March 21, 1997

Some special stickhandling led to Conestoga High’s first Flyers Cup berth since 1989, and that was before the Pioneers even skated onto the ice. Conestoga qualified for the tournament by beating regular-season champion Unionville, 4-1, last Fri- day in the Inter-County Scholastic Hockey League’s Class AA playoff final at Ice Line. The Pioneers (16-2 league) had lost to Unionville (18-1) seven straight times, but history was on their side. Ice Line, near West Chester, houses the stick signed by Conestoga’s 1985 state championship team, and coach Mike Stagnaro and his staff had taken it into the locker room for inspiration before the game. Stagnaro and assistants Tony Parisi and Scott Cowan played on that 1985 squad, which also defeated Unionville to make the Flyers Cup Their coach then, Bob Anderson, is now an assistant with the program.”I didn’t know what their reaction would be,” Stagnaro said of his play. ers. “Their eyes lit up. Some of them took their gloves off and touched the stick. It was quite a moment in the locker room. It was an amazing situation.” Mike Graves gave the Pioneers a 1-0 lead in the first period. The lead was 2-1 after scores by Conestoga’s Dave Vanderkyle and Unionville’s Paul Donato. After the Indians pulled their goalie late in the game, Paul Schus- ter and Phil Cottone scored the Pio- neers’ last two goals. Goalie Greg Feiner made save after save for Con- estoga, and forward Jesse Cary won face-off after face-off.”It was the biggest win by far,” Graves said. “It was amazing.” “It was a tremendous game,” Un- ionville coach George DeDonato said. “They played the toughest game they’ve played against us. They beat us fair and square.” Conestoga opened Flyers Cup play Wednesday night with a 6-2 victory over Episcopal Academy (26-1) at Ice Line. The next game is scheduled for

Monday against the winner of the Bensalem-Cherry Hill East game, which was played last night.

Lightning strikes. Cardinal O’Hara showed it could score quickly, but Malvern Prep proved it could score quickly and often. The Friars struck for four goals within 1 minute, 50 seconds in the second period of Monday’s 6-2 victory over O’Hara in the first round of the Flyers Cup Class AAA tournament. “We just dominated for a couple of minutes,” Malvern coach John Graves said. “We have a lot of scoring power.” O’Hara opened the scoring after just 48 seconds with Kevin Audit’s goal. Malvern (35-1) responded in the second with one goal by Chris Mavromates and two apiece by Ja- red Ingersoll and Igor Četl. Audit scored again for the Lions, while Tom Jacob added a goal in the third for the Friars. Malvern goalie Jeff Furchak stopped 22 of 24 shots. Next for the Friars is Monday’s second-round game against the winner of last night’s matchup between Monsignor Bonner and Boyertown.

The right choice. Marple Newtown senior Nick Travaglini showed why he was named the Eastern League’s Class A most valuable player.
In the Tigers’ 2-1 league championship victory over the Haverford School at the Skatium in Havertown Township on March 13, Travaglini scored both of his team’s goals. Marple (10-8-2) opened Flyers Cup play Tuesday night with a 4-2 victory over St. Pius X at the Skatium. “The kids really look for him to lead the way,” Marple coach Jeff Doyle said of Travaglini. Winning goalie Josh Jacquette was named the league’s Class A goal-tender of the year. The coach of the year was Prescott Huidekoper of the Haverford School (8-8-3). John Bollinger scored the Fords’ goal, while Taylor Hallowell turned in

another strong performance in the net.

Chasing the Churchmen. Before losing on Wednesday, previously undefeated Episcopal Academy hadn’t trailed much this season. Still, the Churchmen proved they could come from behind in last Fri- day’s 4-2 win over Ridley for the Eastern League’s Class AA Flyers Cup berth. “It was an excellent game,” Ridley coach Ryan Clark said. “I think we ran up against somebody who was a superior talent. It wasn’t anything we did wrong.”

Henderson hustle. One of the goals deflected off the referee and onto the stick of an opponent. It was that kind of game for West Chester Henderson, which lost, 7-1, to La Salle in last Friday’s Inter-County Class AAA game at Ice Line. “We didn’t play poorly as much as they came out hard,” Henderson coach Pat Ferrill said. “The best thing about our guys is nobody quit.”
The Warriors (16-7-2) trailed by 4- 0 after the first period and 6-0 with 10:49 left in the second. But after Ferrill called a time-out, the teams played evenly over the game’s final 25 minutes. Another indication of Henderson’s luck was that its only goal was scored by forward Eric Cotugno, a freshman who will be moving to Houston over the Easter break.

By Ira Josephs
Philadelphia Inquirer Correspondent