By Mike Costantino
SJSports Staff Writer
Cherry Hill East won its first round playoff game defeating Paul VI 7-5 at the Skate Zone in Voorhees on Monday night. Playing in their first playoff game at the varsity level, two freshmen made key contributions. Patrick Clancy notched three goals and goalie Stephen Saunders continued his torrid play in nets as East will now play Clearview on Friday evening. Mike DiGennaro scored four goals to pace the Paul VI attack.
East jumped out early as Jared Sedacca fired a blast from the point after Louis Stomel drew back the puck after winning a face-off in the games opening minutes. Clancy made it 2-0 after Tim Woods dug the puck out from behind the net, hit Clancy in the slot and his quick shot found the back of the net. With East on the power play, Clancy put home a rebound of a shot by James Brown and the lead grew to 3-0.
One of the bright spots for Paul VI was their success on the power play, as four of the five goals were scored with the man advantage. The first one came when Steve Wampler converted a drop pass from Dan Chambers to cut the lead to 3-1. However, senior captain Kevin Desrochers scored right near the end of the period to restore the three-goal lead at 4-1. Early in the second period, Desrochers had the puck in the corner and threaded a pass to Woods in front of the net and re-directed the puck into the goal for a 5-1 lead.
DiGennaro would score his first of four goals, three coming on the power play, converting on the tail end of a 3-on-2 break to make it 5-2. Mike Danyo, on a great individual effort as he skated down the right side, came around the net and tucked the puck in on the short side to again give East a four-goal lead at 6-2. But DiGennaro scored two more power play goals near the end of the period. With two men in the box, Paul VI worked the puck around and Dustin Isbert hit DiGennaro and his quick shot made it 6-3. Then with two seconds left in the period, DiGennaro scored from in close to cut the lead to 6-4. But Clancy’s third goal early in the third period gave East some breathing room. The only response by Paul VI was a goal in the final seconds by DiGennaro.