Park Regional ice hockey team defeats High Point-Wallkill Valley

Park Regional ice hockey team defeats High Point-Wallkill Valley

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Park Regional ice hockey team defeats High Point-Wallkill Valley

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MORRIS TWP.

Postseason wins never seem to come easy for three-time defending Haas Cup champion Park Regional.

Facing off against Charette Division champion High Point-Wallkill Valley in the opening round of the Haas Cup Tournament on Monday, Park Regional found itself in a 3-3 tie heading into the final 15 minutes of play after surrendering an early two-goal lead before senior Connor Devine scored his second goal of the game at 1:14 of the third period to break the deadlock and lift the defending champs to a 5-4 victory.

With the win, Park Regional advances to the Haas Cup semifinals against Madison on Wednesday at Mennen Arena at 6:15 p.m.

“It’s been tough all four years (in the Haas Cup),” Devine said. “We’re usually the underdogs in the tournament and we’ve worked really hard the last three years to win it. We knew tonight that we just had to keep doing what we were doing and we would be okay. It would be really special for the seniors to win it all four years and we’re looking forward to playing Madison in the next round.”

Park Regional jumped out to a two-goal lead early in the opening period on a pair of goal just over two minutes apart. First, defenseman Zach Lisewski broke the scoreless deadlock at 4:38 when he picked up a loose puck in the high slot and fired a shot through traffic and past High Point-Wallkill Valley goaltender Dan Kardan. Just over two minutes later, Park extended its lead to 2-0 when Devine found a loose puck in the faceoff circle off a win of the draw by Jimmy White and slipped a slot past Kardan.

But the lead was short-lived as High Point-Wallkill Valley struck for a pair of goals of their own just 11 seconds apart on consecutive shots to tie the game. Kyle Seo got the visitors on the scoreboard with his goal at 7:26 off a slick feed from Jason Welch before defenseman Nick DePiano scored on a rebound of a Brad Seo shot 11 seconds later to knot the game at 2-2.

Park Regional dominated the second period, outshooting High Point-Wallkill Valley, 19-6, but it was the visitors who grabbed their first lead of the game at 7:51 when Welch redirected a point shot from Kyle Seo past Park netminder Ben Handler. It was only the second shot on goal for the visitors in the period.

The home team then pulled even less than two minutes later when senior forward Tyler Woytas took a centering feed from Lucas DeMetro in the slot and fired a quick wrist shot past

Kardan, who kept his team in the game in the second period with 18 saves.

Park Regional regained the lead, however, on their first shot of the third period off a turnover just inside the High Point-Wallkill Valley blueline.

High Point/Wallkill 2 1 1 — 4

Park Regional 2 1 2 — 5

First period: 1. P, Zach Lisewski (Sean Freda), 4:38; 2. P, Connor Devine (Jimmy White), 6:40; 3. H, Kyle Seo (Jason Welch), 7:26; 4. H, Nick DePiano (Brad Seo), 7:37.

Second period: 5. H, Welch (K. Seo, B. Seo), 7:51; 6. P, Tyler Woytas (Lucas DeMetro), 9:27.

Third period: 7. P, Devine (Alex DiMeo), 1:14; 8. P, DiMeo (Devine, Matt Marano), 12:54 (pp); 9. H, Brad Seo (Jim Petuch), 14:17 (pp).

Shots-on-goal: High Point 10-6-2–18. Park Regional 9-19-13–41.

Goalies: HP, Dan Kardan (41-36). PR, Ben Handler (18-14).

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