Quick goals doom Quaker Valley hockey in state championship game
TribLIVE Sports Videos
The Quaker Valley hockey team got a lesson in Murphy's Law in its season finale.
The Quakers fell into an early three-goal deficit to Flyers Cup champion West Chester Bayard Rustin and were unable to claw back in a 5-2 loss in the Class A Pennsylvania Cup final at the Pegula Ice Arena on Saturday.
“Being down 4-1 in the first period changed the whole game,” Quaker Valley coach Kevin 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 didn't take long for the Golden Knights to score as Brett Christie scored off a 2-on-1 with teammate JR Barone 42 seconds in. A minute later, Michael Grande scored one of his own and the Quakers were down 2-0.
“It really makes your stomach settle a little from the butterflies, but Quaker Valley, I knew they're warriors and I knew they'd keep coming,” Rustin coach Nick Russo said.
Jimmy Perkins scored 3:44 into the first period to cut the Golden Knights lead in half but Barone scored a pair to put his squad up 4-1 at the end of one.
“It was deflating,” Quinn said. “You have to credit them. They worked hard to get their opportunities. On our end, maybe we didn't work hard enough to get our own breaks because we did not get enough traffic and/or second-chance opportunities.”
Cameron Peterkin scored in the second period off a deflected Connor Quinn shot. But any hopes of a comeback were dashed when Shawn Polidore scored with 3:02 left.
“We ran out of gas,” Quinn said. “We had a few bounces in the two games previous to this and we didn't get any (Saturday). 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.
“When you lose (Perkins) for the last eight minutes in a 4-2 game, that hurt,” Quinn said. “The guy that was down on the ice came back and played for the last five minutes of the game. It was very unfortunate.”
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.
While it was a deflating loss, it was still a successful campaign for Quaker Valley (24-2).
The season started with drama as six games into the year, the Quakers surrendered their first PIHL loss since 2011 to Mars, 4-3.
After the loss, Quaker Valley dominated in Class A and finished the regular season on a 15-game winning streak. The Quakers defeated South Fayette, 8-1, and Freeport, 4-3, in the Class A Penguins Cup playoffs before defeating Thomas Jefferson, 8-2, for the title.
The team will return several players from this season's squad.
Junior goalie Parker Sherry had a solid campaign, making 408 saves. Defense likely will be a strength in the future as juniors Trenton Ruprecht and Hunter Wolz will return as will sophomores Jacob Kuzma, Jack Woodburn and Owen Harkins.
Connor Quinn finished with 40 goals and 44 assists.
But finding a way to replace the team's 10 graduating seniors won't be easy.
“For me, the most emotional part of the game was saying goodbye to the seniors because they have been such good kids,” Coach Quinn said. “They worked hard. They won a lot of games together. When you win three Penguins Cups, I don't think there should be a shred of disappointment.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Hard work shapes Butler hockey team’s identity
- Plum hockey overwhelms Norwin, falls at North Hills
- Sewickley Academy ice hockey has plenty to learn
- Gateway hockey building with young talent