Archive for the ‘CPIHL Ice Hockey’ Category


Carlisle 8, Susquehannock 3: At York City Ice Arena, the Warriors gave up the first five goals and dropped an 8-3 decision to Carlisle in Central Pennsylvania Interscholastic Hockey League Tier 3 action. Susquehannock (3-6-1) finally scored a goal with 2:48 left in the second period, but at that point, was still down 5-1. Andrew Darragh, Carson Kratzer and Dean Huntzinger scored for the Warriors.

MSM 6, West York 4: At Twin Ponds East, Mechanicsburg-Susquehanna Township-Bishop McDevitt scored three third-period goals to erase a 4-3 deficit and knock off the Bulldogs 6-4 in CPIHL Tier 3 action. The game-tying and game-winning goals came only 62 seconds apart in the final four minutes of the third period. Nicholas Cintron provided the only offense for West York (5-6), scoring all four goals.


Too often in sports, we tend to only look at the outcome of games, rather than the big picture of teaching athletes how to become better.

We leave those teaching moments to youth coaches to instill into the minds of children just starting out on the playing fields or taking their first steps on a court or a rink.

Once kids get to high school, those teaching moments still remain part of the picture, but they sometimes take a back seat to winning and losing. Sure, there can be lessons taken from each and every game or match, but all that really matters in the end is whether you won or lost. By the time that kids enter their teen years, typically playoffs enter into the equation in most leagues, and they become the main goal of teams striving to win it all.

However, the playoffs are not for every team. They usually learn that the hard way by going through rough patches that can impact a team’s morale as the losses continue to mount.

That was the case with the Central York ice hockey team during the first four games of this season.

After the Panthers’ lone goalie opted to play junior hockey instead of high school hockey, the team was left without a goalie on the roster, and it showed in the team’s first four games. In those four games, Central York was outscored 39-11. Needless to say, its record reflected the poor defensive showing at 0-4.

The Panthers cycled through three different goalies — none of whom ever played the position — in those four losses. With each loss, the frustration grew for the players on the team, while their confidence plummeted at an equal rate.

“We weren’t very optimistic as players,” Central York coach Rick Lefever said. “We weren’t energetic and we were pretty much in the dumps.”

At the high school level, coaches will do anything within reason to better their teams. That’s what Lefever did, bringing in Adam Kimball, a ninth-grader from Elizabethtown who also plays for the York Devils Bantam-AA team, to backstop his team and give it a chance to win games. Since his arrival, Central is 2-2-1.

But Lefever did it at the expense of the Panthers being eligible for the playoffs.

See, in the Central Pennsylvania Interscholastic Hockey League, better known as the CPIHL, there are three different levels of competition — Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3. In Tier 1 and Tier 2, all teams have to be pure, meaning that only players from a respective school can play for a specific team, or else they risk being disqualified from playoff contention, or having to move down to Tier 3, the one division where combined teams participate when schools can’t field a full, pure team.

“The kids quickly realized, look we’ll play out the season and it doesn’t really matter if we make the playoffs because the way we’re going we’re not going to make the playoffs anyway, or if we do, then we’ll be bowing out early,” Lefever said.

It hasn’t always been this cutthroat for teams in the CPIHL that didn’t have a goalie. In the early years of the league, when goalies were hard to come by for teams, the CPIHL had a goalie pool, where goalies who played on their normal school teams could put their names on a list as alternative options for other team that didn’t have a regular goalie. That way, teams could field competitive teams, but not sacrifice a playoff berth because it was no longer pure.

Central York has been a Tier 1 team for nearly a decade, never struggling to field a pure, competitive team, and routinely making the postseason. While it has the skaters to compete at the Tier 1 level this year, next year Central could become the latest team impacted by the lack of younger players getting involved with school hockey. A large senior class will move on after this season for Central.

The Panthers won’t be the first or last team to search for players or goalies to make up a pure team because it’s something that has become a common theme within the league, one that Lefever believes needs to be addressed.

“If you look at the scores this year, there’s a lot of lopsided games,” he said. “Something needs to be done to take away that persona in the league. Whether it’s combining schools or setting a combination of schools, or whatever it needs to be … Because it’s embarrassing.”

Sure, there’s a pride aspect that goes along with being a team made up of only players from your own school, but it can come at a price. And that price is being humiliated to the tune of getting 10-goaled on a regular basis.

So, if there’s one thing that you can take away from this CPIHL season, take a look at what Lefever and Central York did. His team knew being eligible to compete for the Viola Cup, the Tier 1 championship, wasn’t realistic and certainly not worth being humiliated on a nightly basis.

Instead, it focused on establishing a new sense of pride when it takes the ice by becoming a team that is competitive and winning some games along the way.

— Reach Patrick Strohecker at


West York 4, Susquehannock 3: At York Ice Arena, the Bulldogs scored four of the first five goals of the game to hold off a late Warriors rally to get the 4-3 win in Central Pennsylvania Interscholastic Hockey League Tier 3 action on Monday night. Susquehannock (3-5-1) trailed 4-1 heading into the final frame, but made it interesting down the stretch with two goals in the final five minutes, but couldn’t come up with the equalizer. Garrett Clark led the way for West York (5-5) with two goals and one assist.


Cumberland Valley 13, Dallastown 7: In a game that lacked defense, the Wildcats allowed eight goals in the third period in Central Pennsylvania Interscholastic Hockey League Tier 1 action. Ben Kelkis was a lone bright spot for Dallastown (3-4-1), recording three goals and three assists. Cumberland Valley (4-3-1) leap frogged the Wildcats for fourth place in the Tier 1 standings.

Palmyra 4, Central York 2: The Panthers had their three-game point streak snapped, suffering a 4-2 defeat to the Cougars in Tier 1 play. Central York (2-6-1) led 2-1 going into the final period, but gave up three unanswered goals. Goalie Adam Kimball had 36 saves on 40 shots for the Panthers.

MSM 10, Susquehannock 2: A close game for the first two periods turned ugly quick in the final frame when the Warriors suffered a 10-2 defeat to the hands of Bishop McDevitt-Susquehanna Township-Mechanicsburg (MSM) in CPIHL Tier 3 action. Susquehannock entered the third period down 4-2, but surrendered six unanswered goals over the final 16 minutes to fall to 3-3-1. Nicolas Prego accounted for all of the offense for the Warriors with two goals.

Central York 4, Warwick 3: At York City Ice Arena, the Panthers got three goals from Collin Potter to knock off the Warriors in Central Pennsylvania Interscholastic Hockey League Tier 1 action on Monday night. Central York (2-5-1) fell behind 2-1 in the second period, before rallying to score three of the final four goals in the period, with Potter completing his hat trick with only 14 seconds left in the period to give his team a 4-3 advantage that it held onto over the final period.

Lower Dauphin 7, Dallastown 3: At Klick Lewis Arena, the Wildcats could never recover from giving up four unanswered goals in CPIHL Tier 1 action on Monday night. After Bailey Haines opened the scoring for the game to give Dallastown (3-2-2) a 1-0 lead, the Falcons scored seven of the next eight goals, to put away the Wildcats. Christian Duvall recorded the other two goals for Dallastown.

West York 6, Northern York 0: At Twin Ponds West, the Bulldogs bounced back from Sunday night’s loss by scoring three goals apiece in the final two periods in CPIHL Tier 3 action on Monday night. West York (4-5), got goals from six different scorers, while goalie Anthony Getty stopped all 10 shots he faced.

Susquehannock 9, Middletown 2: At York City Ice Arena, the Warriors scored the first eight goals of the game to pace themselves to an easy victory in Tier 3 action on Monday night. Nicolas Prego led the way for Susquehannock (3-2-1) with two goals and four assists, while Andrew Darragh added two goals and an assist.

Central York and Dallastown play to tie: In a seesaw battle between York County rivals, Dallastown and Central York skated to an 8-8 tie on Monday night in Central Penn Interscholastic Hockey League Tier 1 play. In a game that was tied on six different occasions, it was the Wildcats’ (2-1-2) Bailey Haines’ goal with one second remaining that prevented the Panthers (0-5-1) from recording their first win of the season. Dallastown’s Ben Kelkis led all players with seven points, while Brock Lefever led Central York with four points, all coming on assists.

West York shut out by MSM: The West York hockey team was shut out by Bishop McDevitt/Susquehanna Township/Mechanicsburg (MSM) on Monday night, 10-0, in Central Penn Interscholastic Hockey League Tier 3 action. The loss drops West York to 2-4.

Central York loses to Cumberland Valley: The Central York Tier 1 hockey team dropped to 0-5 on the season with a 6-2 loss to Cumberland Valley on Wednesday night. Trailing only 2-1 after the first period, the Panthers gave up four goals in the second period and that proved to be the difference. Cody Rumsey and Harrison Batt were the goal scorers for Central.

Dallastown routed by Hershey: Dallastown surrendered five unanswered goals in a 20-minute span en route to an 11-2 Tier 1 defeat to Hershey on Wednesday night. The onslaught by the Trojans took a game that was tied 1-1 and broke it opened, creating a deficit that the Wildcats couldn’t overcome. Ben Kelkis scored both goals for Dallastown (1-1-1).

West York falls to Penn Manor: West York lost to Penn Manor 6-1 on Monday night in Central Pennsylvania Interscholastic Hockey League Tier 3 action. The Bulldogs gave up the first six goals of the contest before Nicholas Cintron finally beat Comets’ goalie Owen Finnefrock midway through the third period. The loss drops West York to 2-2 on the season.

Susquehannock routs Northern York: Led by Nathan Smith and Nicolas Prego, Susquehannock defeated Northern York 8-2 in CPIHL Tier 3 action on Monday night. The duo combined for four goals and six assists. Susquehannock is 1-2 on the season.


This past Monday night kicked off another year of the Central Pennsylvania Interscholastic Hockey League for some of the local high school teams in the area.

The 2014-15 season offers a chance for Central York, Dallastown, Susquehannock and West York to put last year’s disappointing seasons behind them and start fresh. After all, last year’s performances ranged from average for Central York and Susquehannock to downright awful for Dallastown and West York.

But, every new season gives each team new hope that the upcoming year will be different. Each team can set its sights on winning the ultimate prize, which for the Panthers and Wildcats is the Bears Cup and for the Warriors and Bulldogs is the Rothrock Cup.

So as the quest for Tier 1 and Tier 3 supremacy begins.

Here’s a look at what each team must improve on from last year if it wants to be more successful this season.


Central York: The Panthers kicked off their season on Monday night with a 5-0 loss to Palmyra. Giving up goals by the handful was the story all last season for the Panthers and that trend at least carried over into the first game this season.

Central York is coming off an OK 2013-14 season, when it went 8-10-0 and qualified for the playoffs. But, the Panthers’ time in the postseason was short-lived. They lost each of their first two games and were sent packing early.

But this year could be a little better for Central York. It has the potential to build off of some of the successes from last year and get over the .500 hump and play winning hockey. The Panthers are still a ways away from being on the same level as reigning Bears Cup champion Cumberland Valley and constant powerhouse Hershey, but they can improve on their sixth-place, regular-season finish from last year and give themselves a better draw come playoff time.

In order to do so, they must score more and give up less, which is about as obvious as it gets, but easier said than done. Typically, Tier 1 has the best collection of players in central Pennsylvania, meaning that on most nights, every game is a battle. Central York scored 3.38 goals per game last season, almost a full goal less per game than it gave up. If it can get its goals-per-game average on par with how many it surrenders, you can expect more than eight wins will be in store for the Panthers this year.

Dallastown: There’s nothing really positive to say about the Wildcats’ 2013-14 season. With that said, it means that there’s really only one direction for them to go and that’s up. Dallastown plummeted to an 0-17-1 record last year, good for dead last in Tier I and the second-worst team, record wise, in the CPIHL.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to pinpoint where the Wildcats struggled last season. They gave up 140 goals last year (7.8 goals against per game), 53 more than the next worst team in Tier 1. To put it nicely, a number that high isn’t a recipe for success. It’s tough to expect your offense to win you games when it needs to score eight goals just to have a shot. Better goaltending and defense is a must if Dallastown wants to be even remotely competitive this season.

The other drastic improvement the Wildcats need to make is in their discipline.

Along with leading the league in most goals against, Dallastown was also the most-penalized team last season, which could actually be a direct result on why the team surrendered so many goals. Common knowledge tells you that you score more and give up less when you spend more time at even strength or on the man advantage. But constantly finding yourself shorthanded will lead to losses 10 out of 10 times.

While I know I said that up is the only real direction this team has to go this season, there might not be a huge improvement from last year in terms of wins and losses. It’s difficult to drastically improve from one year to the next in high school athletics because it tends to rely on having a good junior varsity team and feeder system.

Improvements are in store for the Wildcats this season, just don’t expect it to necessarily reflect itself in the win column.


Susquehannock: The Warriors enter this year with some hope and optimism after going 7-9-2 last year and qualifying for the playoffs. Despite the sub-.500 record, Susquehannock had a relatively successful postseason run and was one game away from playing for the Rothrock Cup, but instead had to settle for third place.

Still, the Warriors were plagued in their losses last year by sub-par defense, giving up 4.77 goals per game, while only scoring 3.22. The talent gap between the top-three teams from last year — Susquehanna Township, Carlisle and Penn Manor — is pretty significant, but if any of the other teams from Tier 3 could make the jump into the upper echelon of teams, Susquehannock has the potential to do so. A simple reversal of its goals-for and goals-against numbers from last year could do the trick.

West York: The Bulldogs had a rough 2013-14 season, but quickly attempted to put it behind them with a season-opening 4-3 win over Middletown on Monday night. Coming off a 2012-13 year when it went 0-18 and then a 3-12-3 campaign last season, there was very little hope that West York would even have a squad for 2014. But, the Bulldogs gathered players from various other York County schools and here it is ready to keep a positive trend going. Sure, you can look at West York making the playoffs last year as a success, but that was only because six of the seven teams qualify and not so much because it deserved to be in them based on its record. They were quickly two losses and done, which was to be expected.

West York’s record was indicative of its scoring and defensive problems, where it could only muster 2.83 goals per game, while it gave up nearly three times as many goals per game (7.44). Much like with Dallastown in Tier 1, it will be hard for this team to trend in any direction other than up after last season. In order to do so, the Bulldogs must be better on defense, which they showed signs of in their season opener, when they only allowed three goals.

The team also showed signs of maturity in that victory, twice blowing one-goal leads in the third period, but responding instantly with go-ahead goals, one coming 31 seconds after Middletown tied it up 2-2 and then the other only six seconds after the Blue Raiders tied it up 3-3.

One game doesn’t make a season, but it’s at least an indication that perhaps West York did, in fact, improve during the offseason and should have a good chance to better its total of three wins from last year.

— Reach Patrick Strohecker at


West York’s Anthony Clark is tripped up by Middletown’s Kaleb Daubert on Monday night. West York won the match, 4-3.

West York’s Anthony Clark is tripped up by Middletown’s Kaleb Daubert on Monday night. West York won the match, 4-3. (JOHN A. PAVONCELLO —
Middletown goalie Robert Allen blocks a shot on goal by West York’s Brandon Sanders on Monday night.

Middletown goalie Robert Allen blocks a shot on goal by West York’s Brandon Sanders on Monday night. (JOHN A. PAVONCELLO —

There are moments in sports contests when a team is tested.

Sometimes it’s once, sometimes it’s several times.

For the West York ice hockey club, it was exactly twice Monday night when it hosted Middletown in the Central Pennsylvania Interscholastic Hockey League Tier 3 regular-season opener at the York City Ice Arena

The visitors never led in the contest, but were able to tie the score on two occasions in the third period. Fortunately for Coach Robert Stitley’s outfit, Nicholas Cintron had the answer. Twice.

After Middletown evened things up 2-2 early in the third, Cintron scored just 31 seconds later to put the Bulldogs ahead again. Just two minutes later, the visitors knotted things up on a Noah Zimmerman tally.

The tie score didn’t last long — six seconds to be exact. Cintron was able to kick the ensuing faceoff toward the Middletown zone, quickly corralled the puck and scored. And while there were a few close calls down the stretch, Cintron and company were able to hang on for a 4-3 victory.

“Their center kept winning it between my legs,” Cintron said. “So I just kicked it right out behind him, went around the defenseman and was able to put it away.”

It was a good start for West York, which finished with 3-12-3 a year ago. That came on the heels of an 0-18 campaign two years ago. After that winless campaign, the program nearly folded.

But combining with players from York Suburban, York Catholic, Red Lion, Dover, Northeastern and West York has kept the team afloat. Now the team is looking to do much more than survive — it’s hoping to thrive.

If West York continues to play like it did Monday, that should be no problem.

“We have a good group of kids,” Stitley said. “And we knew that from the first practice of the season. We’re kind of like the Heinz 57 of the league, with kids from Suburban, West York, Catholic, Red Lion … we got a whole bunch from everybody. But that doesn’t matter. They’re all here for one reason and that’s to win games.”

While the team may lack depth, with just 15 players as of Monday, its collective skill could negate that, according to Cintron, who is a sophomore at West York High School.

“We’re all pretty quick,” said Cintron, who is playing his first season with the team. “We know how to move the puck, and communication is key, as always, and hopefully we can win some games.”

The Bulldog standout, however, did admit that it got a little tiring as the game wore on, even if his play contradicted that.

“Yeah, a little bit,” he said. “But it was a pretty exciting game today, so I wasn’t feeling it (as much).”

Brandon Sanders and Dennis Kohadjda also scored for West York, with Sanders also picking up an assist on Kohadjda’s tally in the second period. Kyle Keim scored twice for Middletown.

— Reach Ryan Vandersloot at


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