Cyclones Fly Past Griffins in CSAC Semifinals

HACKETTSTOWN, N.J. (April 30, 2013) Today's CSAC semifinal playoff game between the No. 3 seeded Gwynedd-Mercy Griffins and No. 2 seeded Centenary Cyclones had all the makings of a classic game, and it certainly lived up to it, with the Cyclones defeating Griffins by the final score of 12-5.

After a scoreless opening five minutes the Cyclones got the scoring started when Cameron Gunn (Johnson City, NY, Johnson City) connected with Jeff Prudente (Somerville, NJ, Somerville) and he proceeded to beat the goalie low and to the short side to go up 1-0. However, the Griffins would answer at 8:20 when Mason Risner ripped a shot to the back of the cage knotting the game at one apiece.

After a one minute non-releasable penalty on the Griffins, the Cyclones would strike again when Conor Nolan found Joey DeBiasse for a man-up goal to put Centenary up 2-1. However, less than a minute later Nico Belardo made a strong move to the front of the crease and tied the game for the Griffins. Then at the 2:04 mark Gwynedd-Mercy took their first lead of the game when Bill Beck ripped the twine and made it 3-2. The score would remain that way for the remainder of the quarter despite Nolan hitting the far post on a shot from the left wing.

As the intensity picked up in the second quarter of play the scoring was halted for the first half of the quarter. However, after Gunn hit the second post of the game, the Cyclones scored back-to-back goals. Robert Nuzzolese (Woodbury, NY, Syosset) found the back of the cage and then only seconds later Patrick Johnston (Glen Ridge, NJ, Glen Ridge) won the faceoff, raced down the field, wound up and scorched a shot past the goalie to give Centenary the lead back at 4-3.

The chaotic second half of the second quarter would continue when Gwynedd-Mercy tied the score up with a Tony McCraw goal to make it 4-4. However, the Cyclones would untie the game at 2:47 when Joshua Caven (Yardley, PA, Pennsbury) received a pass from DeBiasse and beat the goal keeper and make it 5-4. The Cyclones would ring the bell again with 1:21 remaining when Gunn found DeBiasse to push the Cyclones lead to two goals.

Up 6-4 the Cyclones would strike one last time when Nolan dove across the front of the crease and beat the Griffins goalie to the upper right-hand side to make the score 7-4 at the half.

After a flurry of Griffins penalties at the close of the opening half, the Cyclones began the third quarter on a three man-up opportunity-and it didn't take long for them to capitalize. Just 18 seconds in, DeBiasse found Gunn who beat the goalie to cash in on the man-up opportunity and make it 8-4. Then at the 13:31 mark, DeBiasse, the reigning CSAC rookie of the year, would score again to put Centenary up 9-4 early in the second half.

The Cyclones would extend their lead to 10-4 when Gunn danced behind the cage and wrapped around the far side to beat the goalie with an underhand shot. After a number of nice saves by Cyclones' goalie Kevin Switzer (Hillsdale, N.J., Pascack Valley), Centenary scored goal number 11 when DeBiasse found Prudente to go up by seven. However the Griffins would answer when Beck found the back of the cage on a chest-high shot to make it 11-5 with just under two minutes remaining in the quarter.

As the game turned down the home stretch, the fourth quarter began with score 11-5. Switzer made a number of big saves for the Cyclones while Gwynedd-Mercy seemed to dominate the play of follow for much of the first half of the quarter.

With the Cyclones still up 11-5 they took a time out and came out of it ready looking to score again. Three seconds after the re-start, DeBiasse connected with Nolan at the 6:41 mark for what would turn out to be the final goal of the game, to make the score 12-5.

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2013-04-30



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