It’s been a while since the Elizabethtown Area High School ice hockey club won the 2016 Viola Cup in the Central Pennsylvania Interscholastic Hockey League. In the two seasons since then, the Bears have gone 2-34, including 19 straight losses and an 0-18 finish last year. Unfortunately for the team, the 2018-19 season has begun with the much of the same.
The Bears started off the year with a game against Hempfield on Wednesday, Oct. 31, at Lancaster Ice Rink, losing 10-0. The Knights got the scoring going just three minutes into the game with a goal from Charles Braught off an assist from Jack Laser.
Late in the first period, they blitzed Elizabethtown for four more goals. Brenden Ward scored off an assist from Cameron Macariola), followed quickly by a Laser goal off a Braught assist. Chris Grubb then nabbed two scores in the space of 30 seconds, the second via a Laser pass.
Braught hooked up with Laser for the second time early in the second period, followed by a third Grubb goal a few minutes later. Grubb would assist to Elias Lountzis in the third, and both Ian Farmer and Kyle Dunigan added scores to force the mercy rule with five minutes to go. Hempfield goalie Max Aukamp stopped all 8 Elizabethtown shots. For the Bears, R. Jacob Gregory had 20 saves.
Elizabethtown had its first home game of the season at Klick Lewis Arena near Palmyra on Friday, Nov. 2, against MSM United, consisting of Middletown, Steelton-Highspire and Bishop McDevitt. It was a tight game early on, with the only goal in the first period coming from Jacob Dorman of MSM.
Things opened up a bit midway through the second. Bailey Kreitz scored during a power play off an assist from Dorman and Noah Loran. Robert Shaffner got a goal off an assist from Kreitz, who quickly followed that up with another score off another Loran assist.
Dorman had two more assists in the third to Kreitz and Trevor Kime, split by a goal from Benjamin Plastina, giving MSM enough of a cushion for a 7-0 win. Vaughn Hennessy led the team with 20 saves in the net. Connor Vogelsong stopped 22 shots for Elizabethtown, while Gregory had 7 saves.
Finally, the Bears returned to Klick Lewis Arena on Monday, Nov. 5, to face Penn Manor. The Comets had 4 goals in the first period to take an early lead. Elizabethtown did narrow the gap to 4-2 midway through the second, thanks to goals from Max Wetzel (assist to Avery Merlo) and Matthew Merlo (assist to Chris Haldeman), though.
Penn Manor did regain a four-goal advantage by the end of the period, later adding 6 scores in the final period to win 12-2. Gregory finished with 37 saves at goalie for Elizabethtown, while Vogelsong had 2. For the Comets, Cara Jandzio and Tyler Hess stopped 11 and 3 shots, respectively.
With an 0-3 record to start the season, the Bears are next scheduled to take on Dallastown at Klick Lewis Arena on Friday, Nov. 9.