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High School Ice Hockey:
Double OT Win has Township Thinking Repeat

Monday, February 19, 2007

By Mike Costantino
SJSports Staff Writer

TJ DiSpaldo scored with just over three minutes remaining in the second overtime as Washington Township defeated Shawnee 4-3 and moved to within one victory of repeating as league champions. In a game that had as much drama as you could ask for, as Township score the tying goal with eleven seconds left in regulation to force overtime and then controlled both overtime periods after snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. Both teams started out tentative as no one wanted to make the first mistake, Shawnee had the most opportunities as Township was called for the first four penalties of the game. Ryan Wesley scored the only goal for Shawnee as they led 1-0 after one period.

Township tied the game at 1-1 early in the second period capitalizing on their first power play opportunity as Christian Biscardi got the equalizer. Both teams got outstanding saves from both goalies as Paul Gray and Joe Scafisi were on their game and we went to the third period tied. Most experts expected Township with their senior leadership to control the third period as Shawnee is a young team dominated by under classmen. But they controlled play for much of the period launching 16 shots. After Jared Emmet put Township ahead 2-1 at the nine minute mark, Shawnee came right back as Chris Caz scored on a blast from the point to tie the game at 2-2. After Scafisi stoned Connor Dragone on a breakaway with three minutes left in regulation, Ryan Wesley put Shawnee ahead scoring with just under ninety seconds left and it looked as if Shawnee was moving into the championship game. But with eleven seconds left and a man advantage and an empty net, Christian Fleagle put home a rebound to tie the game at 3-3. After a scoreless first overtime, Township kept the pressure on and with DiSpaldo’s goal has the luxury of resting until next Wednesday.

Notes: Shawnee despite a 16-1-1 record must now win 4 games in order to be the champion, a tall order for this young team, but not impossible.

Photos by Art Redd

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