April 2, 1996

The finalists in the Class AAA Flyers Cup tournament, two-time defending champions Germantown Academy and La Salle, cruised to regular-season championships in their respective leagues. The Patriots of Germantown Academy went 18-0 en route to the Suburban High School Hockey League title, and the Explorers went 16-0 on the way to the Inter-County Scholastic Hockey League AAA Division crown. The squads, however, marched to championships in contrasting styles. Though it has capable scorers in junior winger Scott Seltzer and sophomore winger Kyle Neary, GA has thrived on defense. Senior Tony Mauriello and sophomore Danny McDonald excel at bumping opponents off the puck, and junior goalie Sam Weiner, although he struggled at times this season, rarely allows an easy goal. La Salle, meanwhile, has flourished with a free-wheeling, up-tempo style that keeps the scoreboard operator busy. Senior center Brian Curci, freshman winger Tyler Kolarik, and junior winger Casey Schafer form a line that routinely produced 10 or more goals against ICSHL foes. That being the case, the outcome of the best-of-three Flyers Cup championship series which began last night and will resume at 8 tonight at the Skatium in Havertown likely will

hinge on which team can dictate the style of play. GA would prefer a series dominated by low-scoring, tightly defended games. La Salle, on the other hand, would like to see each game break out into a scoring fest. “La Salle is an end-to-end type of team,” GA coach John Ioia said. “We can’t allow their forwards to pick up the puck in the defensive zone and go unmolested down the ice.” Neary scored two goals and Seltzer added another as the Patriots downed Conwell-Egan, 3-1, to reach the championship round. The Explorers overwhelmed Washington Township (N.J.), 13-4, to advance to the finals for the first time in school history. “La Salle has four or five good forwards,” Ioia said. “They have Curci, the Farrell brothers [senior Mike and sophomore Bob)…. If you let them loose, they will burn you.” GA and La Salle met twice this season. The Explorers outlasted the Patriots, 8-6, on Dec, 20, and the teams played to a 3-3 tie Feb. 17. Game 3, if necessary, would be played at 8 tomorrow night at Ice Line in West Goshen Township. The winner of the series will play the Penguins Cup winner for the Class AAA state championship Saturday in Johnstown.

Central Bucks East. The Blazers came up a goal short Thursday in the championship game of the Class AA President’s Cup tournament. Upper Darby scored with 5 minutes, 15 seconds remaining in overtime to post a 3-2 victory and advance to Saturday’s state championship. “We had some good chances all throughout the game to get goal No. 3, but we just couldn’t get it,” East coach Andy Richards said. Penn State-bound Eric Kirlin, a senior forward-defenseman, netted both of East’s goals. He scored on a power play and with the teams at equal strength. Freshman winger-center Justin Catto scored at 2:42 of overtime as the Blazers nipped Father Judge, 3- 2, Tuesday in a semifinal game. “It was a great experience, especially for the younger kids, to get this far,” Richards said.

Conwell-Egan. The Eagles saw a successful season come to a close in Wednesday’s 3-1 loss to Germantown Academy. Coach Rich Slack’s squad had swept regular-season champion Archbishop Ryan, 2-0, in the Lower Bucks County Hockey League championship series and won two games -beating Eastern of Voorhees, N.J., and Council Rock to reach the semifinals of the Flyers Cup tournament for the first time in school history.”The kids had a good ride this year,” said Slack, whose Eagles went 19-2 and finished second in the regular season. “They came a long way from the beginning of the season and took the next step in the post-season.” Conwell-Egan finished third in LBCHL action last season and went on to win the Class AA state title.

Bensalem. The Owls bowed to St. Pius X, 8-5, Wednesday at the Skatium in the Class A Director’s Cup championship game. The Winged Lions, of the ICSHL A Division, jumped to a 4-0 advantage in the first period, but Bensalem rallied to make it a 5-5 game early in the third. “We had the momentum on our side at that point,” Owls coach Bill Hood said, “but they came right back and scored the go-ahead goal. That seemed to take the wind out of our sails.” Senior winger Scott Rongione and sophomore winger Randy Rongione each scored two goals to lead the losers. Senior center Andy Borowsky accounted for the squad’s other goal. The Owls posted a 7-11-3 record during the regular season and finished fifth in the LBCHL standings. They were swept by Archbishop Ryan, 2-0, in the playoff semifinals. “We were a better team than what we showed this year,” Hood said.

By Rick O’Brien
The Philadelphia Inquirer