|High School Ice Hockey:
An Emotional Cherokee will meet Township in Finals
Sunday, March 6, 2005
By Mike Costantino
Washington Township and Cherokee will meet on Monday night at 7:30 at Hollydell in the championship round of the SJHSIHL Tournament. Cherokee has been playing their best hockey in the last few games and is riding an emotional high. While Township, having gone through the double elimination tournament as the only undefeated team, need to win on Monday to be crowned champions. Cherokee needs to win Monday to force a second game on Wednesday night at Voorhees. The teams met earlier in the tournament with Township winning 4-2. In that contest Cherokee managed only 21 shots in the penalty filled game as the teams split 20 infractions.
Township seems to have more depth than Cherokee, but the line of Lou Sarcone, Patrick McMahon and Justin Kinniry are dominating each shift they are on the ice. The speed of Chris Keyser and the play making ability of Fred Brewer provide an awesome one-two punch for Township. Matt Corvino has played solid in nets for Township, as has Bobby Casolaro for Cherokee. The question is will Coach Rumbus go back to Casolaro after pulling him against Moorestown? Probably, but how much is his confidence shaken? Cherokee needs to stay out of the penalty box, and also survive the first five minutes as Township, in their home building will come out flying and try and jump out early.
Watching Cherokee this last week I sense a commitment to do whatever it takes to honor the memory of their former teammate, Jeff Burd, who passed away from meningitis last year. Each game his jersey is hung on the wall behind the bench and this senior laden team is on a mission. Can Township overcome that emotional high?