Haverford players converge on Ford’s goalie, Jason Hazelton

March 25, 2006


Haverford High earned a return trip to the state scholastic ice hockey championships after winning its second straight Flyers Cup AA championship with a 4-0 win over Central Bucks South last night. Sophomore T.J. Haeberle scored a pair of goals to lead the Fords to victory at Hatfield Ice in Hatfield Township. The Fords, who raised their record to 28-5-2, move on to the state championships against the Penguins Cup champions from Western Pennsylvania, at Robert Morris University Island Sports Center on Neville Island on April 8. Haeberle’s first goal the only one his team would need came with 4 minutes, 50 seconds left in the first period on an assist from senior Ian Finnerty. Finnerty, named the Flyers Cup Class AA MVP, finished as the leading scorer in the four-game series, with three goals and five assists for 10 points. Fords coach Brian Cleary had stressed the importance of getting a jump on the Titans (22-6), who were playing in their second Flyers Cup competition. They beat Downingtown East to reach the finals. “We were lucky to get that first goal,” Cleary said. “Then we played well with the lead against a high-powered offense. We were able to shut them down offensively.” Haeberle’s second goal came in the second period with 8:43 left. The Fords boasted a 17-7 edge in shots through the first two periods and finished with a 22-13 advantage for the game. Cleary said the Fords had a chance to observe the Titans in their semifinal win over East. He felt it paid off. “We knew it would be a struggle, so that’s why it was so important to get that first goal,” Cleary added. The Fords were forced to skate short-handed for the final 1:44 of the opening period when defender Mike Lowry was sent off the ice for tripping. But the Titans couldn’t take advantage of the situation. Trailing by just 1-0 at that point, the Titans weren’t able to get off a solid shot. “The [Central Bucks South] crowd was going crazy so I wanted to settle them down,” Haeberle said of his first goal. “Then we wanted to get as many goals as we could.”

Finnerty sent the puck around behind the net to set up Haeberle for the first goal. Haeberle said the Fords’ hope now is to improve on their showing at the state championship last year; they lost to Hershey in the single-elimination tournament. “I told my players I wanted them to play without fear,” said Titans coach Scott Reuter. “We have a lot of young people and sometimes they don’t start that well. We didn’t support the puck and we didn’t play as physical as I thought we should.”

Central Bucks South…..0-0-0–0
Haverford High………….1-1-2–4
Goals: H-T.J. Haeberle 2, Steve Karpinski, Jim Hazelton.
Goalies: H-Jason Hazelton, CBS-Vinnie Minisale

By Don Beideman
The Inquirer