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Paramus Catholic comeback nets a tie against PV

Monday, December 16, 2002

By Rich Barton
NJS.com Staff Writer

Mike Finamore's goal gave PV a 5-2 lead after two before Paramus Catholic came all the way back to tie in the final 15 minutes.

HACKENSACK - Paramus Catholic entered its contest against Pascack Valley on Sunday night with just a 1-3 record and a schedule filled with top-flight opponents.

While PC plays in the Northern Conference- Red Division, two above the Blue Division where Pascack Valley plays, the Indians were out to show that they could not only play with the big boys, but they wanted to start fast, make a statement, and walk out of the Ice House with a win.

PV converted on two of those three by dominating the opening stanza and racing out to a four-goal lead after 15 minutes of play. While the Paladins only have five seniors on their roster, one would step up and show stepped up and helped PC make up the gap.

Defenseman/Captain Mike DeLamater moved up to the front line to help boost the offense. The 6-1 185-pound senior would had a hand in all three third-period goals and netted the equalizer on a redirection off of a slap-shot with 1:17 to go as the Paladins clawed back from three goals down in the third period to earn a 5-5 tie.

Mike DeLamater (left) moved up and gave the PC offense the kick it needed.

The Indians have gotten off to a hot 3-1 start this season and they rode that wave right through the first period. It took only 16 seconds for them to get on the scoreboard as senior Brian Moss collected his own rebound and tucked home the second opportunity to stake PV to a 1-0 lead.

Moss continued to make things happen offensively throughout the first period. Minutes later, he took a shot in front that was saved by PC goalie Chris Ceransky. Moss' classmate, P.J. Ferraro, got the rebound and found the back of the net from a tough angle to put PV up 2-0.

Pascack Valley then began a trend that would be their undoing. Two straight penalties gave PC a 5-on-3 power play. Sam Sotnick and Robert Donahue stood their ground defensively and killed off the two-man advantage, but it would become a long night for the PV defense.

But before PC (1-3-1) could get its offense going, the Indians padded their lead with goals by co-captains Moss and Sotnick for a 4-0 lead.

Michael Redvanly and the PV offense came out flying, putting up four goals in the opening 15 minutes.

"In the game of hockey, you have to realize that if you have a bad first period you can get back into the game," said Paramus Catholic head coach Ken Scarpa. "But you can't score four goals in one shot. I thought we matched up well with PV and I wanted to cut the lead to two goals after the second period. We ended up being down three, but the confidence came back and that was one of the keys for us in the comeback."

The Paladins finally broke through against PV goalie Eric Levin on a goal by Frank Furbacher just 59 seconds into the second period. Paramus Catholic, already on the power play, got a break when PV's Andrew Redvanly picked up a silly unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

PC's Travis Bishop cashed in on the opportunity and tucked a slap-shot shortside to cut the once large lead to 4-2.

Redvanly atoned for his mental miscue by skating around behind the net and feeding Mike Finamore in the slot. Finamore took care of business from there, beating Cheransky over his waffle to give the Indians a seemingly comfortable 5-2 edge after two periods.

With 15 minutes left to play and facing a big deficit, Scarpa felt he had to move DeLamater up in an attempt to generate more intensity on the first line. DeLamater had an immediate impact as his slap shot got knocked around in front. Mike Atiken was parked in front of the net and tucked it past Levin to cut the deficit to 5-3 with 13:30 remaining.

With time winding down, a pair of silly penalties would put Pascack Valley in trouble and breathe life into the PC power play.

PC goalie Chris Ceransky made 19 saves and allowed one goal after the first period.

DeLamater would once again create havoc for the PV defense. He skated around two defenders and gave a cross-ice pass to a wide-open Tom Romano in the slot. Romano buried one past Levin to cut the draw PC to within 5-4.

"Penalties, penalties, penalties, it was all about penalties," said Pascack Valley head coach Bruce Palmieri. "Penalties put us in the hole for most of the game. It really short-circuited us offensively when we had momentum. We can't have our guys out there for that long, killing penalties. We had to leave our horses out there and we ran them into the ground."

With the clock becoming a factor, PC took advantage of an icing call and won another crucial faceoff. Jason Fortino won the draw back to Sean Loftus, who quickly passed along the blue line to Bishop. Bishop took a step and ripped an errant slap shot. DeLamater snuck in between a sea of Indian defenders and redirected one through the five-hole to bring the PC all the way back for the tie.

"We got a bit lucky tonight," said DeLamater. "Down three goals, we just tried to keep crashing the net and trying to stuff in some rebounds. I give them (PV) credit; they came out more ready than we were. We honestly did not know what to expect and I think they kind of surprised us with their effort and how hard they played."

PC's Chris Lissi (left) and PV's Mike Hodgman racing up the wing.

"I felt it was disappointing to get a tie here," DeLamater added. "But the other side of the coin is that we were down 4-0 and found a way to get a tie out of it. We have to come out like gangbusters, like we did in the third period. The guys on this team can't feel good or bad about ourselves, we have to play a strong Tenafly team tomorrow night (Ice House, Hackensack - 7:15). We just have to take it game-by-game and shift-by-shift and go from there."

Despite letting in five goals a piece, both goaltenders had to make several fine saves just to keep their teams in the game. Levin finished with 28 saves for PV, while his counterpart, Ceransky, totaled 19.

"Overall, we lost our composure tonight," said Palmieri. "But the other way you look at it is we tied a solid team that is two divisions above us. We're fine though. There are no quitters on this team and they will bounce back.

Pascack Valley's record now stands at 3-1-1. They will next play against Indian Hills at 3:15 on Wednesday at the Ice House in Hackensack.


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