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High School Ice Hockey:
Clearview Clinches First With Win Over Eastern

Monday, January 20, 2003

By Mike Costantino
SJSports Staff Writer

Chris Riggs had two goals and Mike Sullivan added a goal and two assists to help Clearview defeat Eastern 5-3 at the Skate Zone in Voorhees. With the win, Clearview clinched first place in Tier 1 and the number 2 seed for the upcoming double elimination tournament. Both teams were missing key players. Eastern was without Sean Sullivan and John Piermetti while Clearview skated without David Gooch and Jon Probe. Not having his two top scorers, Coach Sullivan needed contributions from his second and third lines along with strong goaltending and that's exactly what he got.

Sullivan and Bill Dunbar took turns setting each other up. Dunbar, after good pressure in the zone, first hit Sullivan in front of the net and his quick shot found the net for a 1-0 lead. Later in the period, Sullivan and Dunbar broke in with just one defenseman back and after Sullivan drew the defenseman over, he slid the puck to Dunbar. Although he didn't get a lot on, the puck fooled Danny Meyers and Clearview led 2-0. Anthony Orner brought Eastern to within 2-1, scoring a goal from a bad angle along the side of the net late in the period to give Eastern some momentum heading into the second period.

Wyatt Fox increased the lead to 3-1, intercepting a clearing pass with Eastern on the power play, but the Vikings responded. Rory Levinson, with some hard work behind the net, fed Robert Nevitt in the slot and his one-timer made it 3-2. Jason Brown made several key saves over the next few minutes, stoning Orner and Mike Kondrla. The turning point came when the Vikings got caught with no defenseman down low. Sullivan and Riggs broke in alone against Meyers who tried to skate out and poked check the puck. But Sullivan beat him to it while sliding along the ice and shot the puck on net. After hitting the post, Riggs' easy tap-in put Clearview up 4-2. Orner would then score a shorthanded goal after stripping the puck from the defenseman and flipping the puck just under the crossbar to bring Eastern to within 4-3 after two. In the third period Clearview refused to give up the blue line and they had Riggs shadow Orner, something that we can expect come playoff time. Riggs added an empty net goal with seconds remaining to cap off the 5-3 win.

Notes: Washington Township is the number 1 seed, something that was agreed upon prior to the season since Township played in the AAA league. Look for the league to assign three officials during the playoffs.

Photos by Art Redd

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