Quaker Valley reaches third straight Penguins Cup finals
Cameron Peterkin isn't a stranger to scoring goals.
The Quaker Valley senior tallied 15 goals this season heading into Monday's Class A Penguins Cup semifinal with Freeport.
But the one goal he scored against the Yellowjackets might be the most important goal of his career. Peterkin netted the game-winning goal with 0.2 remaining in regulation to give the Quakers a 4-3 win and punch their ticket to the finals.
“Right now I am thinking (that goal) is up at the top,” Peterkin said. “Hopefully I will make a couple of more memories before the season is over.”
The goal finished a frantic comeback by the Quakers over the final two minutes of the third period. Quaker Valley called a timeout with 1:40 remaining down 3-2 and pulled goalie Parker Sherry for the extra skater. Two long shots by Freeport went wide both times, giving the Quakers faceoffs in the Yellowjackets zone due to icing calls.
After the second faceoff, Jimmy Perkins collected the puck and scored his third goal of the game with 32.5 seconds left.
“It worked out well,” Quaker Valley coach Kevin Quinn said. “They had a couple of icings that could have easily gone in the net. Resiliency is a good word for this game.”
The teams went into the third period tied 1-1. Goals from Hunter Kepple and Michael Frazette put the Yellowjackets ahead twice but Perkins responded with goals each time.
“I am a little shocked,” Perkins said. “We thought we should win this game coming in. We came out a little bit flat. There were some great plays from my teammates. We knew anything was possible if you give it your all.”
Perkins – who led Class A during the regular season with 72 points – broke his stick early in the game and had to use teammate Steve Fagan's stick.
“I think I might hold onto it for the rest of the playoffs after (this game),” Perkins said. “I scored all three goals with it.”
Connor Quinn finished with three assists in the win. Alex Quinn and Ryan Lottes each added an assist. Sherry finished with 19 saves.
It was the third game between Quaker Valley and Freeport with the Quakers winning all three by a total of four goals.
“Freeport is a really strong team,” Peterkin said. “Every other time we have played them it has been a close game. They were definitely playing playoff hockey.”
The win punched Quaker Valley's ticket to the Class A Penguins Cup finals. It will face Thomas Jefferson, who defeated Mars 4-2 in the other semifinal. The game is scheduled for a 4:30 p.m. start on Monday.
The Quakers will try to become the fourth team to win at least three consecutive Penguins Cup in Class A. Bishop McCort won four from 1994 to 1997, Serra Catholic won three from 2000 to 2002 and Mars won three between 2009 and 2011.
A win at Consol Energy Center will give the program its fifth Penguins Cup, which would rank second in Class A only to Bishop McCort's six.