Beauchamp scores hat trick to help Eustace prove point

February 26, 2000

By CHRIS PANTER

Courier-Post Staff 

WASHINGTON TWP. - Bishop Eustace wanted to prove its worth as the 18th-ranked ice hockey team in the state.

 

St. Augustine wanted to show improvement in its program, now only in its second year.

 

Eustace proved their point.

 

The Crusaders defeated St. Augustine 11-3 behind Bob Beauchamp's hat trick and two assists, in what's becoming one intense South Jersey rivalry.

 

Make it the only South Jersey rivalry.

 

The Crusaders and the Hermits are the only two New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association-sanctioned ice hockey teams in South Jersey.

 

`I thought our team played very well," said Bishop Eustace coach Mike Green. `We had some players (Anthony Nordo and Beauchamp) that didn't play in the first game. They really made the difference."

 

This was the second meeting of the two teams, and it showed.

 

St. Augustine head coach Greg Conicello conceded his players weren't ready.

 

`Our guys did not play well," he said. `We were not mentally and physically ready to play tonight. We have the playoffs to get ready for and we are not playing our best hockey right now. It's like we took two steps back tonight.'

 

Eustace got on the board early with a power play goal from Nordo at 11:52. Minutes later, St. Augustine was called for an obstruction penalty and the Crusaders took advantage. This time it was Beauchamp taking a pass from Nordo to make it 2-0. Eustace would then find the back of the net at 8:35 with a goal from John Miramesh.

 

St. Augustine answered later in the first when Nick Lepore's pass bounced off an Eustace player to score a power-play goal. Less than a minute later, Lepore would score again when he dug out the puck behind the net and stuffed it home to make it 3-2.

`When they rallied to make it 3-2 early," said Green, `I told our guys to stay away from penalties as I knew they were good on the power play.'

 

Luck would change to help Eustace late in the first period when Nordo scored his second goal when his pass went off a Hermit player's skate to make it 4-2 after the first period.

 

St. Augustine goalie Gus Yambilus kept things close for his team in the second period. Yambilus was able to stop a Crusader 2-on-1, at the 8:40 mark of the period by sliding across the crease with a pad save. Eustace goalie Evan Kostka would answer the call minutes later when he snagged a John Probe slap shot out of the air with the glove from the top of the right point.

 

But Yambilus wasn't able to stop a flurry of Eustace shots and his defense was outmatched in the defensive zone. The constant nipping and tucking away would open the floodgates for Eustace. Beauchamp made it 5-2 when he put a shot from the right face off circle in the top shelf of the net. Just 1:02 later, he netted his third of the game by one-timing home a pass from Nordo. Dan Mancini would end the scoring in the second while sealing the Eustace win when he buried a backhander with just six seconds remaining.

 

The best goal of the night belonged to the Hermit's Grunther. After stealing a cross-ice pass, Grunther broke in with a Eustace player all over his back and managed to fake out Kostka by switching to his backhand to put the puck in the net.

Cacia closed out the scoring at 6:05 of the third by scoring off a rebound.

 

After the 11th goal, Yambilus was pulled. Matt Magazo replaced Yambilus and responded by stopping any further Eustace offense by making 12 saves, including a barrage of five shots in a span of under a minute. But the game was already in the bag for the Crusaders.

 

However, the game possibly marked a new era between the two schools. Both coaches have very optimistic outlooks for the future.

 

`We're still building,' Conicello said. `We have a bunch of freshmen and we're only losing two seniors.'