SILVER SPRING TWP. — Shamrocks hockey has had a lot of success in Rothrock division play this season.
They currently sit in third place. Of course, a lot of the credit can go to star Riley Johnson, who has nearly double the points per game this season than anyone else on the team.
But the junior can’t do it all if his team is going to succeed. He certainly has a supporting cast with players like Lance Coffey and Jack Straub on the team.
The two are second and third in points per game this season for the Shamrocks, respectively.
Of the three, it was Straub who had the big game in the Shamrocks’ 7-5 victory over MSM United on Friday night.
“I thought we came out pretty fast,” Straub said.
‘Pretty fast’ is a bit of an understatement. Straub intercepted a pass on the game’s opening faceoff and put one past MSM United goalie Vaughn Hennessy just seven seconds in.
It was the first goal of a hat-trick for Straub, who also assisted Sean Cudahy early in the second period for what ended up being a four-point night.
“He was a difference maker,” Shamrocks coach A.J. Carr said. “He was keeping possession for us, skating through guys, and getting good shots. In a close game like that, it’s what we need.”
Straub is now tied with Coffey for the second-most points, 41, on the Shamrocks. Johnson, who came in averaging 5.43 points per game, had a short-handed goal and an assist to Michael Soule for a two-point night, increasing his point total to an outstanding 78.
The season Straub is having is nearly as impressive as he is only a freshman. Carr is pleased with what he’s seen from him in his first year as a Shamrock.
“You never know what to expect with freshman coming in,” Carr said. “As the season’s gone on, he’s playing the way we think he can.”
Straub has had experience, however, before joining Carr’s team. A lot of his talent can be to the credit of the Hershey Jr. Bears program.
“Those kids know how to skate,” Carr said. “He’s always kind of been this good. It’s just a matter of fitting in with the team, and he’s really grown in using his teammates and finding the gaps and learning to skate with other people on a couple different lines. I think that’s where he’s really grown.”
“That extra ice time [with the Jr. Bears] gets me the extra practice and time to develop my skill,” Straub said.
The Shamrocks (11-4-2) are back in action Monday night on the road against second-place Central York (15-2-0) in the regular-season finale. They already clinched a Rothrock playoff spot.
It’s a tough matchup for Straub-and-company, but Carr likes how his team has played in their last two games, including a win over a previously-undefeated Cedar Crest team.
“We’re looking for more of the same Monday,” Carr said. “It’s going to be a close game, but the win against Cedar Crest Wednesday was a big momentum builder.”