SJSports Online
High School Links

Ice Hockey Links


High School Ice Hockey:
Vikings Rally To Shock Township In Semi-final Opener

Monday, March 1, 1999

By Mike Costantino
SJSports Staff Writer

Adam Levenson scored on a breakaway with six seconds left to cap a four-goal rally as Eastern stunned Washington Township 7-6 in the first game in the semi-final round of the SJHSIHL varsity playoffs. Being without two of their top players, the Vikings were led by Levenson who not only notched a hat trick but also was a force on defense. Scoring two goals each were Jason Knee and Bob Ianni.

After Derek Poletis scored early in the first period to give Township the 1-0 lead, Knee tied the score at 1-1 with Ianni and Levenson assisting. Township would score three more goals in the period as Joe Gori, Steve Brown and Adam Zaccaria, who also had a hat trick, would tally and Levenson's first of the night would make the score 4-2 after one period. Eastern's Coach Pontonio at this point decided to change goalies. Initially the move seemed to backfire as Zaccaria scored his second early in the period and a 5-2 lead.

When Zaccaria completed his hat trick with less than five minutes to go in the second and the lead at 6-2, things looked bleak for the Vikings. However two quick goals, one by Ianni and the other by Knee, closed the gap to 6-4 as the game headed to the final period. At this point starting goalie Mike Keppler was re-inserted for Eastern. You got the sense from Township's play they were anticipating Eastern coming back, as they seemed to be tentative in the period. When Ianni scored with just three minutes played to bring the Vikings to within 6-5, the momentum was clearly with Eastern. Levenson would tie the game at 6-6 with just over eight minutes left.

Keppler made several big saves to keep the game tied until Levenson's heroics. Coach Pontonio said after the game, "To come back from four down against a good team like Township without some key guys is amazing. But there is still work to be done." Spoken like a coach on a mission.

Photos by Joann Costantino

IHPEast6thumb.jpg IHPEast5thumb.jpg IHPEast3thumb.jpg IHPEast2thumb.jpg IHPEast1thumb.jpg

©1999 South Jersey Sports Online
A Product of WOW Internet Solutions