March 27, 2003


BRISTOL – There are very good reasons schools such as Delaware, Syracuse, Ithaca and Bentley (among others) would like forward Ryan Gunderson to play for them next year. For starters, the Holy Ghost Prep senior, the Courier Times ice hockey player of the year for the second straight year, has led the Lower Bucks County Scholastic Hockey League in scoring each of the past two years. He has good hockey sense, vision of the ice and wonderful hands. Then there are the intangibles. He has character, as well as a willingness to play physically and at both ends of the ice. He’s quick to deflect praise to his teammates and coaches. And he’s always polite to reporters who seem to want to talk only about his amazing numbers (a combined 55 goals, 115 assists over the past two regular seasons). To boot, he’s more than willing to throw his 5-9, 150-pound frame into opponents. A finesse player he is not; he goes into corners. Those qualities have earned him the respect of teammates and opponents. Again, Gunderson credits just about everybody else for his success, particularly long-time friend and linemate Paul Worthington. The duo has played so long together, they seem to know where the other is on the ice most times without even looking. Gunderson and Worthington have finished 1-2 in league scoring in each of the past two seasons, well ahead of the rest of the pack. “They are great,” Judge goalie Tom Brody said. “It just doesn’t matter how hard you work to try to stop them, they still put the puck in the net.” Gunderson has been filling nets with pucks since the age of 2, when he first laced up skates. Soon thereafter, he started playing street hockey. He got better and better as time passed, just as he did at Ghost. As a freshman, he posted 14 goals and 29 assists. He was, hampered by a shoulder injury during his sophomore year, finishing with 11 goals and 24 assists. He exploded last season for 29 goals and 76 points and improved to 26-94 (regular season) this year.


BRISTOL – Neshaminy’s Ray Sherno reacted with a puzzled look when told he is the Courier Times hockey coach of the year. It’s not that he doesn’t appreciate the honor; he simply believes he isn’t solely responsible for the Redskins’ tremendous success. “Please, by all means, mention my assistants (Brian Parks and Mike Richards); they’re as much a part of this as I am,” Sherno said. “They’re excellent coaches; we’re always putting our heads together.” Neshaminy, of Class A, finished second in the Lower Bucks County Scholastic Hockey League behind Holy Ghost Prep, the state’s top-ranked team in Class AA. The Redskins then defeated Harry S Truman and Class AAA Father Judge in the league playoffs before losing to Ghost in the title game. Tonight at 7 at Grundy, Neshaminy (20-8-4) plays Cherokee in the Class A semifinals of the Flyers Cup. All that after they finished seventh in the eight-team LBCSHL last season at 4-20. “We’ve got one of the best goalies in the league (in senior Norm Fenimore) – it starts there,” Sherno said. “Then you have our defense, which has stepped it up this season. We also have a good group of forwards. Nothing flashy, but they all work hard as a team. They know their roles and do it.” Redskins captain Dennis Utter said Sherno deserves more credit than he’s willing to accept. “He always pushes us really hard, even when we win,” said the senior defenseman. “That makes us better players.”

All-Area Team (Bucks County)


Forward: Steve Biasini, Holy Ghost Prep, Senior, Finished fifth among Lower Bucks County Scholastic Hockey League scorers with 35 points.
Forward: Joe Colletti, Council Rock, Senior, Led Rock with 14 goals and 18 points in 16 matches. Finished 8th among ISHL scorers.
Forward: Bill Gordon, Neshaminy, Junior, Led Neshaminy with a team-best 30 points and 19 assists in 23 games.
Forward: Matt Koelzer, Archbishop Wood, Sophomore, Led the Suburban High School Hockey League’s Liberty Division with 39 goals. Finished second among division scorers with 60 points.
Forward: Don Ratcliffe, Conwell-Egan, Senior, Led the Eagles with 20 goals and to a playoff upset of Archbishop Ryan.
Forward: Paul Worthington, Holy Ghost Prep, Junior, Led LBCSHL with 51 regular-season goals and finished second in points with 88.
Defense: Jon Ashcraft, Neshaminy, Junior, Responsible and consistent defense-first player.
Defense: Mike Ivcic, Holy Ghost Prep, Senior, Posted 16 goals and 28 points in 23 regular-season games.
Defense: Chris Scanlon, Holy Ghost Prep, Senior, Steady, reliable, physical presence on the backline.
Defense: Dan Sweeney, Pennsbury, Junior, Posted 14 points in 19 games.
Goaltender: Bryan Alexander, Pennsbury, Senior, Posted a 2.65 GAA, 6-5-6 record.
Goaltender: Norm Fenimore, Neshaminy, Senior, Helped Redskins allow the second-fewest goals (57) in the LBCSHL.
Goaltender: Charles Ouellet, Council Rock, Sophomore, Led ISHL Class AA netminders with a 1.47 GAA and .932 SP.


Forward: Mark Eshelman Neshaminy, Senior, Led Redskins with 12 goals.
Forward: Chris Garft Pennsbury, Junior, Led Falcons with 32 points.
Forward: Shawn McGill Truman, Senior, Third in LBCSHL with 23 goals, 38 pts.
Forward: Dan Stenderowicz Archbishop Wood, Senior, Led Vikings with 34 assists.
Forward: Josh Streaker Holy Ghost Prep, Sophomore, 17 goals, 22 points in 23 games.
Defense: Joe Carpino Neshaminy, Senior, Contributed up front as well.
Defense: Stephen Duffy Conwell-Egan, Senior, Named to LBCSHL all-star team.
Defense: Buddy Lawall Holy Ghost Prep, Junior, Rock-solid hitter with decent hands.
Defense: Dennis Utter Neshaminy, Senior, Good leader, solid player.
Defense: Tom Verdi Holy Ghost Prep, Senior, Steady presence on the backline.
Goaltender: Dave Monteith Holy Ghost Prep, Senior, Allowed lbcshl-low 44 goals.
Goaltender: Andrew Westermann Archbishop Wood, Senior, Helped Vikings to 2nd-place finish.


Archbishop Wood: Brian Fittipaldi, Jr., D; Jack Forbes, Jr., F; James Pisaturo, Sr., D.
Bensalem: Ryan Stern, So., F; Tim Bellerby, Sr., D; Bill McDermon, Sr., D.
Conwell-Egan: Tim Mensch, Jr., F; Lou Loutrel, Jr., G; Ryan Caruso, Sr., F; Nick Costello, Sr., D; Jourdan McLeod, Sr., F/D; Justin Saunders, Sr., D; Steve Schlegel, Jr., D; Gene Stricker, Jr., F.
Harry S Truman: Chris Donahue, So., D; Kirk Llewellyn, So., F; Ray McNulty, Fr., D; Sean Slack, Jr., F; Drew Sprow, Sr., D.
Holy Ghost Prep: Joe Dagostino, Jr., D; Andrew Golin, So., G; Jack Hillock, Jr., D; Mike Savage, Sr., F.
Neshaminy: Steve Bacchia, Sr., D; Cody Cartlidge, Jr., F; Dan Coleman, Jr., F; Michael Platt, Jr., F; Michael Richards, Jr., D.
Pennsbury: Dan Eickhoff, Sr., F; Craig Fafara, Jr., F; Eric Laster, Sr., F; Davey Mitro, So., F; Jared Pfancook, Sr., D.
William Tennent: Igor Karlov, Sr., F.

By Scott Esposito
The Bucks County Courier Times