Hawks Fly Again
St. Joe's bests Penn in championship rematchMay 13th, 2014 at 5:11AM May 13th, 2014 5:12AM
Through PCRHL History, there have been distinct eras that saw teams dominate the standings for multiple years. Going into the 2014 championship weekend, St. Joe's was riding a wave of three of the last five PCRHL titles. Every dynasty needs a rival, though; and it was the Penn Quakers that had taken the 2013 PCRHL title from the Hawks. It was only fitting that these two teams met again to decide the crown.
St. Joe's had little trouble in their semi-final match-up. The Hawks managed to 10-goal a very good Villanova Wildcats team. More than anything, this seemed like an indication that St. Joe's was on a mission, and would not be denied. Penn, on the other hand, had their hands full with Drexel in the semi-finals, coming away with a 5-3 win. They finished the season in second place behind St. Joe's, but had faced the Hawks twice during the regular season, coming away with two wins.
Game 1 saw the Hawks come out swinging. Sean McArdle scored four minutes into the game, assisted by Dom Anastasia. Anastasia then scored with just over two minutes left in the first. While a 2-0 lead after the first would have been good enough, Matt Engle buried a goal past Penn goalie Dave Rinder with just three seconds left in the period. In the second, Anastasia and McArdle teamed up again for a fourth Hawk goal. Penn's Taylor Friday would get the Quakers on the board with his second period tally, but Engle notched another late goal to go up 5-1 before the third. In the third, Cory Oringer and Friday would score for Penn, but SJU's McArdle took over the game, registering a hat trick and putting the game too far out of reach for the Quakers to mount a comeback. The final score was 8-3, in decisive fashion.
Game 2, while not a carbon copy of Game 1, went about the same way for both squads. McArdle picked up where he left off with the first goal of the game again, and Engle scored at the 4:15 mark. While Tony Yang would get a goal back for the Quakers a mere 52 seconds later, Vince Velicov and Engle traded goals throughout the rest of the first and early second periods. Brian Robinson closed the door on the Quakers for the second period, and Anastasia's hat trick did the damage. Oringer showed that there was still fight left in the game Penn squad with a pair of third period goals, but it was not enough. St. Joe's walked away with back-to-back 8-3 wins, and their 4th PCRHL Tier I Championship in the last 6 years.
Congratulations to both teams for a great season, and to the St. Joseph's University team for their Tier I championship!