PA Hitmen win Hatfield Ice Summer Shootout

The PA Hitmen Bantam AA team with coaches Ryan Cruthers and Matt Herneisen. (Ryan Cruthers)

The PA Hitmen Bantam AA team with coaches Ryan Cruthers and Matt Herneisen. (Ryan Cruthers)

The PA Hitmen Bantam AA team returned home as champions Sunday after winning the Hatfield Ice Summer Shootout in Hatfield, Pa.

The PA Hitmen were established in May by former Reading Royals captains Matt Herneisen and Ryan Cruthers. They selected players for both Pee Wee and Bantam AA teams.

After participating in the New England AA Classic in Massachusetts, the Bantam AA team went on to the Hatfield Shootout, where they won a thriller in overtime.

“With everything that happened in that last game and how we kept fighting shows a lot about the character of the kids we had,” Cruthers said.

The PA Hitmen faced the Ice Dogs in the championship after facing each other previously during the round robin where the PA Hitmen lost 7-0.

Matt Sheaffer opened the scoring with the lone goal that stood through most of the game.

The Ice Dogs later tied it at 1 and the score stayed the same as the third period was coming to a close, but with less than two minutes to go, Ian Conroy scored on the power play to give the PA Hitmen the lead.

A controversial penalty on the PA Hitmen gave the Ice Dogs what they needed as they pulled its goaltender and tied the game with 46 seconds remaining.

PA Hitmen goaltender “Chico” Simmerman made some key saves to begin overtime to keep them in the game. With roughly two minutes to go, a turnaround blast from Logan Baldwin sealed the win and championship for the PA Hitmen.

“Watching the kids celebrate and seeing how happy they were to win made a summer of hard work well worth it,” Herneisen said. “These kids have a ton of heart and continue to want to get better. With hard work and dedication throughout the winter, I look for even bigger and better things in the future for the PA Hitmen.”

Both coaches were able to take joy at watching their team celebrate on the ice and after they returned home.

“I never thought I would get that emotionally attached to a youth hockey team and what we were trying to accomplish,” Cruthers said. “It was truly an honor to coach these kids. I will never forget this team and that championship, just like I’m sure they won’t forget.”

PA Hitmen Bantam AA Champions:

Alex Gundersen, Colby Moyer, Alec Krause, Brad Bartusik, Matt Sheaffer, Josh Watterson, Austin Mourar, Parker Wolf, Wyatt Sizemore, Jake Muster, Josh Endy, Sky Swavely, Ben Reisenweaver, Matt Snader, Chico Simmerman, Ian Conroy, Logan Baldwin

*UPDATE: All three goals for the PA Hitmen have been fixed and credited to the correct players.*
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Categories: Ice Hockey, Sports

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3 Comments on “PA Hitmen win Hatfield Ice Summer Shootout”

  1. August 15, 2012 at 3:20 PM #

    Great article Candice. Thank you for writing this!

  2. August 15, 2012 at 7:13 PM #

    Great article, we are talking about it on the Solar Bears facebook page and forum. We are glad to see Ryan Cruthers dedicating his time to the team. Keep up the good work, and keep the articles coming!

  3. August 15, 2012 at 8:14 PM #

    The correction on the second goal going to Ian Conroy is correct but what was omitted was that Matt Sheaffer had the first goal of the game.

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