In-line team sports 4-3 record
Last season, the Southmoreland In-line hockey team started out like a house on fire. The Scotties began their season 4-1 before slumping through the months of November and December. But the Scotties came on and meshed together at just the right time to carry themselves through the playoffs and onto their first ever Pennsylvania Interscholastic Roller Hockey League championship.
This year's squad, although short on numbers, seems poised to follow the same script written by last year's team.
Southmoreland routed Penn-Trafford, 5-2, two weeks ago to raise its record to 4-1, but a pair of losses last weekend to Moon and Greensburg Central Catholic leave the Scotties 4-3 heading toward the Thanksgiving holiday.
Against Penn-Trafford, Southmoreland poured a season-high 41 shots on goal. Jordan Sandzimier netted a pair of goals for the Scotties, who also got single tallies from Jacob Hixson, Brady King and Jeremy Shawley, and Tanner Skovira was solid in the net, turning away 16 shots in the Scotties' victory.
Southmoreland fell, 3-2, to Moon on Sunday. Skovira stopped 16 of the 19 shots on goal that he faced, and the game was tight the entire way, but a late power-play goal for Moon was too much for the Scotties to overcome.
Southmoreland attempted to rebound from the early loss, but fatigue caught up with the Scotties late in the game with the Greensburg Central Catholic, and Southmoreland was unable to hold a lead late before falling in overtime, 8-7.
Central jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead, before Jeremy Suitor scored a short-handed goal, to cut the lead in half at 2-1.
The Centurions went up 3-1 with 12:25 remaining in the second period, but Suitor closed the gap to 3-2 with his second goal of the game 45 seconds later.
Central went ahead, 4-2, on a goal by Brian Daubner, but Hixson scored on the power play to bring the Scotties within one at 4-3 at the 2:39 mark.
GCC scored late in the second period to take another two-goal lead, but the Scotties refused to quit.
Hixson scored his second goal of the game 1:35 into the final frame, and Suitor scored a pair of goals 2:22 apart to give Southmoreland a 6-5 lead with six minutes left in the game.
Central tied it at 6, but Brady King gave the Scotties a 7-6 lead five seconds later when he took the faceoff, stick-handled around two defensemen and buried a shot in the top shelf. King's goal seemed like it would be the game winner, but the Centurions hammered away at the Southmoreland net, eventually putting the puck behind Skovira and sending the game into overtime.
The overtime period saw both teams flying up and down the rink, which opened up numerous scoring chances for both squads. It ended 2:42 into the overtime period when the puck somehow eluded Skovira and ended up in the back of the net, giving GCC picking up the extra point and a hard- fought 8-7 win.
The Scotties put 27 shots on goal, while the Centurions had 23 shots on Skovira.
Southmoreland returns to action this week with a pair of games.
Getting back to basics will be the theme of practice for coach CJ King and his squad.
‘It will help to get more than seven skaters at a time in practice,”said King. “The numbers are running pretty thin.”
Mark King is a freelance writer.