April 3, 2010


A goaltender is always in the spotlight. It is the nature of the job. A netminder having an off night between the pipes undermines the best collective efforts of his teammates. Conversely, one who is in top form can carry his team to dizzying heights. Jesse Goldberg was the latter kind of goaltender this season for Council Rock North. He served as the catalyst as the Indians advanced first to the Suburban High School Hockey League championship series and, from there, to the Class AA Flyers Cup tournament, where the second-seeded Indians reached the semifinals before falling to Downingtown East, the eventual champion. His efforts earned him the Courier Times Player of the Year award. Goldberg, who played four years of varsity hockey for the Indians, has spent virtually his entire career in goal. He first played organized hockey at Warwick at age 5. Ever since the crease has been his home. “You feel like you’re in control,” Goldberg said. “Bad bounces and stuff are going to happen, but you always feel like you can stop the puck or stop the other team.” Like his goaltending peers from youth hockey to the professional ranks, Goldberg knows the feeling of being “in the zone” — when the puck seems the size of a beach ball and difficult saves become almost routine. “It’s just a matter of seeing the puck,” Goldberg said. “I don’t think anything I did was that spectacular. “It feels good when you get in a zone and keep stopping it when you’re not really thinking about it.” Goldberg’s best performance of the season likely came in defeat — a 2-0 loss to archrival Council Rock South in the first game of the SHSHL finals. He made 17 saves in the first period alone and went on to make 37 in a contest that was scoreless until the final nine minutes. He allowed just one shot to get past him (South’s final goal was into an empty net). “For four years, I was spoiled,” said North coach Eric Tye. “He’s probably the first freshman to play varsity hockey for Council Rock. And as the years went on, he matured.” The Flyers Cup loss to Downingtown East ended not just a season, but an era at Council Rock North. Many of this year’s seniors had played together since middle school, which made that final defeat all the more devastating. “That loss was terrible,” Goldberg said, “but being in that locker room with all the people you;d grown up playing with was really hard. It was devastating.”


Joe Houk, Council Rock South: Houk’s team came within one game of a successful Class AA Flyers Cup title defense before falling to Downingtown East, 4-2, in the title game. Coaching an undefeated team isn’t as easy as it looks. There could have been a host of distractions along the way, particularly when a number of the Golden Hawks’ best players were playing club hockey. Houk kept his players on an even keel. The Hawks wore their success well.

All-Area Team (Bucks County)


Forward: Tom Seravalli, Holy Ghost Prep, Senior, Scored 26 goals and added 29 assists to help the Firebirds earn the top seed in the Flyers Cup Class AAA tournament … Arguably the area’s most explosive offensive player.
Forward: Pat Grilli, Council Rock South, Junior, Scored 43 goals plus 37 assists during the Suburban High School Hockey League campaign to lead the Golden Hawks to the league title and the Flyers Cup AA finals … Anchored the most potent line in the area.
Forward: Kyle Weitz, Council Rock North, Junior, Excelled at getting from one end of the ice to the other … Led his team with 36 goals during the SHSHL campaign, plus 17 assists.
Defense: Jon Houk, Council Rock South, Senior, Was at his best in the postseason, scoring a pair of game-winning goals in the Flyers Cup tournament … Came on late in season after missing time with a shoulder injury … Finished the SHSHL campaign with 11 goals and 14 assists.
Defense: Paul Burns, Holy Ghost Prep, Senior, The Firebirds’ top defenseman produced five goals and 10 assists … Four-year starter was a steadying force on the blue line
Goaltender: Jesse Goldberg, Council Rock North, Senior, Carried his team all the way to the SHSHL finals and Flyers Cup semifinals with play that ranged from the steady to the spectacular … At his best in the postseason when the pressure was greatest.


Forward: Peter Malamud, Council Rock South, Senior
Forward: Scott Titus, Council Rock North, Senior
Forward: Tyler Deitrick, Council Rock South, Senior
Defense: Mike Hlatky, Pennsbury, Junior
Defense: David Bowman, Holy Ghost Prep, Junior
Goaltender: Eric Horrox, William Tennent, Junior

By Rick Woelfel
The Bucks County Courier Times