before the horn sounded to end the period.
Not only did Appoquinimink kill off three penalties in the third period to ice the victory, but freshman netminder Ryan Porter emerged with some key saves and maintained his cool under heavy pressure, turning aside 19 of the 21 shots he faced in 48 minutes of play. “Ryan is just a freshman, and we put him in a really tough role,” continued Legath. “He worked his way into that role tonight, and he made some incredible saves along the way. It was pretty awesome for him to take the leadership role in goal, and it was great to see.”