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Joe Arlotta had three goals, Braden Hawcroft scored twice and Maxim Kuznetsov added two goals and two assists as Eastern defeated Lower Cape May 7-1 in the opening round of the double elimination tournament in the SJHSHL. Eastern wasted little time taking control as Arlotta scored in the opening ninety seconds, Just about two minutes later Hawcroft put home a rebound of a shot by Rory O’Hara and the lead was 2-0. Arlotta scored his second of the night just thirteen seconds into the second period and the Vikings enjoyed a 3-0 lead.

Kuznetsov would get his first of the night at the eleven minute mark and the lead was 4-0. Moments later on the power play Hawcroft added his second of the night and the Vikings took a 5-0 lead into the third period. Ryan Hill would put Lower Cape on the board scoring a power play goal in the first two minutes of the third period to make it 5-1. But goals by Arlotta and Kuznetsov would close out the scoring and ice the game. The Vikings out-shot Lower Cape 54-16 to set a team record in shots for the playoffs.

Written by Mike Costantino

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