More than just a rivalry

The 5th annual Gannon Cup game honors the Gannon and Oseredzuk families


Photo credit: Trish Sexton

Amelia Sheehy, Staff Writer

On Thanksgiving eve, the Neshaminy and Pennsbury ice hockey teams came together for the fifth annual Gannon Cup game. The Grundy Arena was packed with students, family, and friends, all eager to watch an action-packed game and cheer on their respective teams.

While both teams played their best, Neshaminy came out on top with a 4-2 win. However, after the first period, it was not looking good for Neshaminy; Pennsbury put up two goals in the first period giving them the advantage going into the second. 

Assistant captain Danny McColgan said the team knew what they had to do. 

“We knew we had to get more shots on the goalie,” McColgan said. “We just stayed positive, knowing there was plenty of time to come back.”

Photo credit: Trish Sexton

The game was far from over. As Neshaminy rallied, senior Max Gallagher stepped up and put in a goal making the game 2-1 to end the second. 

That first goal was all they needed. 

“The mindset was to just go out and get one and start rolling from there,” Gallagher said on what the team’s game plan was.

With everyone on edge, the whistle blew to start the final period. Fans cheered on their teams, willing them to score. Gallagher put in his second goal to tie up the game. Less than a minute later, it was Neshaminy´s Noah Seewagen who scored the tie-breaking goal off a pass from Nolan Geria. Neshaminy´s five senior captains celebrated the goal on the ice but knew they still had almost sixteen minutes left to keep working.

  “When I scored the go-ahead goal after a sweet pass from Nolan, there was a sense of relief, but it also fueled us to lock the game down and take home the trophy,” Seewagen said.

Gallagher earned himself a hat trick, scoring Neshaminy´s fourth goal to give the team a bit of a cushion for the last few minutes of play. As the seconds ticked down to zero, the fans cheered, and the team celebrated their hard-earned win to bring home the Gannon Cup. 

           “The only thing going through my head after that goal was that for the third year in a row, we were going to get the win for Patrick and Phil,” Gallagher said about his hat trick. “It was a great game from the boys and a great feeling for all us seniors knowing we won the last Gannon Cup game we would play in.”

          The Gannon Cup game is much more than just a rivalry match. It takes place to commemorate the lives of the late Patrick Gannon and Phillip Oseredzuk, who both passed away unexpectedly. The boys were both a part of the hockey community, playing for Neshaminy´s team and the Grundy Senators. All proceeds from the game are donated to the Gift of Life in Patrick and Phillip´s honor.

Photo credit: Trish Sexton

Event coordinator Gina Nelson explained, “Our goal is $5,000 so that we are able to participate in their Sponsor a Room program. The $5,000 pays for a room at the Gift of Life Howie´s House for an entire year for a donor-recipient or their family during treatment.¨

While both of Nelson´s son´s have graduated from Neshaminy High School, she maintains an active role in the hockey community. She organizes donations and raffle baskets, gathers volunteers, and promotes the Gannon Cup event. Her efforts did not go unnoticed, as the event was packed with supporters for not just the competing teams but also for the Gannon and Oseredzuk family.

¨My motivation has always been about finding a way for the families of Patrick and Phillip to know that we will never forget them,¨ Nelson said about why she works hard on the event each year. 

Photo credit: Trish Sexton
Photo credit: Trish Sexton

The fans who come out each year to support the teams are supporting a much bigger cause, whether they know it or not. The money raised from the game continues the legacies of Gannon and Oseredzuk and truly has the ability to change lives. 

The players can agree that they are playing for something much bigger than a trophy.

“This game means everything to us, and I feel like I speak for most of us when I say that,” Seewagen said. “To win the cup for Pat and Phil means so much to all of us, and it’s just so fun to be a part of.”