Class A hockey: Quaker Valley unable to dig out of deficit

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- To win its third consecutive Penguins Cup, Quaker Valley had to come back from one-goal deficits in the semifinals and final.

But a three-goal deficit Saturday against the East's best proved too difficult to overcome.

Bayard Rustin (20-3-2) led, 4-1, after one period and went on to beat Quaker Valley (24-2), 5-2, to win the Class A Pennsylvania Cup at Penn State's Pegula Ice Arena.

"Being down 4-1 first period changed the whole game," Quaker Valley coach Kevin Quinn said. "We just ran out of gas."

It's the second consecutive year that the Quakers, who beat Rustin, 4-1, in the 2012 state title game, found themselves in a huge hole in the Pennsylvania Cup. They trailed West Chester East, 5-1, last year before almost rallying in a 6-5 loss.

Saturday's game had barely started when Quaker Valley found itself down a goal. The Knights had a 2-on-1 and senior JR Barone made a nice pass to Brett Christie, who beat Parker Sherry to give Rustin a 1-0 lead 42 seconds into the game.

Less than a minute later, Rustin senior defenseman Michael Grande beat Sherry top shelf to make it 2-0.

"It really makes your stomach settle a little from the butterflies, but Quaker Valley, I knew they're warriors and I knew they'd keep coming," Bayard Rustin coach Nick Russo said.

The Quakers responded quickly with a goal from Jimmy Perkins, his 49th of the season.

Perkins had a chance to tie it a few minutes later on a one-timer, but Rustin freshman goaltender James Grande did a great job to get a glove on the puck and deflect it over the crossbar. Grande finished with 18 saves.

"For a freshman to make a save like that in a pressure situation ... what a job he did," Russo said.

Barone gave his goaltender some breathing room midway through the period when his shot hit off the stick of a Quaker Valley player and was redirected past Sherry to make it 3-1. Barone, who finished with 16 points in five postseason games, scored again on a rebound with 9.8 seconds left in the first to give the Knights a three-goal advantage.

"It was [a backbreaker] because we had chances to get the puck out and then the rebound goes right to their guy's stick," Quinn said.

The Quakers cut into the lead when Cameron Peterkin scored with 4:58 remaining in the second period.

But the Quakers had to play the last half of the third period without Perkins, who was given a game misconduct for contacting the head of Michael Grande, and the offense suffered.

Rustin's Shawn Polidore put the game away with a late third-period goal.


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