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Brian Miller and Cole Zucker each scored two goals and Aaron Huffnagle added four assists as Cherokee defeated Parkland 6-3 in the AA Finals of the Flyers Cup. Cherokee becomes the first South Jersey team to ever win the AA championship. The Chiefs were totally dominant from the start, out-shooting the over matched Trojans 30-11 and controlling play for the entire game. The Chiefs took the toughest road to the title as they were seeded fifth, knocked off the top seed in the tournament in CB South and had no home games.

After the Chiefs spotted Parkland a 1-0 lead, Miller scored a shorthanded goal to tie the game at 1-1. Dylan Bradley gave Cherokee a 2-1 lead as he blistered a shot right under the crossbar from the top of the circle. After Parkland tied the score at 2-2, the Chiefs would score the next four goals. Tournament MVCP Cole Zucker gave the Chiefs a 3-2 lead re-directing a pass from Huffnagle with Cherokee on the power play. Less than one minute later John Martino and Huffnagle broke in 2-on-1 and Huffnagle made a perfect pass to Martino who buried it for a 4-2 lead.

Then thirty seven seconds later Zucker was sent in by Huffnagle for a 5-2 lead. Not much dram was left with the Chiefs dominating each possession Miller would get his second of the night with about five minutes left in the game again from Huffnagle. Parkview scored a short-handed goal in the final two minutes, but the Chiefs were too much for these Trojans. Coach Sullivan, who was considerably nervous prior to the game, “really wanted to win not only for the Chiefs and the organization but for the SJHSIHL”.

For Coach Monahan, another title, one of many in his 37 plus years of coaching, but especially sweet in this his last at Cherokee. Coach Monaghan will now dedicate his time to his disabled adult team and will be sorely missed. Selfishly I was rooting for Cherokee for respect. Over the years our Jersey teams, in my opinion have not been respected and you don’t have to go too far to look at some of the facts. Our teams being seeded low, even though we beat teams seeded higher than us. No home games this year?? Cherokee makes the finals last year and we don’t even get one home game as a #5 seed?? All that aside Cherokee still beat every team thrown at them, including top seeded CB South using 4 lines and constant pressure. Now according to the rules, the winner of the Flyers Cup represents their state against the winner of the Penguins cup for the state title. Since Cherokee is from New Jersey, we cannot make that trip. Probably a good thing for the Pittsburgh team.

Notes: Nice turnout to see the Chiefs win, congratulations to Coach Sullivan, Coach Monahan and Coach McKay in winning and representing South Jersey so proudly.

Written by Mike Costantino

Flyers Cup Photos
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