Villa Julie vs. Wesley
April 30, 2003
The Game Story:
Stevenson, PA - Chris Hurley scored six goals to power the visiting Wolverines over the host Mustangs in a Pennsylvania Athletic Conference semi-final game on Wednesday. Dan Velez tallied three goals and two assists to lead Villa Julie, which finishes the season at 8-3 overall and 6-2 in the PAC.

Villa Julie jumped out first as Velez scored at 10:16 off a smooth feed from Ed Wienecke. Wesley answered with a four-goal run, two scores each from senior attackmen Jason Lynch and Hurley. Brian Bacon fired home an unassisted goal at 0:46 to bring Villa Julie to within 4-2 at the end of the quarter.

VJ put up a pair of second quarter goals -- both in extra-man -- as Wienecke fed Velez and then Velez returned the favor to Wienecke, tying the game at 4-4. Wesley got the final goal of the half, as Hurley notched his third off an assist from Chris Miller, giving his team a 5-4 lead at the break.

The third period was all Villa Julie, as the Mustang defense shut down the Wesley attack. VJ goalie Pat Gill got hot, with six of his overall 13 saves coming in the third. Meanwhile, the Mustang offense put up three unanswered goals. Two Velez goals were sandwiched around a Nate Montanye score, and VJ had the lead, 7-5, and the momentum going into the final period.

But it was all Wesley in the fourth, as they won the pivotal quarter, 4-0. Hurley scored off a feed from Mark Skakle at 12:08 to make it 7-6. Then a Brandon Fohl goal a minute later tied it at 7-7. It was a tension-filled play-off atmosphere over the next three and a half minutes, as both teams looked for an advantage. Hurley broke the ice with a solo goal at 7:28 to give Wesley an 8-7 lead, and the momentum had clearly shifted. Hurley added his sixth and final goal of the day at 6:20, assisted by Greg Prochazka, to account for the final score. The Wolverine defense then dug in as the Mustangs tried to counter over the final six minutes.

In the stats department, Wesley finished with a 31-26 edge in shots, while VJ had the slim 42-41 edge in groundballs. Wolverine goalie Bill Brennan had 18 saves to anchor the defense. Face-offs were almost even, 10-9 in favor of VJ. Both teams controlled two quarters, but Wesley's four-goal runs in the first and fourth were the difference.

The scenario was, in a way, a carbon copy of last year, as Villa Julie won the regular-season meeting between the two teams and Wesley (both times as #3 seed) defeated VJ (both times the #2 seed) in the post-season semi-final game. In today's contest, the Wolverines were clearly focused as they rode the emotional wave of playing in memory of their Head Coach, David Reynolds, who passed away several weeks ago.

Wesley (6-6, 6-2) travels to Cabrini on Saturday for the PAC championship game at 2:30 p.m. Cabrini was a 19-4 winner over Misericordia in the day's other semi-final.