"We had to put Mike Corrado in for the last five minutes of the game when Jason was knocked groggy in a scramble in front of the net, and he came up big and didn't allow a goal," Bussetti said. "It was an exciting game to watch."
Lansdale Catholic, which finished the regular season with a 3-11-1 record for 7 points, will meet Eastern Regional (6-7-2, 14) at 8:45 p.m. Wednesday at the Face-Off Circle in Warminster.
"The last five games of this season have been the best games of the year for us," Bussetti said.
"Cherokee (4-11, 8) beat us 9-3 the first time we played them, and we beat them in the playoffs. We lost to Eastern 7-1 the first time, and I'm hoping we can turn things around against them."
MARCH PLAYOFF MADNESS
The first round of the SHSHL playoffs did not follow form, with two of the three games resulting in qualified upsets.
In addition to Lansdale Catholic's 5-4 win over Cherokee, Lenape (0-13-2, 2) won its first SHSHL game of the season with a 4-3 victory over Shawnee (5-8-2, 12). The only game that went as advertised was Washington Township's (5-8-2, 12) win over last-place Quakertown (0-14-1). The Minutemen had little trouble in a 6-1 win.
Tonight, Central Bucks West (3-8-2, 8) and Bishop Eustace (4-10, 8) will play a first-round SHSHL playoff game at 7:30 at the Face-Off Circle. The winner will meet Archbishop Wood (9-6, 18) Wednesday at Face-Off Circle.
"We're really looking forward to that first playoff game," said Archbishop Wood coach Brian Damiani. "We scrimmaged against a good Bantam A team, the Bristol Blazers, last week. We want the ice time, and we want to make sure we're as ready as we can be for the playoffs.
"Our goal was to be one of the first four teams in the league in the final standings, and get the bye into the semifinals. But it didn't work out that way. We hope to use this game against either West or Eustace to build a little momentum if we can get to the semifinals."
Wood will go into the game with just one major injury to overcome. Missing for the rest of the season will be defenseman Skip Scafidi, who broke a wrist in a victory over Lansdale Catholic.
"Steve Keil and Joe Uchinat will step in for Skip," Damiani said. "We'll miss Skip, but I feel Steve and Joe can do a decent job. The team has played well lately, and we've been able to implement a good system over the course of the season."
Central Bucks East (8-5-2, 18) will open its SHSHL playoff season against Lenape at 8:45 p.m. tomorrow at Face-Off Circle.
"We really shouldn't have any trouble with Lenape," said Central Bucks East coach Andy Richards. "But then Shawnee probably felt the same way and got beat.
"Right now, it's a do-or-die situation in that you lose one game and you're done. We don't like to be in that type of situation, but when you don't finish in the first four teams in the final standings, you have to deal with that."
The Blazers blasted Quakertown last Monday, 13-4, to prep for the Lenape game.
"It was an easy game, and the best thing to come out of it was that we're still healthy and we didn't take a lot of dumb penalties," Richards said. ''Quakertown is an expansion team, and they're only going to get better. They went through a lot of growing pains, but that is to be expected.
"Our objective right now is to be in the Final Four. We are not really a championship-caliber team. Germantown Academy and Council Rock can worry about the championship. William Tennent, Cheltenham, Archbishop Wood and we can battle it out to see who gets to the Final Four."
Germantown Academy (15-0, 30) captured the SHSHL regular-season championship and the No. 1 seed in the playoffs. Council Rock (14-1, 28) finished second, with Cheltenham (12-3, 24) finishing third and William Tennent (9-4-2, 20) fourth.
Tennent is the defending SHSHL champion and had advanced to the Flyers Cup finals last season, where the Panthers were routed, 11-4, by Malvern Prep.
The Flyers Cup format has been modified this season. Each of the four leagues in the Philadelphia area will send two teams to the Flyers Cup. The No. 1 and No. 2 finishers from the SHSHL, the Inter-County League, the Eastern League and the Lower Bucks League will compete.