Havertown, Pa. — Despite a few key players missing due to injury, the Appoquinimink Jaguars (8-4-1) rallied behind captain Jonny Schwarz to blank the Harriton Rams (1-11-1), 5-0, on Thursday night (Jan. 17) at the Skatium. Schwarz’s hat trick and a 22-save shutout from Vincent Paloni propelled the Jaguars into sole possession of second place in the Inter-County Scholastic Hockey League Liberty South Division standings.
Despite Harriton generating a stronger breakout to gain the Appoquinimink blue line on more occasions than in the Jags’ 7-2 win on Dec. 10, a solid Appoquinimink backcheck kept the Rams to only two odd-man rushes and minimal scoring chances on 22 shots.
Schwarz used his speed and skill to enter the Harriton zone in the sixth minute of the first period and set up the opening goal of the contest, setting up Austin Clarke — who fired a wrist shot past Harriton goalie Liam Cunningham from 12 feet out to earn his first seasonal goal — with a back-door pass. Schwarz took one for himself 3:13 into the second period, fielding an outlet pass from goalie Paloni before beating Harriton defenceman Ben Kozloff at the Rams’ blue line, walking the puck in, and punching his own rebound in off Cunningham’s leg pads. Nathan Panchisin then broke up a Harriton breakout and turned it into a top-shelf goal from the inside of the left circle, giving the Jaguars a 3-0 lead with 28 seconds remaining in the middle period.
Schwarz finished his hat trick with a pair of third-period goals, displaying both sniping and battling ability in doing so. With just over nine minutes remaining, Schwarz fired a cannon from the high slot off an Aiden Kurych feed before completing his hat trick by punching the puck into the Harriton goal amid a net-front scrum with 1:47 remaining.
Cunningham saved 27 of 32 shots faced in defeat for the Rams.
For Appoquinimink, the win lifted them into sole possession of second place in the seven-team ICSHL Liberty South Division.