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Vinny Mancini picked the perfect time to score his first varsity goal of the season as his rebound of a Boomer Miller's shot proved to be the game winner as Cherokee defeated Washington Township 3-2 and spoiled senior night at Hollydell. Both teams played well and the game had a playoff type atmosphere and could have been a preview of the finals, although I think Clearview might have a say.

The team’s traded short-handed goals with Township taking a 1-0 lead as Chris Cozzan scored with three minutes left in the first period and Miller scoring on a breakaway six minutes into the second period. Both Tim Papagno and Zachary Burkhardt made big saves to keep the score even. Midway through the period Donovan Haslett gave Township a 2-1 lead as he tucked home a shot from behind the net. Later in the period Kyle Horner blistered a shot top shelf for his 12th of the season and we were tied at 2-2 heading into the third period.

Both teams had chances to take the lead, but failed to finish until Mancini pinched in from the point and was able to deposit the rebound of a Miller shot into the net for a 3-2 lead with six minutes left. From that point on Cherokee took no chances offensively and played 5 across the line and when Township would create an opportunity Papagno was there to close the door.

Notes: With minimal penalties, strong defense and discipline, Cherokee looked and played like a team that wants to win their 5th straight. Township played a strong game just didn’t finish on some excellent scoring opportunities; let’s hope this kind of intensity is what we will see come playoff time.

Written by Mike Costantino

Posted in: Cherokee, Wash Twp
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