Quaker Valley make it a three-peat; takes on Rustin in state hockey final
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When the Quaker Valley hockey team stepped onto the ice for the Class A Penguins Cup championship game, you might expect one of the team's 10 seniors to lead the squad to victory.
But it was a sophomore who stole the show.
Connor Quinn scored five goals as the Quakers downed Thomas Jefferson, 8-2, at the Consol Energy Center to capture their third straight cup.
“It feels great to be able to lead my team like this,” Connor Quinn said. “Especially going from nothing in the last game. All the bounces were going our way. “
Thomas Jefferson actually struck first in the championship game as Tommy Kimmick scored just 1:47 in to the first period.
“After they scored, the spent quite a while celebrating, and our guys were already waiting at the face-off,” Quaker Valley coach Kevin Quinn said. “That kind of showed they were ready to get right back into it.”
It didn't take Quaker Valley long to respond as Connor Quinn scored on a breakaway to tie the game at 1-1. He added a power-play later in the first to give the Quakers the lead and Scott Weston added another to give the Quakers a 3-1 advantage after one.
Connor Quinn added three goals in the second period while Jimmy Perkins and Adam Stanley score in the third.
The win captured Quaker Valley's fifth Class A Penguins Cup. Only Bishop McCort has more in the classification with six.
“I think it is pretty special,” Kevin Quinn said. “We have had some great clusters of kids come through at different times. We had a good group from 2006 to 2008 and now this group from 2012 through 2014. We have had great depth and talent. The seniors have been great leaders.”
The three-straight cup wins puts the Quakers in exclusive company in Class A. Only Bishop McCort (1994-1997), Serra Catholic (2000-2002) and Mars (2009-2011) have been able to have match Quaker Valley's streak.
The Quakers are now focused on claiming its third state title and first since 2012 as it faces West Chester Rustin at Penn State's Pegula Ice Arena Saturday. Quaker Valley isn't entirely unfamiliar with its opponent as it defeated the Golden Knights, 4-1, to capture the 2012 Pennsylvania Cup.
For the Quakers, winning the Penguins Cup is a great accomplishment but they want to erase the taste of last year's 6-5 loss to West Chester East in the finals.
“We're excited but this isn't the ultimate goal,” Perkins said. “Our goal from the begging was a state title. Last year we didn't accomplish the main goal. We didn't feel complete.”
Nathan Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @NSmith_Trib.
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