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
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
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
`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
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.'