For the West Chester East ice hockey team, its dominating late season run packed up and went on the road Saturday in the Pennsylvania Cup final. The road proved to be no obstacle.
The Vikings scored four times in the second period to pull away en route to an 8-1 victory over Kiski Area in the Pennsylvania Cup A Final at the Robert Morris University Clearview Rink.
It is the third Pennsylvania Cup in a row for East to go along with three straight Flyers Cup titles and four conescutive Ches-Mont crowns.
“I feel great for our guys,” said East coach Eric Wolf. “It was a feeling out process to being with. Then, we got the first goal and everyone relaxed. Then, we rolled.”
The game was scoreless until late in the first as Anthony LoGiurato scored with 2:15 left to give East the lead.
The Vikings were able to take control in the second. Flyers Cup MVP Joey Cardarelli scored 1:50 into the period to boost the lead to 2-0. They made it 3-0 a short time later as defenseman Cam Greewalt scored from the point as the Vikings began to assert their dominiance.
“When Cam Greenwalt scored to make it 3-0, my assistant, Kraig Kaufhold, turned to me and said that was a backbreaker,” said Wolf. “We didn’t have to rely on our first line, today. We got goals from our second and third lines.”
Danny Tirendi scored twice midway through the period, sandwiched by a tally from Kiski’s Ethan George to break the shutout, and East held a 5-1 advantage after two periods. They outshot Kiski, 17-6, in the stanza.
“We started to assert ourselves in the offensive zone,” Wolf said. “We started making them defend and shut down their top line.”
The Vikings continued to pour in the goals in the third. Chase Khounsacknarath, LoGiurato and Logan Soster put the finishing touches on the win and the title.
Mikey Tordone notched three assists and Trey Jefferis added two. East outshot Kiski, 34-14 for the game. Counting the three Flyers Cup games and the contest on Saturday, East outscored its opponents, 25-8.
The Vikings had their stumbles this year, losing three in a row at one point, but they recovered and ended up winning their last 19 games in a row.
“The key point came when we played Springfield (Delco) on Feb. 2,” added Wolf. “We had just lost to Father Judge, Rustin and Downingtown West. We were missing six or seven of our top players, but we beat them convincingly and (our players) just had the attitude of we can do this.”
East will once again suffer some heavy graduation losses, but will return eager to defend their titles and make another page in the history book for West Chester schools.
“We lose eight seniors,” said Wolf. “Another one won’t come easy, but we have a great group coming back. And, we have a sophomore goalie (Cam Chandler) who just won a state title. I can’t make a prediction, but we’ll work hard and battle.”
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