Mark Sakers stops Bonner attack

April 9, 1990

HAVERTOWN, PA. April 9 has been circled in red on William Tennent coach Joe Paul’s calendar ever since the 1989-90 scholastic ice hockey season began. And tonight, at 7:45 at the Skatium in Havertown, will be the game that determines whether William Tennent will be able to retain its Flyers Cup championship. The Panthers will face Malvern Prep for the prestigious title. “I feel a little like Babe Ruth when he pointed to the stands in the World Series and said he was going to hit a home run,” Paul said. “I have been saying ever since the season began that our goal was to win the Flyers Cup. “I had an extremely talented team coming back, and I really thought the only goal we should have was to win the Cup again. The kids are excited about it, and I think they have played this game in their heads at least 10 times. I have 13 seniors on this team, and this game means the world to them. We’re here to win this game, not just play in the game.” Tennent won the Suburban High School Hockey League title and earned its berth in the title game by defeating Monsignor Bonner, 5-4, in a thrilling game last Tuesday. Malvern Prep, the

Eastern Hockey League champion, reached the title game by gaining victories over Central Bucks (9-3) on Monday and Bonner (4-3) on Thursday.
“Playing Malvern is like looking into the mirror,” Paul said. “Both of us play wide-open hockey, and the difference in the game looks to be about a goal. I wouldn’t be surprised if the score was 10-9 or 1-0. It should be a great, great hockey game.” Paul said the Panthers and Friars have equal offensive power. He said that Malvern’s defensemen might be a little stronger, but that Tennent goalie Tim Caum was a bit better than the Priars’ Chris Dempsey. “I heard on radio that Bob Martin, the Malvern coach, said that Tennent has to be favored,” Paul said. “That’s a nice compliment, but we have to go out on the ice and win the game. Both of us have good teams, and I really think it’s going to be a one-goal hockey game either way.” The Tennent attack has featured an explosive goal-scoring line. Seniors Mike Lang, Lance LaTare and Paul Gregg have been awesome all season. “I had some doubts late in the third period that we weren’t going to make it, but there was

never a doubt on the bench among the players,” Paul said. “We were down, 4-3, late in the game, and I just sent out Lang. LaTare and Gregg for one last shot at them.” Gregg scored the game-tying goal with just 1 minute, 45 seconds left in the game when he poked in a rebound off a bullet shot by Lang. Gregg then scored 21 seconds later on another rebound effort, this coming off a blast from the point by LaTare. “Lance LaTare was not going to be denied,” Paul said. “We fell behind, but he just wouldn’t quit. And he didn’t let the other kids quit either.” Tennent had taken the lead in the first period on a goal by Mark Hewitt, but Bonner scored two goals to take a 2-1 lead after the first 15 minutes. Bonner scored first in the second period to lead, 3-1, before LaTare scored to make it 3-2. Bonner scored again and led, 4-2, but LaTare scored his second goal of the second period to send the game into the final period with Bonner holding a 4-3 lead, and it was this version of Lethal Weapon 3 that helped the Panthers get to the title game in the huge victory over Monsignor Bonner.

By Scott Huff
Special to the Philadelphia Inquirer