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High School Ice Hockey:
Township Clinches 1st Place With Win Over Eastern

Friday, February 4, 2000

By Mike Costantino
SJSports Staff Writer

Washington Township clinched first place by defeating Eastern 6-4 in the final regular season game for both teams, in a game played on Friday night at Hollydell. Township won this game the way they have won most of their games this season, with Coach Harrington using three lines and getting contributions from everyone, as five different players scored goals. Coming into the game Harrington said, "Both teams are playing well and Eastern seems to be peaking, but we know what is at stake and my players will respond."

And respond they did, as they scored two goals in the first fifty-three seconds of the game. The first on Eric Marano with a feed from Joe Gori and Mike Schauffle. Then Buddy Anderson on a slap shot from the point on a screen set up in front and all of a sudden it was 2-0. At the ten-minute mark with Eastern failing to clear the zone thanks to a good keep by Chris Andrews, Derek Poletis made it 3-0. Eastern had a chance to break through with a two-man advantage for over a minute, but solid defense and strong goaltending by Kevin Ciccone kept them off the board.

Dave Warrington and Adam Esfahani both scored early in the second period to bring Eastern to within 1 at 3-2. But Billy Verdecchio and Gori scored late in the second period and Township had its three-goal lead back at 5-2. Verdecchio scored early in the third to make it 6-2. Late goals by Mike Becker and John Schellenhammer brought Eastern to 6-4, but they just ran out of time. Winning the division makes Township the favorite to win their first championship since 1996.

Photos by Art Redd

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