April 25, 1979
One of the biggest upsets of the scholastic hockey year occurred at the Face Off Circle in Warminster when Malvern Prep, the third-place team in the Inter-County League during the season, shocked perennial Suburban League power William Tennent, 6-5, on Tuesday night.
But that startling development pales by comparison to what happened in the first game between Archbishop Carroll and Archbishop Ryan, particularly when the future of interleague play may hang in the balance. With less than a minute to go in the first game, a knock-down, drag out fight broke out between Ryan, the Lower Bucks League champions, and Carroll, the Inter-County champions.
It raged out of control for several minutes and, at one point, the coach of the Carroll team, Gary Vetre, did his impression of Woody Hayes and slugged a Ryan player. Carroll won the game, 7-1, but the bottom line is that five Patriot players have been suspended for the duration of the playoffs, severely depleting a team which was expected to take it all.
Carroll did not have a large squad to begin with, carrying 11 on the varsity squad and now will have to play Tennent with just six players suited up on Thursday night at 9:30 at the Lafayette skating Rink in King of Prussia. That is IF Carroll shows up. The Patriots pulled out of the tournament last year and threatened to pull out this year when the Eastern Regional schedule was adjusted to accommodate it. There is now serious doubt that the Patriots will show on Thursday against a Tennent team bent on avenging an off outing against Malvern Prep.
More importantly, the controversy that always seems to involve Carroll may have dulled the appetites of those advocates of interleague play. “They’re saying this is basically the end of interleague play,” Suburban Hockey League president Andy Richards said after discussing the situation with tournament officials. “I don’t know why.”
One of the reasons could be high school hockey’s hard-and-fast rule on fighting – an automatic eviction from the game and suspension from the tournament. It is this rule, many believe, which has kept fighting on the scholastic level a non-issue among the Southeastern Pennsylvania area’s three leagues.
But because Carroll was involved, the odds-on favorite in the tourney, there was asome sentiment to “review” the suspensions. “My viewpoint,” Richards said, “is that no team or player is bigger than the overall event. We can’t condone five players (by lifting the suspensions) for fighting. We’re criticized for not controlling violence and then, when we try to control it, they say, “Let’s review the darn thing.”
In all likelihood, there will be no review, the suspensions will stand. Whether Carroll chooses to play or not with only six players and without a coach is another question. “Based on past history,” one tournament official said, I don’t think they will.”
Still, the much-anticipated show-down between Carroll and Tennent, long believed to be the two best high school ice hockey programs in Southeastern Pennsylvania, will be tainted again this season.
See TENNENT on page 25
Tennent icemen beaten
Continued from page 23
Malvern Prep could make the whole debate a moot point should they beat Tennent, or Carroll on Saturday at 1pm, at Lafayette. They will play the winner (or the team which receives a forfeit, whatever the case may be) from Thursday night play.
The Friars spotted the panthers leads of 1-0, 2-1 and 5-3 before coming back to win it. Tennent scored the first goal of the game with 13:50 left in the first period on Bob Hund’s unassisted goal (juking past two Malvern defenders) But Malvern tied it up only twenty seconds later on Steve Bowman’s goal from in tight, assisted by Al Washco. Two minutes later, Greg Neumann of Tennent found himself in the corner with a ninety-degree angle on the net. His shot from that point somehow found the far corner to make it 2-1, Tennent after one period.
The Panthers, however, seemed to lose the tight grip they had on play, letting Malvern dominate gradually in the Tennent end. “We looked terrible,” Tennent coach Rich Boerner said. “It was probably one of our poorest performances since the beginning of the year. “I don’t know what happened, we fell into a lackadaisical mood. Everybody wanted someone else to do the job and a big part of winning at this level is wanting to do it.”
Tennent made things worse on Boerner’s nerves by scoring three of the next five goals by Manto twic, and Jerry Walsh once to take a 5-3 lead with just 12:54 remaining in the game. But Malvern kept swarming around the net and it paid off in four goals by Scott Ianelli. Including the game-winner with just 5:38 left. This was the same Malvern Prep team which was outclassed 7-1 by Ryan just two weeks ago at the Grundy Skating Rink in Bristol. That, however, was Malvern’s only loss in the tournament.
Meanwhile, the only team among the survivors without a loss, Archbishop Carroll, is in some very hot water and may decide to remove itself from the tourney, instead of playing Tennent. “This was not the Tennent team I know,” Boerner said. “They’ll be back, all I can say is stay tuned on Thursday night.”
The already strange Eastern Regional hockey tournament promises more high dramatics that night.
CREDIT: Doylestown Daily Intelligencer