Thursday, February 03, 2005

Norwin vs. State College - When worlds collide

As I returned to the Center Ice Arena I found a different Norwin team than the one I saw earlier in the month. I was excited and interested in this high school PIHL match-up having called both State College, PA and Norwin home.

I even walked through the pro shop and got to meet both coaches making equipment improvements for their respective teams. I wished them both good luck and expressed how personally excited I was for the game. It came down to which side I had to take. I chose to sit on the visitor side with the other 7 people despite my lettermen jacket and cap.

I remembered to bring a camera, but somehow overlooked the point to check the battery life on my media equipment. I did manage to get a few minutes of both teams' warm-ups. Norwin was the designated home team decked out in their white jerseys with blue and "Vegas gold" stripes at the waist with the block lettering name emblazon across the chest. The traveling State College team also used the similar style jersey, but with their school colors of burgundy (or maroon), white, and silver.

It was a totally different Norwin team than the one I saw play Penn Trafford. About a few minutes into the game, Norwin jumped out in front 1-0 and then 2-0 a few minutes after that. The State College Little Lions goalie, a tall and lanky young kid, had looked ill prepared for the beginning of the game. The total turn around of Norwin's play made State College look like they were on the uphill struggle of what I label a "permanent penalty kill". When one team dominates the flow of the game and maintains a large attack zone time, then it was clear which team was ready to play.

After it became 4-1 and State College outshot by the same ratio, I wondered if there were some way that they would enforce a "mercy rule" as they do in the pony leagues.

Both teams were a little bit undisciplined to where there were a lot of warnings from the referees to the kids not keeping their mouthpieces in and some landing on the ice.

Norwin played physical the longer the game went on. After the midway point of the 3rd period, there was a surge of offense to State College. Perhaps the 3 hour bus ride from Centre County was too much of a drain on the Little Lions.

The final score was Knights 8 and Little Lions 2. 24 shots to 21 shots respectfully.
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