West/North Xtra: Quakers make it three titles in row
March 20, 2014 12:00 AM
Quaker Valley forward James Perkins carries the puck between two Thomas Jefferson defenders to score a goal in Class A Penguins Cup Championship match at Consol Energy Center on Monday.
By Ryan Riordan / Tri-State Sports & News Service
Quaker Valley joined exclusive company Monday night.
Behind five goals from Connor Quinn, Quaker Valley (24-1) defeated Thomas Jefferson, 8-2, to become the 11th team in league history to win three consecutive Penguins Cup titles.
"I think it's pretty special," Quaker Valley coach Kevin Quinn said.
"We've had some pretty good clusters of kids -- '06 to '08 and this senior class, '12 to '14. When you have that kind of depth in one class, you can do really well. They've been great leaders for us, so it means a lot to them personally to accomplish three in a row."
The 2006-08 Quakers won two Penguins Cups in 2006 and '08. Coincidentally, the 2006 championship was especially important to this season's team, as that title is what got Jimmy Perkins interested in playing hockey.
Perkins, a 5-foot-8 senior forward, scored his league-leading 48th goal for the Quakers Monday night. This coming after Perkins scored a hat trick, including the game-tying goal with 32 seconds remaining in Quaker Valley's shocking come-from-behind victory against Freeport in the semifinals last week.
"The Freeport game -- we still feel very fortunate to be here," Kevin Quinn said. "But that kind of battle test, it's really important we got that [as we head to states]."
The Quakers will see a familiar foe in the state championship game at Penn State's Pegula Ice Arena at x:xx p.m. Saturday in Bayard Rustin. Quaker Valley beat Rustin, 4-1, in the 2012 Class A state title game.
But last year, the Quakers were unable to make it back-to-back state championships, as their rally from a 5-1 deficit fell short in a 6-5 loss to West Chester East. That loss snapped a 46-game unbeaten streak for Quaker Valley, and is one of only two losses (the other a loss to Mars Area earlier this season) that the Quakers have suffered in their past 70 games.
"After going undefeated last year and then losing at states in such a close game, the feeling of wanting revenge to win the game, there's nothing I want more," Connor Quinn said.
Quinn made sure his team got another crack at a state championship with his performance Monday night. A sophomore forward, he is the son of the QV coach and helped the Quakers bounce back from an early 1-0 deficit by scoring five of the game's next six goals against Thomas Jefferson.
The one goal during that span that he didn't score, he was the one who sprung Scott Weston for a breakaway with a nice pass off the boards and Weston finished to give Quinn another point on the night.
"He was finishing everything tonight," said Perkins, who assisted on four of Quinn's goals Monday night. "Anything I sent his way he was putting in the back of the net."
While Perkins was happy with Monday's accomplishment and how he and his team played, he made it clear afterward that he had a bigger goal on his mind.
"We're definitely excited [to win our third consecutive Penguins Cup], but this isn't the ultimate goal," Perkins said. "Last year, we accomplished this and we didn't win states and didn't feel complete at the end of the year.
"That's why this Saturday's game is huge. We're ready for a little bit of revenge here."
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