High School Ice Hockey:
Monday, February 8, 1999
By Gary Finigan
At the Twin Rinks, the importance of this SJHSIHL Tier 2 game was reflected by the fan turnout. Over two hundred faithful fans were in attendance to watch the Cinnaminson Pirates against the host Holy Cross Lancers in a game critical for playoff seeding. The winner of the game would move into a first place tie with Shawnee. With a ticket to the Flyers Cup going to the first place team for Tier 2, both teams were up for the challenge. The intensity of the crowd was driven by the fast pace and physical play taking place on the ice.
First period action set the tone for the entire game. The offenses were in high gear, with each team throwing in the physical intimidation factor. Cinnaminson picked up the early momentum, going up 1-0 at the 6:35 mark. Brian Rafter, skating in all alone on a break away, took the shot on net. Holy Cross goalie J. R. Feigenbutz made the stop, but was unable to control it and the puck crossed the goal line for the score. Not to be outdone, the Lancers charged right back, scoring at 6:19. Brian Holland gained control of the puck on a defensive turnover. Taking a wrist shot from high between the circles, Holland beat Cinnaminson goalie Greg Vizzacco high to the glove side for the 1-1 tie. The Lancers struck again while on a power play. Controlling the puck in the offensive zone, Paul Granther got the puck to John Marino at the left point, Marino fired a slap shot on net. Phil Cordivari redirected the puck over the Pirates netminder's shoulder for a 2-1 Holy Cross lead. Seeming to keep pace, Cinnaminson tied the score just 21 seconds later. With the puck in the Pirates' offensive zone, Tracey Herman passed to Brian Rafter. Rafter, crossing the slot from right to left, beat the Lancer goalie on a wrist shot to tie the score at 2-2.
The excitement continued in the second period. At 13:45, Holy Cross went up 3-2. Frank Lapore passed to John Clark at the top of the right circle. Clark snapped a wrist shot high to the glove side of Pirates' goalie Vizzacco. Holy Cross extended their lead midway through the period. Controlling the puck, Steve DiNoia passed to Phil Cordivari. Getting around the defense at the top of the circles, Cordivari scored on a high wrist shot for a 4-2 Lancer lead. Cinnaminson cut the lead to 4-3 on a Brian Thielking tip in off a Bob Frick shot from the left circle. Jaakko Ojanen picked up an assist on the play. With 1:11 remaining, Cinnaminson knotted the score at 4-4. Brian Rafter got the puck to Steve Parent at the right point, with Parent taking the shot on net. Waiting at the crease, Tom Woods knocked home the rebound for the 4-4 tie.
With the game on the line to start the third period, both teams kicked up the intensity level a couple of notches. Cinnaminson scored first to take a 5-4 lead at 8:44. Steve Parent skated down left wing across the blue line. Ripping a slap shot from the top of the circle. Parent scored through the five hole as R. Feigenbutz was dropping to his knees. Getting right back into the game, Holy Cross tied the score a minute later. John Zdrojewski took a shot from the right slot. Phil Cordivari scored on the rebound from the left side of the crease. Scott Parker also picked up an assist on the play. With half the period to play, and a possible top seeding in Tier 2, it was a matter of who wanted it more. At the 6:12 mark, Holy Cross committed a fatal mistake, drawing a penalty. Just 45 seconds into the power play, the Pirates drew blood, scoring to take the lead for good. With 5:29 remaining in the game, Jaakko Ojanen got the puck to Bill DeVece. Getting past the defense, DeVece skated down the slot and scored on a high wrist shot. The Pirates extended the lead at 4:24 of the third. Tom Wood scored from the point to give Cinnaminson the 7-5 and the victory.
With the win, Cinnaminson moved into first place of Tier 2 of the South Jersey High School Ice Hockey League. A Shawnee loss on Friday February 12 would secure first place and a birth in the Flyers Cup Tournament.
Shots On Goal: Cinnaminson 41 - Holy Cross 30
Photos by Gary Finigan
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