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State College captures Laurel Mtn. Title

By Kenny Varner

UNIVERSITY PARK – On top of the world.

The State College Little Lions Ice Hockey team took everything that the Central Cambria Devils gave them and took the Laurel Mountain Championship Tuesday night at the Pegula Arena 5-3.

State College came in as the number two seed while Central Cambria was the fourth seed.

En route to the championship game the Little Lions defeated Altoona 7-5 while the Red Devils upset previously undefeated Hollidaysburg to advance 9-5.

During the regular season State College has swept Central Cambria during the regular season.

It was a night where the Little Lions dominated the night after giving up an early goal and two late third period goals.

Things didn’t start out the way State College would have liked as Central Cambria scores early on a breakaway attempt by Wade Plowman. Plowman places it just past goalie John Olsen with 13:20 left in the opening period, making it a quick Red Devil 1-0 advantage.

But that would be the last lead that Central Cambria would have.

As the game went on, State College settles in and started to make its attempt for the early comeback.

For much of the first, the Little Lions  had its chances but couldn’t get on through for almost 10 minutes.

But with 3:35 left in the period, State broke the seal and tied the game on a Logan Kinsey goal.

But the Little Lions struck once again before the period ended when Robert Zimmerman sent a shot past the Red Devil goalie with just 40 ticks left on the clock.

As the two switched sides to start the second, State held a 2-1 lead.

In the second, Olsen with the help of his teammates mounted a shut out As he saved everything the Red Devils threw at him. 

State College’s offense started the period in the Central Cambria end and was looking to add some distance in the score of the game.

With 9:48 left in the second, State got a unbelievable behind the net pass by Jo Jo Velasquez as he sent one over to teammate Cameron McCurdy and he sent it home, upping it to a 3-1 advantage.

With Olsen stopping everything that was thrown at him, the offense gave him a little cushion as Velasquez found himself with another assist as he got the puck to Braden Wandrisco to end the second period scoring at 4-1.

Going into the final stanza, State College found itself just 15 minutes from capturing another title. 

After State played puck control offense for much of the period, the Red Devils were able to chip one in at the 4-2 with a goal in the final four minutes.

However, State put the game on ice as Zimmerman picked up another goal, giving them a 5-2 lead with 1:44 left.

Central Cambria finished the game scoring a goal with 14.6 seconds left but it was too little too late as the Little Lions went onto the victory and the celebration begun.

The Lions finished with just three losses on the year, quite a fete.

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