WILKES-BARRE — Wyoming Area booked its second straight trip to the Casey Classic Final after topping Wyoming Seminary 5-2 in a semifinal matchup on Thursday.
The Warriors will face two-time defending champions, Crestwood, 6-2 winners over Back Mountain, on Friday at 4 p.m. at the Mohegan Sun Arena.
Wyoming Area forward Brendan Lee tallied two goals in the middle frame to lead the Warriors’ attack, while Alex Chronowski scored a goal and added two assists in the win.
“This time, it’s totally different. It has shown that last year wasn’t just pure luck,” Warriors head coach Bill Weiss. “It has been a team effort just like this was tonight.”
The Warriors jumped out to an early 1-0 lead on C.J. Rome’s rebound goal off an Chronowski shot. Wyoming Area dominated puck possession and recorded the first five shots on net.
It wasn’t until the final five minutes of the period that the Blue Knights’ offense finally got going behind a pair of goals from Trey Leo, the second coming with 38.2 seconds left in the opening period. Tyler Shedlock helped set up both goals.
Wyoming Seminary led 2-1 heading into the second period.
The Warriors coach had just one piece of advice for his squad.
“Coach (Weiss) just told us to keep pushing, so we play tomorrow,” Lee said. “If we don’t win, there is no tomorrow. We just made sure we came together as a team and put the puck in the net a few more times.”
The second period was when Lee took over. The senior forward scored both of his goals in the opening 5:38 of the third period to give the Warriors the lead for good at 3-2.
Leo nearly tallied a hat trick on a short-handed rush in the third period, but his shot hit the post.
Chronowski sealed the deal for the Warriors with his power-play goal in the final 4:30 of the third period before Alex Hawk added an insurance marker with 1:59 left in regulation.
The win gives Wyoming Area a chance for revenge in the Casey Classic Finals, where they will face top-seeded Crestwood in a rematch of last year’s final.
“If we play Crestwood, that will be a little bit of icing on the cake,” Weiss said. “Last year, they took us into overtime. We had our chances, they had their chances and unfortunately we lost in overtime. This year, it won’t go to overtime.”
Lee held a similar sentiment about the finals matchup with the Comets Friday.
“Yes, absolutely. If Crestwood wins, we are definitely looking for revenge,” Lee said. “They beat us in the Casey Classic championship and the league championship last year. We are definitely looking for revenge this winter. We’ll be ready for them.”
Wyoming Area `1 `2 ` 2 ` —` 5
Wyoming Seminary `2 `0 `0 `—` 2
First Period — 1. WA, CJ Rome (Alex Chronowski) 2:15; 2. Sem, Trey Leo (KC Medico, Tyler Shedlock) 9:29; 3. Sem, Leo (Shedlock) 14:21.
Second Period — 4. WA, Brendan Lee (Patrick Musinski) 1:04; 5. WA, Lee (unassisted) 5:38.
Third Period — 6. WA, Alex Chronowski (Alex Hawk, Nick Perry) 10:30 power play; 7. WA, Hawk (Chronowski) 13:01.
Goalies — WA (Chris Hartmann); Sem (Mike Novotnock) Penalties - WA 5 for 18 minutes; Sem 3 for 6 minutes. Power plays - WA 1-for-3; Sem 0-for-3.
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