Centennial and Howard were on different ends of one-sided Maryland Scholastic Hockey League Tier II playoff games yesterday afternoon.
Pat Schaeffer had three goals and three assists and Greg Letzkus added two goals to power Centennial past Thomas Johnson, 8-4, in Frederick. The Eagles (8-3) will play top-seeded Archbishop Curley, which had a first-round bye, tomorrow at 3: 20 p.m. at the Gardens Ice House in Laurel.
Howard had a slow start against Bowie and paid for it. The Lions trailed 3-0 after the first period and lost, 7-2, at the Gardens Ice House.
"It's not a good time to play one of your worst games of the year," said Howard coach Michael Rand.
Centennial started the season by losing two of its first three games, but has won seven of its last eight, including five in a row.
Ryan McCrone, Chris Rohrback and Eddie Ryland scored first-period goals as Centennial took a 3-1 lead. Schaeffer, a 6-1, 185-pound junior, scored twice and Letzkus once in the second period as the Eagles increased their lead to 6-2.
"We kept our heads in the game and never stopped and never looked back," said Schaeffer. "We took the game to them."
Centennial coach Steve Berman said his team "played really well," and that freshman goalie Joey Collins and senior Raja Sidhu played important roles.
"Joey made some great stops and played an unbelievable game," Berman said.
Collins did so with a broken stick.
"He broke it in warm-ups. It was in two pieces," said Berman. "We taped it together."
Sidhu was battered by Thomas Johnson, but kept plugging away.
"His inspirational play allowed us to finish the third period strong," Berman said.
Howard trailed, 6-0, before junior Dan Fritz scored with 2: 20 left in the second period. Senior Erik Dickson added a third-period goal for the Lions (7-3-1).
"They just outplayed us early, and we didn't have enough to come back from that," Rand said.
Said Dickson: "We didn't go out and play as a team. We can play better then this."
In Centennial's 5-4 win last week over River Hill, Schaeffer's goal tied the game and Rohrback won it with with 35 seconds left.
Howard is the Howard Conference champion. It was reported Sunday that Atholton was conference titlist. Atholton was undefeated in the Howard Conference, but because it has players from four schools (Atholton, Hammond, Long Reach, McDonogh) it is not eligible for the crown. Howard was 5-1-1 in the conference.
Pub Date: 2/23/99