The fourth time proved to be the charm for Appoquinimink ice hockey after they defeated defending champion Hodgson-Caravel for the DSHA title Tuesday night at the Pong Ice Arena in Newark.
Appo fell to Hodgson-Caravel three times during the regular season, losing by a combined 21-4.
Jake Woodruff brought back old nightmares for Appo, wristing a shot by goalie Ryan Porter for his 18th of the season just 1:31 into play.
The Jags responded quickly with a perfectly run 2-on-1 fast break. Dylan Frasher found Campbell Garrison who snuck his shot through the five hole of Hodgson-Caravel goaltender Kevin Love to tie the score.
It did not last long. Just 22 seconds later Zack Landreth found the nylon to put Hodgson-Caravel back in front.
Appo struggled during the season with allowing quick goals, and it had come back to bite them after allowing two goals in the first 3:45.
“We struggled early. We were jittery, I think. The guys on the bench were quiet. There wasn’t a lot of emotion going on,” said head coach Jordan Legath. “And then, as the game progressed, I could tell they settled down a little bit, and they started to find their game… I think we got more comfortable in the game. I think we played more of our style of hockey.”
Ryan Baccino nodded the score at 2 midway through the second with a blast by the glove hand of Love.
Freshman Nathan Panchisin provided what ultimately proved to be the game-winning goal as time expired in the second quarter.
Jonny Schwarz found Panchisin on the crease, who faked a shot, went around Love and found the back of the net with a backhand shot that the refs ruled beat the whistle.
The Jaguar defense buckled down in the final period, allowing just five shots that were all denied by Jaguar goalie Ryan Porter.