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High School Ice Hockey:
Township Wins JVB SJHSIHL Championship

Friday, Feb. 27, 1998

By Rick Murro
SJSports Special Correspondent

In what was probably one of the finest games played all season, the Washington Township JVB Ice Hockey team defeated West Deptford for the South Jersey High School Ice Hockey League Championship. The game started out to the fever pitch of a pumped up crowd at the Twin Rinks of Pennsauken. Parents and fans from each club crowded the stands and the upper lounge to witness a fabulous hockey game played by the two best teams in the league.

Division Champion Township came into the contest seeded number 1 with a league record of 11 - 2 - 1. West Deptford came in seeded number 2 with a league record of 9-3-2. Both of these clubs lived up to their ranking.

This was a fine game from start to finish that saw a scoreless first period with tight checking and furious skating from both squads. In the second period West Deptford got on the board first with a goal by McGovern unassisted at 1:42. Township started to press with relentless forechecking, taking shot after shot only to be frustrated by a steadfast West Deptford goalie. But at 8:44 of the second period Township's efforts paid off with Mike Mazzica scoring to tie the game, with the assist going to Eric Ricacho. In the third period the tension was high, each team fought furiously for the advantage that would put the game away. With only 29 seconds gone in the third, West Deptford's Jack Muff scored their second goal of the evening to go up 2 - 1. Township did not let the quick score get them down, this JVB squad showed the determination and character they displayed all year long and fought back to tie the game at 2 on a goal by Bob Day with the assist from Jim Procopio. Everyone in the Rink was on pins and needles as the third period wound down to the final minutes. Then with less than 2 minutes left in regulation, Dan Fratantoro worked the puck away from a West Deptford player and fed it up to Eric Marano. Eric skated in on the surprised West Deptford goalie and scored on a beautiful backhanded shot to put Township up 3 - 2 and give them the title. Washington Township goaltender Mark Buckalew recorded the win with a great outing in net.

Congratulations to head coach Steve Brown, assistant Joe Pelle and the entire Washington Township JVB team on a great Championship victory.

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