|Posted on Sat, Feb. 05, 2005|
Eustace skates to title
Midway through the second period of yesterday's game at the Sovereign Bank Flyers' Skate Zone in Pennsauken, Middletown South sent an attacker in alone on Bishop Eustace goalie Colin Saltiel twice within a span of 1 minute, 33 seconds.
Although the Crusaders held a three-goal lead at the time, the rare defensive breakdowns could have spawned a huge momentum shift.
But as Eustace coach Mike Green was quick to point out, "Colin makes the spectacular look routine."
Saltiel stoned both breakaway attempts, and went on to finish with 24 saves for his fifth shutout of the season, as host Eustace skated away with a 4-0 victory.
"My job is to make those saves," the sophomore netminder said with a shrug. "Our defense hasn't let me down very much this season. I knew if I stopped those breakaways it would get my teammates pumped up - and get my head into the game."
"Those breakdowns were uncharacteristic," he said. "But Colin's just a solid goaltender. It's great to have someone back there who can make up for a mistake here and there."
Saltiel preserved his shutout with perhaps the save of the day with 4:31 to go in the game, when he gloved a blast from the point.
Strong play in goal was just one reason why the Crusaders (11-4 overall, 10-1 league) were able to clinch the NJSIAA Southern Conference Red Division regular-season title.
Brad Schuler opened the scoring 34 seconds into the second period, tucking a rebound into the vacant net to cap a power play that lasted all of seven seconds.
A little over three minutes later, Lou Tumolo carried the puck from behind the Middletown South net and lifted a pretty backhander over the right shoulder of Eagles goalie Nolan Horowitz.
Tyler Hancock, the Crusaders' most active player on attack, extended the lead to 3-0 with 8:26 to go in the second period when he picked up a loose puck in front the net and backhanded it through a crowd. Hancock struck again with 16 seconds to go in the period, spinning in the slot and whipping a wrist shot that ticked off the crossbar and into the net.
Nine players contributed at least one point for the Crusaders, who had a much tougher go of it in a 3-2 win at Middletown South (9-7-2, 4-5-1) earlier this season.
"We have a good mix of players and we have great leadership from our seniors," Green said. "We're playing well right now."
Eustace appears far from content with simply claiming the regular-season crown, although it does afford the Crusaders a bye into the divisional semifinals.
"We know our job's not done," Saltiel said. "We still have some regular-season games and then the playoffs. We are focused and we know what we have to do."
Even if it entails covering up for someone else's mistakes.
Middletown South 0 0 0 - 0
Bishop Eustace 0 4 0 - 4
Goals: Brad Schuler (Jim Rea, Todd Kostka), 14:26; Lou Tumolo (Mike Dwier, Mike Mirmanesh), 11:18; Tyler Hancock (Dan Dwier), 8:26; Hancock (Kevin Grunther), :16.
Goalies: MS-Nolan Horowitz (17 saves), R.J. Heron (7 saves); BE-Colin Saltiel (24 saves).
Contact suburban staff writer Pete Schnatz at 215-854-5817 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday, February 5, 2005
Bishop Eustace wins Red Division ice hockey crown
Bishop Eustace Prep, with a 4-0 ice hockey victory over Middletown South Friday night, clinched the New Jersey Interscholastic League Southern Conference Red Division championship.
Tyler Hancock scored two goals and Brad Schuler and Lou Tumolo had single goals to lead Eustace, now 11-4 overall and 10-1 in the division.
Eustace, which clinched a first round bye in the conference tournament, scored all four goals in the second period.
Goalie Colin Saltiel made 24 saves to record his fifth shutout of the season.
Eustace needed to win to vault over Middletown North to claim the division.