For a variety of reasons, Tennent did not sponsor a team last season, but the Panthers are back this year, competing in the Northern League. Loaded with players - there are 18 on the roster - Paul is espousing a team-oriented style of play.
"The biggest difference between this team and the team of two years ago is the emphasis we place on clean playing," Paul said. "We're trying to build a respectable image of William Tennent hockey. So far, this team has worked very hard. Our 3-7 record is not indicative of our ability."
The Panthers' offense is led by Tim Grable, Brett Henke and Ryan Maestas. Team captain Pat Hannefeld is the top defenseman and Scott Shaw is the goalie.
"Shaw and Hannefeld are two reasons why we are second in the league in team defense," Paul said. "And Shaw is only a freshman."
The Northern League standings, through Monday, showed North Penn in first place with a 7-2-3 record and 17 points. Archbishop Wood (7-2-2, 16) was second, followed by Abington (5-2-5, 15), William Tennent (3-7-0, 6) and La Salle (0-9-0, 0).
Despite its youth, Cheltenham has been playing very well in the Suburban League. Last Thursday, the Panthers defeated Harry S. Truman of the Lower Bucks League, 6-1, at Face-Off Circle.
Led by Richard Shuter's three goals, the Panthers improved their record to 9-5-2.
"That's a better mark than I expected at this point in the season," said Cheltenham coach Pete Nolan. "I lost 14 seniors off last year's team, so this club is pretty young. We only have four seniors. However, we've come along very nicely."
In addition to Shuter, Scott Steinberg (one goal, three assists), Britt Goldstein (one goal, three assists), Mike Brody (one goal, two assists) and Darrin Steinberg (two assists) propelled the Cheltenham offense.
Cory Bank and Rich Getzoff split time in goal and faced only six Truman shots.
"Shuter is our leading scorer, Scott and Darrin Steinberg are second and third and Brody is fourth," Nolan said. "All four are excellent players. Shuter has really come on in the past few weeks and Goldstein has made considerable progress. I think Brody is one of the best players in the league. As for the Steinbergs, both are terrific players."
Scott Steinberg is a senior, while Darrin Steinberg, Shuter and Brody are juniors. Goldstein is a sophomore.
In a make-up game last week, Pennsbury defeated Cheltenham, 4-1.
On Tuesday, Germantown Academy defeated Truman, 6-3, in an interleague game at Face-Off. Jack Craig (2), Tim Craig (2), Rob Roth and Jonathon Goldberg scored for GA.
As of Tuesday, Cheltenham led the Suburban League with a 9-5-2 record and 20 points. Cherry Hill (9-4-0, 18) was next, followed by Council Rock (8-6-1, 17), Germantown Academy (5-4-2, 12), Bishop Eustace (5-6-1, 11) and Central Bucks (3-10-1, 7).