Quaker Valley offense off to hot start
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Coming into the season, the Quaker Valley hockey team was expecting its defense to be the team's strong point. But through the first three games, it has been the offense leading the charge.
The Quakers have outscored their first three opponents 23-6, with wins over Bishop McCort, Deer Lakes and Thomas Jefferson.
“Our offensive production has been good,” senior Jimmy Perkins said. “Having multiple lines score has helped. Our defense has gotten off to a little bit of a slow start giving up some goals but they're still going to be really good.”
Quaker Valley used its goal-scoring ability last week to get a 5-2 win over Thomas Jefferson (3-1).
The game got off to a rocky start as the Quakers were called for three penalties in the opening 10 minutes. The man advantage allowed Nicholas Tamburi to score to give Thomas Jefferson an early 1-0 lead.
“It was a very uncharacteristic start with us taking those penalties,” Quaker Valley coach Kevin Quinn said. “They were able to capitalize on that.”
But by the end of the first period, the Jaguars had three players sent to the box and Perkins and Connor Quinn scored on power plays to give Quaker Valley a 2-1 lead.
Thomas Jefferson pulled even early in the second period on a penalty shot by Brendan Mason, but the Quakers finished the game with goals from Perkins, Cameron Peterkin and Otto Schaefer.
“Beating Thomas Jefferson early in the season shows us where we stand in the league,” sophomore Connor Quinn said. “We want to come out early in the season playing well.”
Quaker Valley outshot Thomas Jefferson, 32-20, in the win. The teams are scheduled to face off twice more — Dec. 19 and Jan. 30.
Perkins finished last week with six goals and five assists while Connor Quinn had six goals and three assists, placing both in the top six of Class A in points. The duo were two of the Quakers' top three goal scorers last season.
“They both have a relentless type of attitude for scoring and playing the game,” Coach Quinn said. “They will get a lot of opportunities to score due to their work ethic.”
And with a trio of seniors in Peterkin (five points), Schaefer (four) and Kurt Mohr (three), the chemistry on the ice should allow the Quakers to continue scoring.
“This senior class has been playing together since we were freshmen, and we won the freshmen championship,” Perkins said. “We all know each other so well that it helps when we are on the ice.”
While the offense has looked fluent, the defense will prove to be strong for the Quakers. The team's top defenseman, senior Ryan Lottes, missed both the Thomas Jefferson and Deer Lakes games. And with senior Alex Quinn, juniors Hunter Wolz and Trenton Ruprecht and sophomore Jacob Kuzman, the defense will continue to develop.
Being a complete team will be important if the Quakers want to win their third straight Class A Penguins Cup.
“(In Class A) there are only a couple of teams who will struggle this year,” Coach Quinn said. “That means there are six or seven teams who will be tough. We will need to be more focused and get everyone to play their best game possible. The competition can only make us better.”
The Quakers return to the ice Monday as they welcome Serra Catholic to the Airport Ice Arena. The puck drop at 7:30 p.m.
Nathan Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @NSmith_Trib.
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