|High School Ice Hockey:
Washington Township Looks Almost Perfect At Midway Point
Friday, December 29, 2000
By Mike Costantino
SJSports Staff Writer
With the high school ice hockey season enjoying a break through the holidays, its pretty clear that Washington Township has distinguished itself as the best team so far during the regular season. However, the championship is determined in a best of three finals and I don't think any team is ready to concede the trophy just yet. Especially Township's rival Clearview. The second half of the season opens with Township playing Clearview on January 5th . After being smoked in their first meeting, Clearview needs to have a strong showing to at least place some doubt in Townships' mind that you are not the champs until you beat the champs.
Having gone unbeaten so far at 9-0, Township had its toughest test against Cinnaminson, beating them in a high scoring affair, 9-7. Last year in the semi-finals Cinnaminson gave Township fits. Once again, this year Cinnaminson's size, physical play and strong goaltending will be needed. According to Coach Pontonio of Eastern, this Township team is the best he has ever seen in the SJHSIHL. They come at you with three solid lines, all fast and capable of scoring. If you look at the statistics, Township has three players in the top five of league leading scorers.
So what is their weakness? Just as in years past, they don't have great goaltending. As a matter of fact, they might have been more talented than Clearview last year. However Clearview got a strong performance from Wiesenbach and skated away with the title. This season, playing both Buckalew and Szechech, their team average in goals allowed is two per game. While neither has been spectacular, Township uses its speed to minimize scoring chances. Will it be enough? Probably...but Clearview, Eastern and Cinnaminson won't go quietly.