Parkland ice hockey team wins LVSHL championship
Parkland ice hockey players had a sour taste in their mouths after ending the 2019-20 regular season with a loss.
But the taste didn’t linger long as Parkland won its next three games, all in the playoffs, including winning two straight in a best-of-three championship series against Northampton to earn a Lehigh Valley Scholastic Hockey League title.
“The loss against them at the end of the year didn’t affect us in this series,” said senior defenseman Kyle Hoke. “We looked at these games as just two against a very good team before reaching our end goal of bringing home a cup. When they beat us, we had some players out with injuries, which forced us to play people at different positions. This time around, we were healthier and it really helped us out a lot.”
Parkland clinched its latest title in dramatic fashion, scoring a game-winning goal in overtime to win 3-2 and take the series last Wednesday night at Lehigh Valley Ice Arena.i
“We continue to win league titles by playing with the mindset that what we are doing is bigger than us,” sad Hoke. “We play for the people that came before us, we play for ourselves, and we play for the future kids of the program.”
Evan Marrone took a pass from Eric Dennis and slotted home the winner in the overtime period to send the Trojans to victory. That goal followed after the Kids tied the game late in the third period to force the extra time.
“Before overtime, we all said to each other that we didn’t want to play another game,” Hoke said. “We didn’t want to give them a chance to win it. We wanted this more than anything. We wanted it over right then and there.”
Northampton got on the scoreboard first to open the game with a goal by Alyssa Wruble, but 55 seconds later, Alex Doe tied it up with a power play goal.
After a scoreless second period of play, Parkland once again took advantage of the extra skater, as Dennis found the back of the net on a power play from a pass by Hunter Dolon to put his team ahead for the first time 2-1. The Kids, however, were able to find the equalizer late, as Wruble tallied her second of the contest.
“Northampton plays a different style of hockey,” said Hoke. “When we play them we expect a very physical game and are pressured 100 percent of the time. They come at you with everything they have no matter the situation. We were prepared for that and tried to replicate it.”