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Eddie Sarin scored three goals and Ryan McCusker stopped 26 shots as Washington Township rallied to defeat Clearview 6-4 at the Skate Zone in Voorhees on Friday night. Township now moves on to the winner bracket final and will face Shawnee on Monday February 21st. The winner of that contest goes into the championship game. Sarin gave Township a 1-0 lead as he won a face-off in the offensive zone and after getting the puck back from Shane Moffatt, ripped home a shot from the top of the circle. Clearview came right back about one minute later as Bob Campbell put home a rebound of a shot by Josh Gonzalez and we were tied at 1-1.

McCusker had his best period of the game as Clearview controlled the play for the rest of the period, totaling 14 shots to just 7 for Township. Clearview broke in on a 3-on-1 with thirty seconds left in the period and after McCusker made the initial stop, Ed Moore put home the rebound and the View led 2-1 after one. Campbell scored his second goal of the night early in the second period on the power play as he deflected a shot by Mike Vulpio.

Four minutes later Sarin picked off a clearing pass and blasted his second of the night to cut the lead to 3-2. Then completing his natural hat trick with his team short-handed, he played give-and go with Jonathan Smith and tapped home his third of the evening to tie the game at 3-3. With the momentum now swung towards the Minutemen, Garrett Quinn, who played another strong game, scored on the power play as he put home a rebound of a shot by Frankie Hughes just about one minute after Sarin’s goal and Township led 4-3.

With the period winding down Quinn made a great pass to Mike Lorence in front to finish off a break and Township scored with just one second left to take a 5-3 lead. The third period Township played defense first as the forwards helped out and strong play by Justin Cogbill and Pat Curiale helped limit the chances for Clearview as they only managed 6 shots. Ed Moore cut the lead to 5-4 as rushed end-to-end and beat McCusker to cut the lead to one goal. Township responded thirty seconds later as Cogbill broke down the right side and hit a wide-open Eric Naccarelli in front and his goal restored a two goal cushion at 6-4. Clearview never threatened and Township moves on.

Notes: Although it was a decent crowd, it was no where near what it would have been had the game been played at Hollydell. Although Sarin and Smith played apart for a lot of the game, they did play together a few times, and create more scoring chances together than apart.

Written by Mike Costantino

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