High School Ice Hockey:
Monday, February 22, 1999
By Gary Finigan
SJHSIHL playoff action at the Twin Rinks pitted the host Lenape Indians against rival Shawnee Renegades. Rick Salvador picked up both goals for the Indians with Jon Schnepf picking up assists on both. Renegades' goaltender Charles Rodrigo put in a fine effort between the pipes, facing 41 shots and allowing only 2 goals.
The game started off with Lenape, a Tier 1 team, taking the game to Tier 2 Shawnee. The Indians were able to move into the offensive zone and set up. Moving the puck around the zone, Lenape was able to generate excellent shots on net. Renegade goalie Charles Rodrigo was up to the task, stopping the Indians on several scoring opportunities. The early Lenape offensive push took Shawnee out of their game. Midway through the period, the game moved more to center ice action. The teams exchanged rushes through the remainder of the period, with the Indians holding the edge. Shawnee was just not able to set up the offense to create scoring chances, with credit going to a strong Lenape defense. The first period was relatively penalty free with each team drawing one minor. The period ended in a 0-0 deadlock.
Second period action continued with Lenape generating its offensive game seemingly at will. The scoring chances were there, but Rodrigo continued to stonewall the Indians, keeping the game scoreless. Shawnee still seemed unable to get the offense in gear. By the end of the second period, the shots on net were an indicator of the games direction. Lenape held a commanding 26-9 advantage. The lone penalty of the period was a minor issued to the Renegades early in the period. As in the first period, the second period ended knotted at 0-0.
With the Indians dominating the game to start the third, something was bound to break their way. It did, just 1:12 seconds into the period. With both teams in the process of line changes, Lenape's Rick Salvador took a pass from Jeremy Reed at center ice. Skating in on a breakaway , Salvador faked goalie Rodrigo to the right. Salvador switched the puck to his back hand and moved left. With Charles Rodrigo out of position, Rick Salvador scored on a backhander into a wide open net. The second assist on the goal was awarded to Jon Schnepf.
At this point in the game, the officiating became a factor. Having called only 3 penalties to this point, the referee called 11 in the final 13 minutes. The Indians took advantage of the power play opportunities. With Shawnee drawing 10 of the 11 penalties, Lenape was able to push the lead to 2-0. On a two man advantage, the Indians scored at the 5:42 mark. Jon Schnepf passed the puck from the right point into the slot. Jeff Bagnoli controlled the pass, putting a shot on net from the right slot. Renegades goalie Rodrigo made the stop, but the rebound went to a waiting Rick Salvador on the left side of the net. Salvador rammed home the rebound for his second tally. The Indians held the lead to close the game out, with credit for the shutout going to Lenape goaltender Sean Sheehan.
With the victory, the Lenape Indians moved on to the semi finals of the South Jersey High School Ice Hockey League playoffs.
Photos by Gary Finigan
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