State hockey finals roundup: Peters Township trips La Salle to win 4th state crown
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UNIVERSITY PARK — Twenty minutes before his team's game with La Salle for the Class AAA Pennsylvania Cup, Peters Township hockey coach Rick Tingle walked into the locker room and was met with silence.
“I was a little worried,” Tingle said. “There was a little music playing, but it was quiet, and that is unlike them. The first couple of shifts I think they looked nervous, but we got it out of our system early.”
The Indians captured their fourth state championship with a 2-1 win over the Explorers at Penn State's Pegula Ice Arena.
A goal by Adam Alavi 7:18 into the first period gave Peters Township an early lead, but Kevin Charyszyn responded for La Salle three minutes later despite falling to the ice mid-shot. The Indians pulled ahead for good in the second period when Josef Kittelberger sidestepped a La Salle player and scored on a wrist shot.
Penalties at 13:19 and 15:25 of the third period kept the Indians short-handed, but they held strong. Senior goalie Brian Baker made 11 of his 31 saves in the third period to secure the win.
“The trick was to just tell everyone to stay calm,” Baker said. “I couldn't ask for anything better. After four years and losing three years in a row (in the Penguins Cup finals), I cannot even explain the feelings.”
It was the fourth state championship for the Indians but their first in AAA. The other three — 2002, '03 and '05 — came in AA. It is the first state title win during Tingle's tenure as coach.
“I am happier for the boys than I am for me,” Tingle said. “It feels good. I am going to do the same thing every year and try to get the team better. But I am extremely happy for these kids who worked hard and really wanted it.”
Bishop Canevin fell to Central Bucks South, 5-2, in the Crusaders' first AA state title game since 2011.
The Crusaders appeared to strike first. Garrett Godlewski put the puck into the net during a 5-on-3 opportunity, but the score was waved off because of a high-stick call.
“It would have got our momentum going,” Bishop Canevin coach Kevin Zielmanski said. “It seemed later every time we would get some momentum, they would respond quickly. It was very disappointing. (The referee) said he was in position to wave it off. I asked him about it multiple times.”
The Titans to took a 1-0 lead when Brenden Clements scored on a slapshot during a Bishop Canevin power-play opportunity with 2:40 left in the first.
Randy Unger responded with a Bishop Canevin power-play goal 5:52 into the second period.
That was as close as the Crusaders would come to the lead. Central Bucks South's Mike Pilla scored 15 seconds later.
Central Bucks South took a two-goal lead on Leo Flick's goal on a delayed penalty 55 seconds into the third period. Liam Walsh buried a shot off the boards to cut the deficit to 3-2 with 15:18 to play, but goals from Flick and Mike Lucas would keep the Crusaders at bay.
“I don't know what happened to us,” Zielmanski said. “We weren't ourselves the last two games of the year. I cannot put my finger on what the difference is. They were well organized and moved the puck.
“I like to say over the course of a game one team dictates and the other reacts, and they sure were dictating.”
Quaker Valley was unable to come back from a three-goal, first-period deficit and fell to West Chester Bayard Rustin, 5-2.
It was a disastrous start for the Quakers. Brett Christie and Michael Grande scored for the Golden Knights in the opening two minutes of the game.
Jimmy Perkins responded with a goal 3:44 into the first period, but JR Barone ended the period with two goals to extend the Rustin lead to three.
Cameron Peterkin scored the lone goal of the second period off a deflected Connor Quinn shot. But any hopes of a comeback ended when Shawn Polidore scored with 3:02 left.
“We ran out of gas,” Quaker Valley coach Kevin Quinn said. “We had a few bounces in the two games previous to this, and we didn't get any tonight. We certainly could have used them.”
Perkins, the Quakers' top point producer, missed the final 8:25 of the game after taking a 10-minute game misconduct for head contact. The senior finished the season with 49 goals and 37 assists.
The loss had similarities to last season's 6-5 loss to West Chester East in the state finals. The Quakers spent the final period trying to come back from a 6-2 deficit.
“Going down 4-1 was the game,” Quinn said. “Anything that could go wrong at times did. The same as last year. And we have to find a way to overcome those things.”
It was the second time Quaker Valley and Rustin played for a state title in three years. The Quakers defeated the Golden Knights, 4-2, in 2012.
Nathan Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @NSmith_Trib.
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