WALL, NJ -  The No. 23 seeded Arthur L. Johnson High School Crusaders varsity ice hockey team fell to the No. 10 seeded Wall Township High School Crimson Knights by a final score of 9-1 in the first round of the NJSIAA Public B Tournament Tuesday evening at the Jersey Shore Arena in Wall, closing the door on the Crusaders season.

The Crusaders, who started the 2017 with a promising 9-0-1 winning streak, fell into a slump they weren’t able to turn around as the season went along. The turning point? A 5-2 loss against Governor Livingston on Jan. 11.

Trailing early on Tuesday by a score of 1-0, Johnson junior and co-captain Mike Adamowitz tied the game at one with his sixth goal of the season, providing hope the Crusaders could battle this one through. Wall answered back with two goals to give them a 3-1 lead heading into the first intermission.

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The Crusaders had no answer for the surging Wall Township squad, as the Crimson Knights poured it on as the second period rolled along.

Wall Township exploded for four goals in the second period, taking a comfortable 7-1 lead into the second intermission. Four Wall Township players scored two goals each, getting them from senior Ryan Burns, juniors Shane Haviland and Kyle O’Neil and sophomore Jack Textor.

Two more goals were scored for Wall Township in the third period to stretch the lead to 9-1.

The Johnson Crusaders finish their 2016-17 season with a 13-9-1 record.

The Wall Township Crimson Knights (15-6-2) advance to the NJSIAA Public B Tournament Second Round. They will face off against No. 7 seeded Roxbury HS Friday night.

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