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Tiger hockey skates through final four, plays undefeated CBC for state crown


March 02, 2005 - By STEPHEN GLOVER

For the Call

Only in the Missouri high school hockey playoffs can a tie mean a win.

The boys' hockey team at Oakville Sen-ior High advanced to the championship game of the Challenge Cup after tying the Parkway South Patriots 4-4 on Saturday.

The Tigers defeated the Patriots 4-1 in the first game of the two-game series.

Oakville (21-2-4) is riding an 18-game undefeated streak dating back to Dec. 14 when the Tigers suffered a 4-3 loss to Parkway South.

"It's been quite a year," Oakville team coordinator Rick Tod told the Call. "The boys are very excited to represent the school down there at the finals this year."

The Tigers jumped onto the scoreboard with 57 seconds left in the first period on a power-play goal by senior defenseman Justin Maroon. Junior left winger Tim Gard-ner and sophomore center Pat Maroon re-ceived the assist.

"It was a power play goal where we worked the puck around and Justin took the shot from the blue line," Tod said. "He ended up putting the puck in the top right corner."

Oakville extended its lead to 2-0 with 15 seconds left in the first period of play as Gardner scored on a goal with sophomore center Ryan Kretzer and Justin Maroon getting the assist.

"It was a play where Justin put the puck in the corner to Kretzer," Tod explained. "Kretzer then passed the puck to Gardner as he came down the slot and Gardner put it in."

The Tigers went up 3-0 with 7:40 left in the second period as Pat Maroon slapped in an unassisted goal.

"Pat picked up the puck and let off a shot at the top of the left circle," Tod said. "He ended up beating the goalie on the far side."

Parkway South responded with 6:39 left in the second as Dan Weiss scored on an assist from Joe McGuire and Paul Saitta. The Patriots scored again with 51 seconds left in the second as Salman Shah scored off an assist by Chris Lupo.

Oakville brought the score to 4-2 in the third period on a goal by Kretzer as Pat Maroon and Gardner had the assists.

"Pat had the puck behind the net and Ryan one-timed it right into the net," Tod explained.

The Patriots then pulled goalkeeper Brandon Wexler in the final minutes of the third period and got two goals from Mc-Guire and Sease.

The late comeback wasn't enough for the Patriots to win the series. Oakville got the tiebreaker and advanced to the Challenge Cup championship against CBC on Monday — after The Call went to press.

The Cadets (36-0-2) and the Tigers squared off in the first game of the 2004-2005 season. CBC walked away with a 4-2 victory.

"Without a doubt, they (CBC) are the best team in the Mid-States," Tod said. "Any team that plays them has to have their best game in order to have a chance to win."

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