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Maximum Kuznetsov had a goal and three assists to lead the Eastern Vikings over Cherokee 5-4 in front of a packed house last night in Voorhees. The Vikings led from the start and held off a hard charging Chief team in the final seconds to win their first Championship since back in the early 2000’s. Goals by Jacob Findley and Connor Riley on the power play put the Vikings ahead 2-0 late in the first period. Trevor Ligekis would get a goal for Cherokee in the final fifteen seconds of the period and despite being outplayed Cherokee was only down 2-1.

After Sam Berger tied the game at 2-2 for the Chiefs early in the second period, Braden Hawcroft would put Eastern ahead for good scoring with just forty five seconds left in the period and the Vikings took a 3-2 lead into the third period. Kuznetsov made it 4-2 as his shot went through a maze of players and into the net and a 4-2 lead just two minutes into the period. Will Cowan would score the third short-handed goal for Eastern in the last 2 games as Cherokee struggled on the power play, and suddenly the lead was 5-2. Cody Sherman would get the Chiefs to within 5-3 scoring with just under five minutes remaining. Sam Libetti got the Chiefs closer scoring with nineteen seconds left in the game but the Chiefs ran out of time and the Vikings were once again champs and the Cherokee stranglehold on the Tier I title was over. 

Notes: Coach Zuber who has brought this program back and after going pure now finds himself at the top of Tier I, gave credit to a “great group of kids that have worked hard and they are young and should contend for the next few years.” Congratulations to Eastern and the entire coaching staff. 

Written by Mike Costantino

Posted in: Cherokee, Eastern
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