After a long, intense overtime with fans on their feet and holding their breath, the Crestwood Comets defeated Wyoming Area 3-2, clinching the NEPA Scholastic Ice Hockey League Championship for the second year in a row Feb. 22.
“It was intense and emotional,” recalled Crestwood Coach Paul Eyerman. “The arena had a great crowd. At the end, half of the people were thrilled and the other half was not, but everyone shook hands.”
The Comets will now be the only area team to go on to play in the Flyers Cup, a tournament where the best high school hockey teams in the state compete against each other. Crestwood had defeated Wyoming Area at the end of December as well, winning the Casey Classic Holiday Tournament, also for the second year in a row.
“We have a very good group of kids and parents,” Eyerman related of his team. Some players will even go on to play ice hockey in college, as did Austin Orso, a Comet from last year who is now playing at Central Florida University.
The winning goal Feb. 22 was scored by Senior Stefan Krupski, with just one minute left in overtime. Krupski is now deciding if he’ll play ice hockey in college or go on to play junior ice hockey for four years before taking up higher education. “He’s been looked at many teams,” Eyerman noted.
Crestwood’s goalie, Junior Patrick Croke, blocked Wyoming Area’s attempts at scoring 29 times throughout the Feb. 22 Championship. Both Croke and the Wyoming Area goalkeeper had “career nights,” said Eyerman.
Senior Tanner Kahlau also did much to lead his team to victory this year, Eyerman added. At the