All-Star Game delivers a Thriller as North edges South
Friday, February 6, 2009

Playing an All-Star game for the first time in years, the South Jersey High School Ice Hockey League put on a dazzling display last night as the North scored a goal with thirty seconds left to snap a 5-5 tie, and hung on for a 6-5 win. Mike Lukis from Holy Cross got the game winner and Kyle Kopervas won the MVP trophy. It was a good showcase for all the talented players in the league and all should hold their heads high as it was an excellent and entertaining game. The North jumped out to a 2-0 lead scoring twice within ten seconds, first Lenny Fox saw his shot from the point find the net for a 1-0 lead, and then Joe Pezzato scored from down low for a 2-0 lead. With the period winding down, Scott Parker put the South on the board right before the buzzer and the deficit was 2-1.


Each team could boast of being stronger in an area, with the North having a more explosive offense and the South having a slate of stronger defenseman. With rumblings about the selections of Max Holz and Aaron Connell for goalies, the second period would prove crucial as both played the second period and performed well. Chris Lyons would score twice within four minutes to put the South up 3-2. Meanwhile Connell was stopping everything shot at him, including a point blank opportunity. The North finally got the equalizer at the four minute mark as Matt McDonald tied the game at 3-3.


That’s how the period would end, even after two with an exciting finish building. Shane Brennan gave the North a 4-3 lead at the eleven minute mark, but Matt Fleekop from Township would tie the game at 4-4 putting home a Lyons shot. Fleekop, who led the South in scoring this year, is the catalyst to the Township offense. With most of us rooting for overtime, Kyle Kopervas gave the North a 5-4 lead with two minutes left in the game, but thirty seconds later, Evan Asroff from Cherry Hill East tied it at 5-5 for the South and now overtime was looking more plausible. But Mike Lukis would score the game winner for the North and the South could not penetrate the zone as they clock ticked down to zero.


If you had drawn up a blueprint prior to the game, what we witnessed would have been pretty close to what we got a clean, fast paced, exciting game where the only three people that wanted the game to end in regulation were the officials.

Notes: And speaking of the officials, Norm Jones and Mark Visco were on top of their game and did an outstanding job in keeping pace, although I hear Norm needed oxygen after the game. Overall this was a good starting point for the league and next year I’d like to see All-Star Jersey’s as well as a few more fans.

Written by Mike Costantino

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