Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Title Game End of Era for Serra Catholic, Radnor

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Title Game End of Era for Serra Catholic, Radnor

Article excerpt

The Class A state high school hockey championship game, at noon Saturday at the RMU Island Sports Complex, will be the end of an era for Serra Catholic and Radnor.

For Radnor, it will be the last game in which any of the Brennan brothers will suit up for the Red Raiders. Senior Chris Brennan has won the past two Delaware County Daily Times player of the year awards. His brother, John, who scored a goal and two assists two years ago in Radnor's 5-4 Pennsylvania Cup loss to the Eagles and now stars for Rhode Island's club team, won the award that year.

"John was the best high school hockey player I've ever seen," said Serra coach Tom Mooney. "The Brennans could have played college hockey then."

For Serra it will be the last game for senior goalie Tim "Tito" Johnson, who will be attempting to win his third state championship before heading to the Brownstown, Mich., Bombers of the Junior "A" Continental Elite Hockey League. Throughout Johnson's career, Serra has been short on defensemen and routinely allowed more shots than its opponent. But Johnson has consistently ranked among the top goalies in all of the PIHL.

Both teams have ruled their respective regions for several seasons as the 23-3 Eagles have taken four of the past five Penguin Cups (Western Pennsylvania championship) while the Raiders have won the past three Class A Flyers Cups. And while Radnor, 16-2 during the Intercounty Scholastic Hockey League's regular season, is the defending state champion, Serra took the Pennsylvania Cup in the three preceding seasons.

"After watching Serra, I'd consider us the underdog coming into Pittsburgh and going up against a goalie like Johnson," said Radnor head coach Ed Ritti III.

Ritti remembers how his team outshot Serra, 37-16, in 2002, but lost due to Johnson's heroics. Mooney doesn't expect that to change on Saturday. …

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