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Conestoga goalie Scot McComas makes a save.

March 24, 1985

What a wild and exciting time it was in the world of area scholastic ice hockey last week. The week, which started with the end of the various leagues’ playoffs and ended with the start of the Flyers Cup, featured the crowning of three league playoff champions. The Eastern High School Hockey League (EHSHL) began the championship series of its postseason play- offs last Monday at the Skatium in Havertown with Malvern Prep and Haverford High playing the opening game of a best-of-three series. The Malvern Friars entered the game as undefeated regular-season champs. Haverford High, mean- while, arrived as the league’s runner-up and also held the distinction of being the only team to tie the Friars this season. The Malvern skaters were the favorites, if only by a slight margin. However, the Fords outplayed Malvern Prep at both ends of the ice. And they not only defeated the favored Friars, but they also shut them out, 5-0. Mike Leen scored a pair of goals for Haverford High, and the other three goals were registered by Doug Foery. The goalkeeper responsible for the whitewash was Jay Robinson. Robinson “played his best and biggest game all season,” remarked Haverford High coach Scott Mason.

The next game of the series was the following night, and bad news accompanied the Fords. Their offense had been set back in Monday’s game when Doug Foery dislocated his elbow. The next bit of bad news for the Haverford High coach came a half hour before Game Two of the series when he was informed that his goalie, Robinson, was bed ridden with a 36-hour virus. Robinson’s absence forced Mason to go with highly untested goalie Paul Maleski, who had been brought up from the junior varsity “in case of an emergency.” Obviously, the Friars entered the game with visions of ripping it open early, and it appeared as if they were going to make their dreams come true. Just 43 seconds had ticked off the Skatium scoreboard clock and the Friars were already on top, 2-0, on goals by Matt Lannen and Tom Scarpato. Later in the first period, Lannen tallied a power play goal to lift the Friars’ lead to 3-0. In the middle period, the Fords gathered their forces and mounted at counterattack. Geoff Skidmore scored Haverford High’s first goal, and then Joe Moran banged one home to cut the deficit to one. Before the period ended, Moran scored again to bring the game to a 3-3 deadlock. Moran kept up the hot hand in the third period and scored his third straight goal to give himself a natural hat trick and his team a 4-3 lead. The Friars refused to fold and, with slightly more than 2 minutes remaining in regulation, got the equalizer from Steve Kinsley. The score remained 4-4 at the end of regulation, forcing the contest into sudden-death overtime. At 1:51 of the overtime period, Haverford High became the EHSHL champions when the game-winning goal slid past Malvern Prep goalkeeper John Ettore. The goal-scorer? Joe Moran. “We knew we had to play the best game of our lives, and we did,” said Moran. In the playoffs of the other leagues last week, Cherry Hill East eliminated Council Rock in the Suburban High School Hockey League (SHSHL) finals, and Archbishop Ryan captured the Lower Bucks County Scholastic Hockey League (LBCSHL) playoffs, besting Pennsbury and Bishop Egan.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is davidberkowitz.jpgThe Raiders’ opening-round opponent Friday was Conestoga, the undefeated regular-season and playoff champion of the Intercounty Scholastic Hockey League (ICSHL). Conestoga was eager to win, and that’s exactly what they did, by a score of 7-2. Less than a minute of playing time had elapsed and they already had a 1-0 lead thanks to a goal by David Smink. Two minutes later Smink assisted on a goal by Chip Graham. Midway through the initial period, Joby Bray and Bill Railton scored goals for Conestoga just 17 seconds apart. The Ryan Raiders got a lone goal from Ray Matz a half-minute later to put a temporary halt to their skid. The middle period was a standoff with each team scoring once. Smink was Conestoga’s goal scorer in the second period. The Conestoga skaters took a 5-2 lead into the final period and then built on it. They picked up a pair of power-play goals in the final period, both assisted by Scott Cowan and both scored by Chris Cummings. “The key tonight was forechecking.” said Conestoga general manager-coach John Titus. “We out shot them by a big margin, 48-17.” The nightcap in the Flyers Cup opening-night doubleheader was a real thriller. The Cougars of Cherry Hill East and the Fords of Haverford High treated the fans to a hard hitting, well-played 50 minutes and 37 seconds of ice hockey. The Haverford fans got the biggest treat, however, because their team won. Haverford’s Jordy Blum scored the only goal of the first period and then the Cougars went ahead 2-1 in the middle period on goals by Todd Lehr and Jamie Leach. The third period was less than a minute old when Mike Leen scored the equalizer for the Fords. One minute later, Cherry Hill East regained the lead on a goal by Ken Hoffman, but the Fords came right back less than 2 minutes later with the tying goal from Joe Moran. At the conclusion of regulation, it was still a 4-4 game. But fatigue and the Fords spelled doom for the Cougars. At 5:37, Mike Leen scored to give Haverford a 5-4 win and a date with Conestoga tonight at the Skatium in the second round of the Flyers Cup competition.

CREDIT: The Philadelphia Inquirer
Denny Dyroff – Special to the Inquirer