March 19, 1998

Much was expected of the Conwell-Egan ice hockey team in this year’s Class AAA Flyers Cup tournament.
The Eagles entered Monday’s first-round matchup against Washington Township as the champion of the Lower Bucks County Scholastic Hockey League. They had dominated LBCSHL foes during the regular season, outscoring them by 189-48 and posting a 22-0-2 mark. After defeating Archbishop Ryan in the playoff semifinals and Bensalem in the championship series, Rich Slack’s squad seemed to have the goaltending, offensive firepower, and defensive muscle to make a run at its first Class AAA title. But Washington Township, the second-seeded team from the South Jersey Scholastic Ice Hockey League (SJSIHL), put a sooner-than-anticipated end to the Eagles’ otherwise successful season. The Minuteman had about eight minutes remaining in the third period and upset Conwell-Egan, 4-3, at the Grundy Recreation Center in Bristol Borough to advance to the quarterfinals. scored with “What can you say after you lose a game like that?” said Slack. “It’s not fun to get knocked out of the Flyers Cup so early, but you have to pack up your bags and look ahead to next season. “We hadn’t seen Washington Twp before, and they jumped all over us. It was obvious that they wanted the game more. They deserved to win it.”
Last season, the Eagles routed Washington Township, 8-2, in the opening round of the Class AAA Flyers Cup tournament before losing in the quarterfinals to Council Rock. Their best Class AAA showing was in 1996 when they advanced to the semifinals before losing

to the runner-up, Germantown Academy. Slack will lose the LBCSHL’s leading scorer, senior winger Dan Fox, to graduation. Fox had 47 goals and 30 assists during the regular season. The expected return of sophomore center Brian Tetley, junior winger Mike Delfin, junior defenseman Rob Bannon, and junior goalie Matt Cusanno should keep Conwell-Egan atop the LBCSHL standings in 1998-99. The Eagles claimed Class AA Flyers Cup titles in 1994 and ’95.

Late surge. Pennsbury scored all its goals in the third period and blanked Clearview, 4-0, Monday at Grundy in the first round of the Class A Flyers Cup tournament. “It took two periods to get us kick-started,” said Falcons coach John Bria. “I thought we were dominating play, but we couldn’t score. I have to credit our goalie [freshman John Zdunkiewicz] for keeping us in the game during the scoreless stretch.” Balanced scoring was another key for Pennsbury, as two players from its top line, senior wingers Scott Fyffe and Billy Farris, as well as two from its second line, junior wingers Matt McHale and Mike Watson, provided goals. “Clearview was a big team, but they weren’t as physical as I thought they would be,” said Bria, whose Falcons placed sixth in the LBCSHL and beat fifth-place Neshaminy, 4-1, in a one-game playoff to earn a Flyers Cup berth. Pennsbury won the Class A Flyers Cup championship in 1993. Clearview made its first appearance in the tournament.

Knights ousted. North Penn managed only one goal Tuesday against Father Judge and was eliminated, 3- 1, in a first-round Class AAA Flyers Cup game at the Face-Off Circle in Warminster. The Knights recorded only one shot on goal in the third period. “I told the kids before the game that we needed to play 45 minutes of solid hockey to beat Judge, but we couldn’t do that,” said coach Tony Mauriello. “I could tell right from the beginning that it wasn’t going to be one of our better games.” The Crusaders, runners-up to Conwell-Egan in the LBCSHL standings, scored on a power play in the first period and on an odd-man rush in the second. They tacked on an empty-netter in the final minute. North Penn’s Jon Kemp, a senior center, scored a power-play goal with 4 minutes, and 15 seconds remaining in the second period to cut Judge’s advantage to 2-1. Said Mauriello: “We accomplished what we set out do at the beginning of the season, which is to qualify for the Flyers Cup. I’m disappointed about what happened in this game, but, overall, I’m very proud of these kids.”

Knights ousted. North Penn managed only one goal Tuesday against Father Judge and was eliminated, 3- 1, in a first-round Class AAA Flyers Cup game at the Face-Off Circle in Warminster. The Knights recorded only one shot on goal in the third period. “I told the kids before the game that we needed to play 45 minutes of solid hockey to beat Judge, but we couldn’t do that,” said coach Tony Mauriello. “I could tell right from the beginning that it wasn’t going to be one of our better games.” The Crusaders, runners-up to Conwell-Egan in the LBCSHL standings, scored on a power play in the first period and on an odd-man rush in the second. They tacked on an empty-netter in the final minute.
North Penn’s Jon Kemp, a senior center, scored a power-play goal with 4 minutes, 15 seconds remaining in the second period to cut Judge’s advantage to 2-1. Said Mauriello: “We accomplished what we set out do at the beginning of the season, which is to qualify for the Flyers Cup. I’m disappointed about what happened in this game, but, overall, I’m very proud of these kids.”

Rams grab the lead. Sparked by sophomore goalie Nick Cordisco’s 24 saves, Pennridge posted a 3-1 win over Norristown last week in the opening game of a best-of-three series to decide which Suburban High School Hockey League team will qualify for the Class A Flyers Cup tournament. “It was a good back-and-forth game,” said Norristown coach Paul Saylor. “The difference was that their goalie absolutely stood on his head.” Freshman center Frank Kenny had the Eagles’ only tally. The winner of the Pennridge-Norristown series will face Pennsbury in a Class A semifinal at 7 p.m. Tues- day at Face-Off.

By Rick O’Brien
The Philadelphia Inquirer

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