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High School Ice Hockey:
Balco and Ferro Lead Depleted Paul VI

Friday, December 3, 2004

By Mike Costantino
SJSports Staff Writer

Times they are a changing, it use to be most boys would put sports ahead of girls, but anymore dances are taking precedent over games. Paul VI had their junior ring dance and only skated two lines, but thanks to Brett Balco and the leadership of Rich Ferro they had just enough to defeat Highland 4-1 in hockey action played at Hollydell. On a night when Highland goalie AJ Michalski was on his game stopping thirty-eight of forty-two shots, Paul VI was able to capitalize on the power play, scoring three times with the man advantage.

After a scoreless first period, one in which Michalski made several key saves including stoning Dustin Isbert twice from in close, Ferro put his team ahead 1-0 converting a pass from Balco in the slot. Moments later Ferro returned the favor as he found Balco along the side of the net and Paul VI led 2-0 converting both power play opportunities in the first five minutes of the period. Eric Lake returned to goal after missing his last game due to injury and played well, stopping 32 shots and losing his shut-out late in the game. Freshman Alex Kahn put Paul VI up 3-0 as his quick shot from the top of the circle beat Michalski to the long side. Erik Pollag converted a Balco feed with Paul VI enjoying a two-man-advantage with about six minutes left to make it 4-0. Mike Salvatore put Highland on the board with just over two minutes left to avoid the shut-out.

Notes: Highland, along with Timber Creek and Neumann are still looking for their first victory. Looking ahead on the schedule its possible two of these teams will have to wait until February of 2005 to taste their first win. Just another good reason to applaud the schedule makers.

Photos by Art Redd

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