Friday, January 9, 2004
By Mike Costantino
Chris Keyser’s second goal of the game with less than four minutes remaining snapped a 4-4 tie as Washington Township defeated Cherry Hill East 5-4 at Hollydell in the first game for Township after the holiday break. Billy Choy added a goal and three assists and Fred Brewer added a goal and two assists. Reid Hlavka led the East attack with two goals. The first period was scoreless thanks in large part to Township goaltender Derek Anderson, who was tested on two odd-man rushes and one turnover in front of his own net. Choy opened the scoring as Keyser from the corner, fed him a perfect pass, that Choy just had to chip it in giving Township a 1-0 lead. Andrew Roth tied the game at 1-1 for East as he ripped a shot through a screen with about four minutes left in the second period. Township responded about one minute later, just as the first goal, except Choy, from the corner, fed Keyser and he put Township up 2-1. Then Matt Grossi put home a rebound of a shot by Choy in the period’s final seconds and Township led 3-1 heading into the last period.
East had a two-man advantage early in the third period and after killing off the first penalty, the big play coming with Anderson stoning Steve Smith from point blank range. Hlavka would then rip one home from the slot to bring East to within 3-2. Brewer got that one back about two minutes after intercepting a clearing pass. He skated in and his quick wrist shot restored the two-goal lead at 4-2. Smith then cut the lead to 4-3 as he picked off an errant pass and his slap shot found the back of the net. That goal seem to put a jump into the legs of the East players and less than two minutes later, Hlavka tied the game at 4-4 as he picked up the puck along the circle and his slap shot sent the East bench into a frenzy. Township responded on the power play, again from the corner, as Brewer threaded a pass through the defense to Keyser in the slot and his one-timer found the net and Township led 5-4. East pulled the goalie and had one good opportunity with seven seconds left as Andrew Rovnisky was in close but Anderson closed the door and preserved the 5-4 win for Township.
Notes: Township is now in second place and should finish no worse than second with Clearview’s loss to Williamstown. Both teams have 24 points, but Township has a game in hand and holds the tiebreaker with their win over Clearview earlier in the season. Township also was short-handed as they were missing four regulars due to suspensions.
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