Archbishop Wood counters Plymouth Whitemarsh for SHSHL Varsity A title

HATFIELD TWP. >> Every time the Plymouth Whitemarsh ice hockey team threw something at Archbishop Wood, the Vikings had a response.

The responses were quick and stronger than the attacks they were countering.

That’s how Wood won the Suburban High School Hockey League Varsity A championship Thursday night.

When the Colonials tried to build momentum, the Vikings stole it immediately on their way to a 7-4 win at Hatfield Ice Arena.

PW got on the board late in the first period when Chris Zawislak scored the game’s first goal. He ripped a wrist shot from between the circles and found the back of the net. Less than 40 seconds later it was 1-1 when Wood’s Tim Cordero scored.

“As soon as they scored we wanted to get it right back and get the momentum back,” Cordero said. “That’s what we focused on. We never give up or get down on ourselves.”

Wood’s Brendan Cullura scored 24 seconds into the second period to take a 2-1 lead, but PW’s Zawislak scored a power play goal to tie the game at two 100 seconds later.

That tie didn’t last long.

The Vikings took the lead for good less than 30 seconds later on another Cordero goal and added another 50 seconds later off the stick of Joseph Hill to make it 4-2.

“(Wood) definitely bounces back,” PW coach Josh Aiello said. “They have a lot of fire power. We put one in, they came right back. We knew there would be lots of ups and downs. We knew it would be a battle from the beginning when the clock started all the way to the final buzzer.”

Archbishop Wood’s Tim Cordero shoots past Plymouth Whitemarsh’s Nate Slowik during their SHSHL Varsity A Final on Thursday, March 2, 2017. (Bob Raines/Digital First Media)

Coredero extended the lead to 5-2 with a short-handed goal mid-way through the second, but PW’s Zawislak got the deficit back down to two when he lit the lamp on another power play.

Wood’s Evan Capinas scored the first goal of the third period with only 2:28 left in the game to make it 6-3 and 30 seconds later Cordero scored his fourth goal of the game to make it 7-3.

PW’s Luke Brzozowski scored in the final minute to finish the scoring at 7-4.

The Vikings penalty kill allowed two goals on eight power plays. The unit provided offense when Cordero scored short-handed and it killed off a key four-minute penalty when leading by two with 9:50 left in the third period.

“Our coach runs a good system,” Cordero said of the penalty kill. “It’s all about blocking shots, getting in front of pucks and getting pucks deep. It worked out well.”

“Big moments in big games when you get opportunities you need to execute and you need to put the puck in the net,” Aiello said of the four-minute power play. “We didn’t do that this time.”

PW’s Zawislak finished with a hat trick.

“Chris Zawislak is a senior and captain on our team,” Aiello said. “He’s a leader on and off the ice. He leads by example and in big moments he can put the puck in the net. Can’t say enough good things about him.”

Both teams will compete in the Flyers Cup next week.

Archbishop Wood 7, Plymouth Whitemarsh 4
Archbishop Wood 1 4 2 — 7
Plymouth Whitemarsh 1 2 1 — 4
Goals: AW: Corero 4, Cullura, Hill, Capinas. PW: Zawislak 3, Brzozowski.
Assists: AW: Cullura 2, Romano, Carrelli, Cole, Cordero. PW: Brzozowski, Slowik, Franzoni.
Saves: AW: Casper: 17. PW: Shula: 24.

TOP PHOTO: Archbishop Wood’s Tim Cordero gets ready to send the puck past Plymouth Whitemarsh’s Steve Fandozzi during their SHSHL Varsity A Final on Thursday, March 2, 2017. (Bob Raines/Digital First Media)

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