Written by Josh Appel – Cypress Bay High School Senior
SUNRISE, Fla - a sparse, but loud crowd gathered to watch the North Broward Preparatory Eagles face off against the Cypress Bay Lightning at the Bank Atlantic Center for the SAHOF Tier 1 State Championship Sunday afternoon, with the Eagles winning 4-3 in overtime.
Outside of FSHL High School Hockey Night (Opening Night), in which Cypress Bay beat North Broward 4-2, the Eagles have dominated season series winning 5 of 6 heading into the championship game.
During the state tournament, Cypress Bay defenseman Kevin Masaro suffered a minor concussion, but did play.
North Broward opened up the scoring 5:19 into the game, when #27 Jake Simons poked a puck past Schmidt to give North Broward the 1-0 lead. The goal was unassisted.
Just 33 seconds later, at the 5:52 mark, GC Debello received a pass from Brad Perlman and bury it into the net to put the Eagles ahead with a commanding 2-0 first period advantage.
A little over halfway through the 1st period, Ryan Sanders put the Lightning on the board with a power play goal from the bottom of the faceoff circle. Kevin Masaro and Ryan Geffin got the assists. The puck barely snuck under the pads of Eagles goaltender Nick Amato.
The Second period was scoreless despite the fact that each team had two power plays in the frame. The teams headed to the locker room before the third period with the score still at 2-1.
Just 1:33 into the third frame, North Broward captain Brandon Palacio knocked a rebound past Randy Schmidt to give them a 3-1 lead, and a huge momentum swing in the Eagles’ favor.
At the 7:28 mark, Ryan Geffin picked up a loose puck and snapped a shot past the outstretched Amato. Ryan Fellman and Chance Wolf picked up the helpers. 3-2 was the score at this point with plenty of time for the tying goal.
Cypress Bay came close to putting home the equalizer twice in the period. Most notably when Danny Worth got a puck through the legs of Nick Amato, but as it dribbled towards the goal line, one of the Eagles’ defensemen was able to clear the puck out. Later, with about 1:50 remaining in regulation, Ryan Sanders ringed a shot off of the cross bar. The score remained 3-2.
The Lightning pulled their goalie with 1:13 left for the extra attacker. On Cypress Bay’s last rush, Ryan Geffin backhanded one past Nick Amato to tie the game at 3 goals apiece. The goal was credited to Danny Worth, with Ryan Geffin and Kevin Masaro getting the assists.
This game headed into overtime at about 1:44 in the afternoon. Just as the puck was dropped, a Florida Panthers rep came down to the penalty box to inform the teams that they needed to be off the ice by 2:00 PM in advance of the scheduled game that night. It turned out to be a moot point.
The extra frame was mostly dominated by North Broward. Randy Schmidt stopped Jake Simons on a breakaway 5:27 into the period to keep Cypress Bay’s hopes alive.
However, just nine seconds later, Simons took advantage of both Lightning defensemen pinching in on offense, and deliver a perfect pass to Brad Perlman who buried it top shelf to give the Eagles the win, and the state championship with a Final score of 4-3 in OT.
“Both teams left it on the ice,” North Broward Prep Head Coach, and former Panther enforcer Peter Worell said postgame. “It wasn’t about tactics or positioning, it was about hard work. Both teams left it all out there. But you know, as happy and as excited as we are, you gotta feel for some of those kids on that team.”
“Someone had to lose,” Lightning head coach Perry San said. “The effort was as great as anyone could give, nobody could’ve said we could’ve worked a little harder, we just played great and came up short.”
With the win, North Broward Prep earns their third state championship, and will make a trip to the USA Hockey High School National Tournament later this month.
3: Cypress Bay: G 68 Randy Schmidt
2: Cypress Bay: F/D 26 Ryan Geffin (1 G 1A, game tying goal with :10 left)
1: North Broward: F 21 Brad Perlman (1 G 1A, GWG at 5:18 in OT)
1st Period: (NB) Jake Simons-Unassisted (5:19)
(NB) GC Debello- Brad Perlman (5:52)
(CB) Ryan Sanders- Kevin Masaro- Ryan Geffin (8:45)
2nd Period: NO SCORING
3rd Period: (NB) Brandon Palacio-Unassisted (1:33)
(CB) Ryan Geffin- Ryan Fellman- Chance Wolf (7:28)
(CB) Ryan Geffin- Danny Worth- Kevin Masaro (14:50)
Overtime: (NB) Brad Perlman- Jake Simons (GWG, 5:18)
GAME NOTES: Cypress Bay defensemen Matt Hersh left the game with an apparent shoulder injury after the 2nd period. Cypress Bay forward Thomas Yamashita dressed, but did not play. He has been out with a concussion.