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High School Ice Hockey:
Vikings and Minutemen - Fit to be Tied

Monday, November 15, 1999

By Mike Costantino
SJSports Staff Writer

Eastern rallied from two goals down with nine minutes left in the game to salvage a 5-5 tie with Washington Township in a match-up of two of the top three teams in the league. Mike Becker gave the Vikings the early 1-0 lead scoring an unassisted goal three minutes into the game. Three minutes later, Joe Pelle had a breakaway. As Pelle was making his moves, the puck slid off his stick and fooled Eastern goalie Mike Keppler. Pelle effort resulted in a goal and tied the score at 1-1. Keppler would come up big one minute later as Joe Gori broke in all alone and was stoned by Keppler. The period would end even at 1-1 and each team had ten shots on goal.


Mike Purwin, who played a strong game, gave Eastern the lead at 2-1 as he batted in the puck after a scramble in front of the Township net. Chris Harrington would tie the game at 2-2 as his shot from the point found the back of the net with Derek Poletis getting the assist. But seventeen seconds later, Ryan Janiszewski gave the Vikings the lead at 3-2 with Purwin and Bret Picciotti assisting. With the period winding down, Gori tied the score at 3-3 on a feed from Poletis and Buddy Anderson. Entering the third period tied had to please Coach Pontonio, with his Vikings missing their best player in Mike Cianfrani.

Gori's second goal of the game gave Township the lead at 4-3 at the ten minute mark. Ninety seconds later, Brown increased the lead to 5-3, and it looked like the Minutemen would not only win on the road but move into a tie for first place with Clearview. But the strength of the Vikings is they never quit, and with just over three minutes left in the game Joe Jurkofsky brought Eastern to within 5-4. And just under a minute later Purwin tied the game at 5-5 putting a floater over Derek Lucas' shoulder. The game ended with Eastern on the power play but unable to score.

Photos by Art Redd

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