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High School Ice Hockey:
Sterling Scores 3 In The 3rd To Beat Neumann

Sunday, February 6, 2000

By Mike Costantino
SJSports Staff Writer

Sterling rallied from a 4-3 deficit by scoring three goals in the last eight minutes of the game to defeat St. John Neumann 6-4 in a JVA game played at Hollydell on Sunday night. Looking at the standings, Neumann has had a tough season while Sterling has been near or on top most of the year. But tonight's game wasn't decided until the final four minutes. The only goal of the first period came with Neumann having a two-man advantage, and Brian Sciaffo firing a shot from the point and into the net for the 1-0 lead.

Sterling tied the game at 1-1 on an end-to-end rush by Mike Staszewski on a pass from goalie Steve Butler. Neumann took the lead when Sean McKinney sprung Chris Gagliardi and his breakaway goal made it 2-1. Just twenty-three seconds later, Joe Sauro tied the game for Sterling as Pat Billingsley fed him a pass from the corner. All Sauro had to do was tap it into the empty net. Sterling converted on the power play at the seven-minute mark as Sean Johnson, who would finish with a hat trick, one-timed a pass from Steve Schmidt and it was 3-2.

Carmen Juliano tied the score at 3-3 on the power play as we headed into the final period. Again, Neumann had a two-man advantage early on, and Mike Riccardi scored on a feed from Joe Granato and Gagliardi and it was 4-3. Back came Sterling as Johnson tied the game at 4-4. Then on the power play, Ryker walked in from the point and, from point blank range, gave Sterling the 5-4 lead. Johnson completed his hat trick with forty-four seconds left to complete the scoring at 6-4. With the continued strong play of McKinney and Galiardi, Neumann's future looks a whole lot brighter.

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