by Brian Stanton

Fenton, MO – Three state championships were on the line on Saturday at the Fenton Forum in the Junior High 1, 2, and 3 divisions. Lets take a closer look and see how each final ended up shaking out.

Junior High Tier 3

Each team in the final had a relatively easy path to the championship as #1 Holt defeated #4 Fort Zumwalt North 6-1 in the semifinal and #3 Fort Zumwalt South was victorious over #2 Francis Howell Central 8-2 in the final four. That set up a matchup between #1 Holt and #3 FZS.

The Holt Indians came out flying as Aiden Birk scored two goals in the first minute of play and the Indians led 2-0 heading into the second period. The FZS Bulldogs quickly made it a one goal game as Kendall Kochner received a pass from Nick Moran to get within one. Holt’s undisciplined play took its toll on the Indians and FZS capitalized on two powerplay chances to take a 3-2 lead. Holt would make a strong push at the end but the Bulldogs locked down there zone defensively and the FZS Bulldogs were the 2018 JH3 State Champions!

Junior High Tier 2

In the JH2 semifinals, #1 Lindbergh squeaked by #4 Seckman 7-5 and #3 Fort Zumwalt South upset #2 Fort Zumwalt North 6-2. This would set up a contest between the defending JH2 state champion #1 Lindbergh Flyers and the #3 ranked team FZS Bulldogs.

Lindbergh started quickly as they scored two goals in the first 1:08 and had a 2-0 lead. Mason Budde and Tristen Pieper each tallied a goal for the Flyers. The Bulldogs would respond with a goal from Nate Pfleging but a little over a minute later Lindbergh got their two goal lead back with another goal from Pieper. The Flyers led the Bulldogs 3-1 five minutes into the first period. Lindbergh added another goal at the 10:45 mark from Peyton Rodriguez but FZS countered with two goals late in the first period by Brayden Wilson and Barrett Cornell. The Flyer took a 4-3 lead heading into the second period.

It was all Lindbergh in the final period as Ashton Patrick, Alex Ringhofer, and Pieper each tallied a goal for the Flyers. FZS added a goal late but fell to Lindbergh 7-4. The Lindbergh Flyers were the 2018 JH2 State Champions!

Junior High Tier 1

The two teams in the JH1 final dominated their semifinal contest as #1 Rockwood defeated #5 Francis Howell 12-2 and #2 Parkway South breezed by #3 Fort Zumwalt West 10-3. That set up a showdown between the defending JH1 champion #1 Rockwood Falcons and #2 Parkway South Patriots.

This contest was a barnburner as both teams traded scores throughout the game. Rockwood struck first as Justin Massara scored for the Falcons but Parkway South’s Caleb Limpert and Kaeden Hawkins lit the lamp for the Patriots who now led 2-1. The Falcons responded with another goal from Massara but again the Patriots tallied two more with Hawkins and Jason Piwowarczyk each getting one a piece. Parkway South now led 4-2. The Falcons finished the first period strong as Sal Cerratto and Massara scored again to tie the score 4-4 heading into the second.

Rockwood started it off in the second as Massara again found the back of the net but Parkway South scored two quick ones in a span of 41 seconds to take a 6-5 lead. The Falcons dominated the next several minutes scoring three goals as Donovan Knuckles scored twice and Brandon Catalano scored to give Rockwood an 8-6 advantage with 12 minutes remaining. The Patriots mustered up one more tally as Shaun Sapienza scored but Rockwood’s Massara added another to give the Falcons a 9-7 victory. Justin Massara finished the game with five goals to lead his team. Rockwood was the 2018 JH1 State Champions!