The Bucks were locked in a low-scoring battle with Back Mountain in their NEPSHL regular season finale. However, led by Jared Whitby's third period hat trick, Paupack exploded to a 7-1 win and yet another all-season title.
As it turns out, there was very little drama on the final weekend of NEPSHL action.
There was the potential for drama...but, it just never materialized. Paupack saw to that.
The Bucks headed into their regular season finale needing a win to seal the deal on yet another league championship.
For two full periods, the game was close. Paupack scored first, then headed into the final stanza still clinging to that razor-thin advantage.
At that point, the Bucks’ offense exploded.
NEPSHL scoring champ Jared Whitby erupted for three late goals and Josh Schneitman added two more...which proved to be more than enough support for Joe Jermain.
Paupack’s all-star goalie stopped 28-of-29 shots in leading the Bucks to a decisive 7-1 win.
With the victory, Coach Lance Landolfi’s lads finished out the 2009-’10 season with a sparkling 12-1-1 record.
“I have to be honest: we completely dominated the game,” he told TWI Sports. “Their goalie did an amazing job. He practically stood on his head to make some of those saves. But, it was only a matter of time before we broke through.”
On the Ice
Back Mountain was hoping to ignite some serious fireworks in this Friday night ice hockey showdown.
After all, the BlackHawks had tied Paupack the first time they played and appeared to match up well with their longtime rivals.
Back Mountain used a combination of solid defense, stellar goaltending and balanced offense to win 10 games and finish third in the standings.
Dominic Swaha led the way. The BlackHawk goalie started 12 games and posted a 3.33 GA average, third best in the league.
Swaha turned in an unforgettable performance in this one. He recorded 50 saves, several of the spectacular variety, in keeping things close for more than two periods.
In the end, though, Paupack just had far too many weapons.
Whitby led the charge with yet another hat trick.
The Bucks senior forward hammered home three goals and handed out two assists. He finish-ed up the regular season with 29 goals and 12 assists, tops in the NEPSHL.
“There’s really no way to stop him,” said Coach Landolfi. “Jared is too fast, too elusive and too well-conditioned. He’d stay on the ice all night without a break if we let him.”
In addition to Schneitman’s two tallies, several other Bucks got into the act offensively.
Blake Suhr and Bobby Schick chipped in with a goal apiece, while Ean Hibian contributed a pair of assists.
As 2009-’10 regular season champions, Paupack earns a first round bye in this year’s NEPSHL play-off tournament.
The Bucks will return to the ice Sunday night for a quarterfinal contest. Coach Landolfi’s squad is slated to take on the winner of Friday’s opening round match-up between Pittston Area and Crestwood.
Opening face off for Paupack’s first play-off game is set for 8:10 p.m. Sunday at Revolution Ice Center in Pittston.
Score by Periods...
WAL (12-1-1) 0 1 6 - 7
BM (10-4-0) 0 0 1 - 1