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Warriors ousted from playoff contention Ice Hockey
By: JOHN CRAWFORD Record Express Correspondent, Staff Writer
Playing two games in three days, the Warwick ice hockey team came away with a split, winning 10-0 over West York last Friday and losing to Cedar Crest 6-2 on Monday.
That gave the Warriors a record of 2-13, which eliminated them from Central Pennsylvania Interscholastic Hockey League (CPIHL) playoff contention.
The Warriors opened the weekend quickly against the undermanned Bulldogs when Steven Crawford skated in from the blue line to the slot, took a shot and put the rebound in the net 1:59 into the game. He followed that effort with two quick goals to complete an early hat trick. The second goal came at 5:10 on a shot from the faceoff circle. Drew White picked up the assist. Thirteen seconds later, Crawford added another goal unassisted from the slot for the pure hat trick and a 3-0 Warrior lead.
Asked he ever picked up a quicker hat trick, Crawford said "No. Two goals, but never three goals that fast."
The Warriors continued to apply pressure, but did not score again until Crawford came down center ice and shifted over to the left wing. From there, he passed to Nathan Weaver in the slot and Weaver buried the puck behind Bulldog goalie Jared Gemmil for the 4-0 lead.
Evan Anthony finished the first-period scoring when he redirected Dylan Bleacher’s pass into the net with 3:27 left. White picked up the second assist.
The Bulldogs began the night with only seven skaters and lost one early in the second when Nick Cintron suffered a cut that forced him from the game. His departure left West York with no one left on the bench and the remaining players quickly wore out.
Anthony picked up his second goal of the night on a turnover with 9:08 left. Seth Earle then picked up two goals just two minutes apart to stretch the Warriors’ lead to 8-0. White got an assist on the seventh goal and Aaron Wright assisted on the eighth.
Spent and unable to rest during the periods, the Bulldogs put up little resistance entering the third. At first, the Warriors didn’t push for the ninth and 10th goals to invoke the mercy rule, but eventually did go for them to spare the Bulldogs from exhausting themselves.
"They were tired (and) they wanted us to score, so we decided to score," Crawford explained.
Wright picked up the ninth goal with assists from Dylan and Anthony. Crawford scored the tenth goal, his fourth of the night, on an end-to-end rush.
Trey Stern and Mark Howland split time in the net for the combined shutout.
Following the game, Coach Adam Wood began looking forward to Monday’s game.
"Monday night is the season for us," he said. "We’ve got to beat Cedar Crest to have a shot (of) squeaking into that eighth spot. If we don’t beat Cedar Crest, we are mathematically out."
The Warriors attempted the quick start on Monday, but Cedar Crest took the early lead with a power play goal by Jake Horacek with 4:46 gone. However, the lead lasted only until Crawford scored with 9:00 left in the first.
"Casey passed the puck out to Drew," recalled Crawford. "Drew passed it to me. There was lots of traffic in front (of the net). I just took the shot because that was the best percentage play."
White and Witmyer were credited with assists on the play.
The first ended in a 1-1 tie but the second period belonged to the Falcons. Kyle Harris, Horacek and Timothy Bomberger scored to give the Falcons a 4-1 lead.
Harris and Horacek each scored in the third period to build the lead to 6-1 before Crawford picked up his second goal to set the final score.
"That Horacek line just killed us," said Coach Wood.
Although they will finish the season out of the playoffs, Witmyer and Crawford represented the Warriors in the CPIHL All-Star game on Wednesday.
"I found out a month ago," said Witmyer. "I’m pretty ready for it."
The game will be held on the outdoor rink at Hersheypark Stadium, where the Hershey Bears played over the weekend.
"It’s very cold," Witmyer said. "You definitely need to dress in several layers." More ICE HOCKEY, page B-3