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Casey Forte had two goals and Aaron Huffnagle added a goal and two assists as Cherokee defeated Washington Township 6-3 and won its third straight SJHSIHL Championship in front of a packed house at the Skate Zone in Voorhees. Cherokee never trailed in the game and got off to a quick start as Jake Toran scored just ninety seconds into the game. Huffnagle made it 2-0 just about thirty seconds later, both goals coming on wrap around shots.

Township took advantage of a man advantage about two minutes later as Tyler Benton put home a rebound of a shot by Doug Sanders. Then in the final two minutes Brian Miller made a nice pass to Forte who was streaking down the right side and he re-directed the puck into the net and the lead was 3-1 after one. Cherokee would make it 4-1 scoring a goal late in the second period. Then with a chance to put the game away with a man advantage early in the third period Cherokee would surrender a short-handed goal as Sanders was sprung by Frank Hughes. With the lead cut to 4-2 Township had life, and just like all season they fought back.

Jason Smith would bring them to 4-3 scoring a power play goal midway through the period with Shane Moffett getting the assist. Forte would restore the two goal lead about one minute later with Miller and Dave Mazzilli getting the helpers. John Martino closed out the scoring late in the game.

Notes: Congratulations to the Chiefs, head Coach Mike Sullivan and assistants Scott McKay and Steve Monahan. This trio has been the driving force behind the success of this organization. Coach Sullivan when asked if he would be back next year, seemed to be leading towards coming back for one more run. Coach Monahan however will not. After this his 5th straight title, 3 with Cherokee and 2 with Moorestown, Monahan wants to dedicate more of his time with his disabled team. The Chiefs and the league will miss his leadership and class, good luck Coach….

Written by Mike Costantino

Championship photos coming soon 

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