North Xtra: Quaker Valley's streak snapped in title game
March 28, 2013 8:00 AM
Quaker Valley's James Perkins gets set to shoot the puck over Mars goalie Christian Knapp as Ian Houk-Graves pursues him during the Quakers' 5-1 victory in the Penguins Cup final last week at Consol Energy Center.
By Ryan Riordan Tri-State Sports & News Service
It had been 506 days since the scoreboard showed Quaker Valley on the short end of a regular-season or postseason hockey game.
But when time ran out in the Class A state championship hockey game Saturday at Ice Works in Aston, Delaware County, the scoreboard read: West Chester East 6, Quaker Valley 5.
The loss snapped a 46-game unbeaten streak and kept Quaker Valley (25-1) from winning its second consecutive state title.
"I don't think it dampens [our season] at all," Quaker Valley coach Kevin Quinn said. "You have to look at the entire picture -- 46 games, two Penguins Cup titles and a state championship. I told the guys afterward that I couldn't be more proud of them."
The Quakers' previous loss came on Nov. 3, 2011, to league-rival Mars. After that, the Quakers went 20-0-1 the rest of the 2011-12 season, beating Mars in the PIHL Class A Penguins Cup championship and West Chester Rustin in the state title game.
This season, the Quakers won all 25 games they played heading into Saturday's contest, including another Penguins Cup championship victory against the Planets.
"It just shows a tremendous amount of consistency in the commitment from all our players," Quinn said.
"You can't win that many games in a row without everyone bringing it every night."
The Quakers "brought it" until the end against West Chester East.
After Jimmy Perkins scored the first goal, West Chester East scored the next five to take a commanding four-goal lead after two periods.
West Chester East's Jesse Abarca and Zach Higgins scored three of the five goals and the duo finished with nine points in the game.
"They had a pretty dynamic duo of forwards," Quinn said.
"We had been pretty good at shutting top lines down, but they did a really good job of using their speed and they finished their chances."
After the teams traded early third-period goals, Quaker Valley scored three in a row, the last by Connor Quinn with 24 seconds remaining.
But the Quakers couldn't get the tying goal, and their streak came to a halt.
"We had our chances," Kevin Quinn said. "We could have easily gotten that other one in."
The Quakers still have a win streak against PIHL teams and will try for their third consecutive Penguins Cup title next season.
The team will have to replace four-year varsity players Ryan Dickson and Clayton Bouchard, who have not only been near the top of the scoring list for Quaker Valley the past few years, but also the team's "heart and soul," according to Quinn.
But the team will return talented players such as sophomore forward Adam Pilewicz and sophomore goaltender Parker Sherry, as well as Connor Quinn, a freshman forward.
This season's team also had a 10-man junior class, led by Perkins, the team's top scorer this season, and Ryan Lottes, one of the better defensemen in the league.
"We have a huge junior class returning with two Penguins Cup titles [to their credit] already," Quinn said. "So our senior class next year will be experienced and very hungry after this loss."