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High School Ice Hockey:
Fights Overshadow Township JVA Championship Win

Sunday, March 7, 2004

By Mike Costantino
SJSports Staff Writer

Washington Township defeated Shawnee 8-2 and won the JVA Championship in the SJHSIHL. Billy Choy led Township with two goals and two assists, Alex Bickle scored both goals for Shawnee. Unfortunately the game deteriorated in the final moments with both teams taking fighting majors and in a show of sportsmanship or lack there of, erupted in an all out brawl during the handshake after the game had ended. Most hockey fans enjoy a fast paced, good checking, clean hitting game and occasionally a jostle between the enforcer on each team, but that game is played at the pro level, not in high school, let alone at the JV level.

First of all everyone wears a cage, which is made of metal. Why would you punch metal? Over the last few years the SJHSIHL as taken drastic measures to cut back on the fighting, mainly a two game suspension. For repeat offenders you jeopardize being kicked off your team. The league just completed a double elimination tournament, without many incidents, and none to the degree of what we witnessed on Sunday night.

In the Varsity championship game, Eastern vs. Cherokee two fierce rivals, Coach Rumbos spent 10 years with Eastern and knew going in it would be a clean game because Eastern doesn’t tolerate fighting. Those were Steve’s words not mine. As a fan, I was embarrassed and disgusted. I found myself wondering why do we have JV playoffs when the JV teams skate varsity players, and not third line players either. Having the memory of ending league play on such a sour note should make for a long off-season for the board of directors.

Notes: Also scoring for Township were David Moore, Dave Smetaniuk, Mike Rohach, Cameron Rowand, Rob Hniedziejko and Ryan Mara.

Photos by Joanne Costantino

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