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High School Ice Hockey:
Paul VI Rallies Around the Lake

Friday, February 21, 2003

By Mike Costantino
SJSports Staff Writer

With a roster full of mostly underclassmen and facing elimination from the playoffs, Paul VI turned to a freshman to play in nets and delivered a solid performance as Paul VI defeated Cherokee II 5-3 in tournament action at Hollydell on Friday night. Eric Lake, playing in the biggest game of his young career, did not give up many rebounds and the defenseman kept the front of the net clear for the young net minder. Balanced scoring was another factor in the win as five different players scored. After spotting Cherokee a 1-0 lead on a bad-clearing pass that was picked off by Zack Sawyer and deposited into the net, Paul VI responded with some hard work.

Peter Antinore and Dan Chambers worked to keep the puck in the zone and with Rich Ferro camped on the doorstep, banged home the puck to tie the game at 1-1. Moments later, Cherokee responded as Matt Robbins spun around and blasted the puck from the left circle and beat Lake to give Cherokee a 2-1 lead. Paul VI would then score three goals in the last three minutes of the period to take control of the game. After Mike DiGennaro tied the game at 2-2 with a slap shot from the point, Antinore broke the tie on a feed from Chambers. Then with the clock winding down, Steve Wampler threw a pass from the corner to Joe Mancini who was in front of the net and his deflection put Paul VI up 4-2 heading into the second period.

The only goal of the second period came when Brett Balco on a great individual effort, circled the net and got off a quick shot. After the initial save was made, Balco stayed with the play and picked up the puck in the corner and rifled a pass to Dustin Isbert whose quick shot put Paul VI up 5-2. The best save of the period came with Cherokee on the power play. Doug Ferguson had the right corner picked out, but Lake flashed his glove to snare the shot and keep the game at 5-2. The only blemish for Lake came in the third period as he wandered from his net for a loose puck and inadvertently shot the puck out front. Cherokee’s Jason Maher had the whole net to shoot at and his gift goal made it 5-3. Cherokee failed to mount any more offense and Paul VI will play Holy Cross on Monday at 7:30 in Pensauken.

Photos by Mark Fletcher

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