Pioneers Become Champs
On a chilly Monday night on the last day of February, Clearview and Shawnee faced off in Game 2 of the South Jersey High School Hockey League for the Tier 1 championship. Clearview had not lost all year before dropping a shorthanded game against Shawnee in the quarterfinals of the playoffs. Since then, Clearview fought tooth and nail to survive in the losers bracket for a chance to redeem themselves in the championship games. After scraping past Eastern to advance to the finals, the Pioneers finally had their shot at redemption. They shutout Shawnee in Game 1 and was one step closer to being crowned champions. Clearview’s fearsome four included forwards Connor Reagan, Nick Rockey, Mario Leone, and the brick wall in net, Logan Graham. Connor Reagan got the Pioneers on the board early with two first period goals.
After some great saves on both ends by both goalies, we had a scoreless 2nd period. With the score being 2-0 heading into the third period, this game surely seemed to be in favor of Clearview. Just 56 seconds into the final period, Mario Leone snuck in a powerplay goal to go up 3-0. Just a little past the halfway mark in the third period, Brian Bowman of Shawnee finally got the Renegades on the board after 80+ minutes of being held scoreless by Logan Graham in the series. For the remaining minutes of the game, it was all Clearview. As the final horn sounded, the Pioneers skaters all threw their gloves and sticks into the air and rejoiced around goalie Logan Graham, the coaches embraced each other on the bench, and the View Crew student section along with family members in the stands were ecstatic.
With the victory Coach Mike Wolk was left “speechless’”. “We've been fighting for this for so long and I thought I’d have something to say but you just lose any words for it”. After shutting out Shawnee in the first game, Wolk’s message to the players was “to just keep doing what you’re doing and do what got us here”. Coach Wolk had high praise for his goalie stating, “Everybody in the locker room knows that Logan took us on his back and carried us and willed us into winning these games. Although he may be nervous we may never see it because that’s just who he is, he’s our rock.”