Thomas Jefferson hockey coach not happy with team after victory over Mars
TribLIVE Sports Videos
There's no denying Mars has been one of the dominant hockey programs in the PIHL the past decade.
The Planets won three straight Penguins Cups from 2009-11 and played in the title game six straight years.
That dominance has continued this year, as Mars came into Thursday's PIHL Class A game against Thomas Jefferson with 22 points that included a win over defending champion Quaker Valley to snap the Quakers' 51-game unbeaten streak.
So you would figure a convincing 6-1 victory over Mars would be something Thomas Jefferson coach Bill Crousey would be giddy over.
Crousey lambasted his team after the Jaguars' third straight win and sixth in seven games.
Mars was without its top three scorers — Nicholas Makozy (32 points), Craig Mazzotta (17), Beau Heakins (15) — because of either injury or commitments to their amateur teams. The Planets were forced to play with only nine players.
“We didn't talk about it, but we knew they were short,” Crousey said. “I know I didn't change the way I approached the game, but obviously, it changed for (my players).
“All we wanted to do stick handle rather than get pucks deep and work and tire them out. The leaders on this team didn't want to do it. They wanted to stick handle and be fancy.”
One particular sequence near the end of the game really upset Crousey.
The Jaguars were called for two misconduct penalties (Tommy Kimmick and Nicholas Tamburi) and a double minor (Zach Uhlyar). At one point, TJ had four players in the penalty box.
“At the end of the game, I can't have my three leaders in the box because of stupid penalties,” Crousey said. “We aren't going to win a game in March like that. There is not a chance in heck we will win a game in March playing like that.
“This team has nine seniors and is supposed to be pushing forward to become a better team. At this point, we are not. It was terrible.”
Still, Thomas Jefferson had little problem filling the nets on goalie Tyler Spreng. Uhlyar had two goals and three points, and Daniel Harrold, Brendan Mason, Kimmick and Tamburi added goals.
Nick Ripepi turned away 31 of 32 shots to improve to 7-4-1 and lower his goals-against average to 3.23.
“We have to clean it all up — from the highest guy on the totem pole to the lowest,” Crousey said.
Thomas Jefferson got on the board at 10:20 of the first when Harrold slid the puck past Spreng with 3 seconds left on a power play. TJ made it 2-0 when Kimmick netted his 13th goal of the year on a breakaway.
The Jaguars struck quickly in the second period. Uhlyar beat Spreng stick side to make it 3-0, and 18 seconds later, Tamburi jammed a rebound in to make it 4-0.
A nice touch pass through the crease from Kimmick to Uhlyar in the third made it 5-1.
“Don't get me wrong, I am happy with the points, but I am concerned with where we are at,” Crousey said.
TJ improved to 9-4-1 and in position to grab one of the top four playoff spots and a home game, but that wasn't enough to reassure Crousey.
“We have gone over this year after year to get to a point where maybe we can make some noise in the playoffs, and they want to do that,” Crousey said. “As I said, we won't win in March if we play like that.”
Mark Kaboly is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @MarkKaboly_Trib
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.