It has been 18 years since Cathedral Prep hoisted the Penguins Cup. Saturday, the Ramblers walked into Consol Arena looking to end that cold streak and bring the cup back to Erie. Having been their in two of the last three years, many of the veteran players knew what to expect and knew that going 0-3 in Pens Cup appearances wasn’t anything to brag about. Prep, the number one ranked team in Pennsylvania, had some high expectations entering the game, but they were more then ready to take the call to the tune of a 4-2 victory and a chance at the state title.
The Ramblers arrived at the ice arena in high spirits ready to take on the Armstrong Riverhawks, a team that handed them their first loss of the year earlier in the season. “We were a different team back then,” said assistant captain Hunter Emerson. “We were dealing with a lot of injuries and were undefeated at the time, making us feel unstoppable. I think the loss put a chip on our shoulder and showed we needed to play every game like it was our last.” That game was one of only two losses the team suffered in the regular season, finishing the year 17-2. Flying through the first two rounds of the playoffs, beating West Allegheny 4-1 and Bishop Canevin 8-2, the team did look unstoppable.
The game started quickly with Trevor Faulkner scoring a goal 3:44 into the game. This was a huge weight of the shoulders of the players who weren’t looking to repeat their zero goal performance from last year. Trevor buried another one 3 minutes later and that lead lasted well into the second period. The Riverhawks made it 2-1 late in the in the second, but Joe Sala scored with 1:22 left in the period to make it 3-1. The Ramblers knew they were in position to win, but they couldn’t get too confident and knew they had to finish hard. The Riverhawks brought it within one with 6:36 left in the game, but they couldn’t score another past freshman phenom Jacob Kucharski who made 24 saves. Richard Vicary put the icing on the cake with an empty netter with 13 seconds left, capping off a 4-2 Ramblers victory.
With the win, the Ramblers retain their title as number one in the state and advance to the state finals. The Ramblers will take on Flyers Cup victors East Downington at Pegula Ice Arena in Penn State. The team has battled through adversity all year and looks primed to bring home the state title.