Conestoga eliminates CB East from Cup play, moves on to championship game.

April 2, 1987

Conestoga and Malvern Prep advanced this week to the championship game of the Flyers Cup scholastic ice hockey tournament. In what could be labeled the Showdown in Havertown II, the game, to be held at 8 tonight at the Skatium, will mark the second straight year the two teams have faced each other in the finals for the cup. Malvern will try to avenge last year’s final round loss to Conestoga, in addition to a 4-2 upset by the Pioneers in the tournament last week that marred Malvern’s previously undefeated record of 21-0. Malvern coasted into the final round with a 10-3 victory over William Tennent on Tuesday night, while Conestoga edged its way in with a come from behind 6-5 overtime win over Central Bucks East the previous night. In the Monday night contest, Central Bucks East surprised Conestoga by jumping to a 3-0 lead in the game’s first four minutes of play. A goal by Geordie Shaw, assisted by Ross Cowan, later in the period narrowed the margin to 3-1, and an early second period goal by Cowan made it a 3-2 game. East came back with two more goals before the period was out to regain its 3-goal lead at 5-2, out shooting the Pioneers 17-15 after the two periods. But skating primarily with just eight players, the Blazers began to tire in the third period, while Conestoga’s offensive game finally came alive. The Pioneers challenged East goaltender Mark Richards with 18 shots in the final period, scoring three times in the game’s last 10 minutes of regulation play. Conestoga’s 3 goals came from John Schelsy, Cowan and Don McEwan, who deflected an Al Lutz slap shot into the net with just 12 seconds remaining in the contest to send it into overtime at 5-5. The two teams played 29 minutes into overtime before Cowan scored the winning goal, redirecting a shot by John Parisi for the game winner and a spot in the finals. Central Bucks East goaltender Mark Richards had 56 saves in the contest, while goalie Scott Graham recorded 34 saves for the Pioneers. “We had a little bit of luck, but the kids worked real hard,” Conestoga coach Taylor Railton said. “There was no tomorrow, and they just didn’t want to lose. They honestly thought they could score those three goals [to tie it], and they didn’t give up.”

Tennent’s Shaw sees almost 50 shots in semi-final

In the Malvern game the next night, the Friars had a similar scare when they fell behind 3-1 in the opening period. Chic Kelly scored 38 seconds into the contest to give Malvern a 1-0 lead, but defensive mistakes led to three Tennent goals that forced Malvern to reorganize its style of play. “We were too tight, too tentative and unable to unwind,” Friars coach Tom Egan said. “We knew rather quickly we could skate with them; we just had to run at them and get the defense to calm down.” A goal by Steve Kinsley with a little over a minute left in the period made the score 3-2 and seemed, to give the Friars a needed lift. In the second period, Malvern shut down Tennent’s offense, while defenseman Jim Moore scored a pair of goals to push the Friars into a 4-3 lead. Goals by Matt Lannen and Kelly before the period ended gave the Friars a three-goal advantage at 6-3. Malvern duplicated its second period effort with four goals in the final period, holding Tennent scoreless and to a game total of 18 shots on net. Kelly completed a hat trick, Kinsley netted his second of the night, and goals were scored by Jeff Spencer and Jeff McHugh, making the final score 10-3. Egan is more than happy to be facing Conestoga in a repeat of last year’s cup final. “They took us out of it last year,” the coach said. “We’ve got a lot to prove, and Thursday is the game we’ve been waiting for.”

CREDIT: The Philadelphia Inquirer

By David T. Shaw