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Middle School Ice Hockey:
Moorestown Middle School Celebrates St. Patrick's Day With A Championship

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

By Ron Schwinn
SJSports Special Correspondent

On Wednesday the Moorestown Ice Hockey Club's middle school team captured the club's first ever fall/winter season championship. The team finished the regular season 12-6-2, and the number two seed in the playoffs of the Flyers Skate Zone Middle School "B" Division. Their first opponent in the playoffs was rival Williamstown on Sunday March 7th. In an exciting contest, Moorestown won 2-1 as Issa Aji scored both goals. In addition, strong defensive play limited Williamstown to just 6 shots for the entire game.

With the win, Moorestown moved into the Championship game vs. Cherry Hill East to be played at the Wachovia Spectrum. These teams had met each other three times during the season going 1-1-1. This would be the rubber match. A large crowd of parents and supporters braved the foul weather and made the trip to South Philadelphia. After 4 seasons’ this was Coach Bill Miller's final game behind the bench with this group of players.

The first period of the game, was a defensive struggle with both teams feeling each other out and getting used to playing in the huge arena. The second period Issa Aji scored to put Moorestown ahead 1-0. That would be all the scoring until the final moments when Cherry Hill pulled their goalie for an extra skater and were able to slide the puck past goalie Craig Rushmore with just sixteen seconds remaining in regulation. With no further scoring, the teams played a three-minute sudden death overtime period. Despite good pressure, neither team scored and the teams were now faced with a shootout, arguably the most exciting part of hockey, and rarely seen. Briefly, each team first selects 5 players and each attempts to score on the goalie, on a breakaway. Whichever team scores the most goals is declared the winner.

Coach Miller and has assistants Mr. Lynch and Mr. McGinnis started with Aji and he responded as he buried a goal. Cherry Hill came right back tipping a shot past goalie Rushmore. Next, up Bryan Rudolph made a great move to draw out the goalie and his shot put Moorestown up 3-2. The pressure was squarely on Rushmore's shoulders as he stopped the next 3 attempts. Ben Smith, with a chance to clinch the title, took the puck at center ice and put a decisive move and shot past the Cherry Hill East goaltender. With that goal, Moorestown had won the Championship in a game that had everything that youth sports could ask for.

Notes: As we all know teams not individuals win championships, so congratulations to; Issa Aji, Shane Brennan, Jarrod Clark, Brian Ellison, Tyler Ems, Matt Frank, Alex Hashmi, Justin Kreifels, Tom Lynch, Alec Miller, Paul Nell, Matt Pietrafitta, Bryan Rudolph, Craig Rushmore, Ben Smith, Andrew Tieniber, Tyler Woyshner, Nate Zeidman, Coaches Bill Miller, Tom Lynch, Kevin Mc Ginnis, Manager Debbie Lynch and on ice assistants Pete Ellison & Ron Schwinn III.

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