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By Robert Skorochocki

WEST CHESTER, PA—Heading into the final weekend of game action before the AJHL froze its schedule for the holiday season, the Philadelphia Junior Flyers squared-off against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Junior Knights in a home-and-home series.

The Junior Flyers entered the weekend having won three of their last four contests, including an onslaught of bottom feeder Washington, outscoring the Junior Nationals 23-5 in the two-game series just two weeks ago.

After a split with the Portland Junior Pirates in Maine last weekend, the Junior Flyers entered this weekend looking for some positives heading into the break.

It started off well for the Junior Flyers on Saturday night at Ice Line when team leading scorer Jon Low notched his 14th goal of the season off a Junior Knights turnover to open up the scoring just 1:08 into the contest.   The Junior Knights would answer however a few minutes later on a goal by defenseman Beau Butcher, his first goal of the season. Butcher’s goal went high over Junior Flyers goaltender Vince Staletti, rang off the back boards and then hit Staletti in the back and into the net for a tie game.

After a couple of questionable penalty calls to end the first period, the Junior Flyers came out of the gate in the second period flying and Aaron Carmichael would put the Junior Flyers back on top with a shorthanded tally just 48 seconds in.  Junior Flyers leading goal scorer Ryan Patsch would add some insurance to put the Junior Flyers on top 3-1 after two periods of play.

The two teams jawed at each other in the final frame and alternated goals; seemingly putting the game away.  However, with two minutes to go, the Junior Knights pulled goaltender Rob Liberatore and quickly put one past Staletti, cutting the lead to one with 1:56 to play.  Just 17 seconds later, after a time out and Liberatore still pulled, Junior Knights forward Jason Zaleski backhanded a rebound past Staletti, knotting the score at four.

The two teams played a five minute four-on-four overtime with not many scoring chances and both left West Chester with a point.

The two teams met again the next afternoon at Revolution Ice Center in Pittston, Pennsylvania both hoping to add to the win column.  It would be the last game on the schedule for each team until January 4, 2012 when the AJHL resumes operations. 

Just like the night before, it was Vince Staletti versus Rob Liberatore in goal and once again it ended in a tie.  Stephen Low started the scoring with a shorthanded goal in the second period.  Low, the Junior Flyers captain, currently sits third in scoring for AJHL defensemen.  Entering the third period down once again, the Junior Knights equaled the score at one just 53 seconds in and that was it for the scoring.


All junior games can be watched live on: www.fasthockey.com.

  Ice Line