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East Lake brings home Lightning Cup with victory over Jesuit

by Peter Pupello / Tampa Bay Lightning
Austin Teall celebrated his birthday in a big way Thursday night.

The junior defenseman from East Lake High School had a goal and an assist to go along with MVP honors as he led the Eagles to a 5-3 win over Jesuit High School en route to capturing the Lightning Conference Cup Championship at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

East Lake held what appeared to be a comfortable two-goal lead with under five minutes to play, but Jesuit"s Brandon Cherry scored with 4:49 left in regulation to cut the deficit to just one.

The Tigers' hopes, however, were dashed when East Lake's Zane Katz put the final puck into an empty net with 50 ticks left on the clock, ensuring the Eagles their first-ever championship in school history.

"In a lot of our playoff games, we've been down and we were down again tonight," East Lake head coach Jim Anna said. "It just seems to be that's how we're going to play, but we woke up."

The Tigers opened the scoring on a slap shot just two minutes into the contest by Nick Petrarca.

East Lake followed it up with a pair of unanswered tallies, including one by Teall, to take a 2-1 lead with 7:06 left in the first period.

Jesuit tied it up just 40 seconds into the final frame on a shot by William Polmear, but it didn't last long, as East Lake's Alex Estoch found the back of the net just three minutes later, putting the Eagles up 3-2 going into the break.

East Lake took control of the game early in the third period when Nathan Keller put them up 4-2 with 13:24 left before Cherry made things interesting late in the contest.
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