Because of a scheduling conflict, the Susquehannock ice hockey team will be shorthanded Saturday when it competes for the Central Penn Interscholastic Hockey League Tier 3 championship at the Hersheypark Arena.

Susquehannock's all-star goalie, Hayden Folfas, said he and three of his teammates will be unable to play Saturday because of scheduling conflicts with their club travel teams, which also have playoff events set for Saturday.

Susquehannock will take on MSMCC at 3 p.m.. Saturday for the Tier 3 title, followed by the Tier 2 championship game between Central York and Hempfield at 5 p.m. The Tier 1 final between Cumberland Valley and Palmyra is set for 7 p.m.

"We set our date for the championship games back in July," CPIHL president Steve Aaron said. "We use Hersheypark Arena, and we have to book our dates well in advance. Hersheypark is a great partner in this."

Aaron said this is the fifth year the CPIHL has held its championship day on a weekend at Hersheypark Arena.

"It's become really well known and a really special day for hockey families," he said. "They really look forward to it."

Aaron also said, however, that there are inevitably scheduling conflicts for some players who compete with club travel teams, such as Folfas, which means the players are forced into a difficult choice.

"We did try (to make some scheduling changes to allow Folfas and his teammates to play)," Aaron said. "I was literally on the phone for hours to see if we could make some adjustments to the games, but every time we tried to change it one way, it (negatively) impacted other teams. We want these kids to play. It's their high school championship. It's unfortunate, but when families and kids make choices to play on multiple teams, this is going to happen.  ...  We do all we can to avoid scheduling conflicts, but it's just the crunch of hockey seasons."

Despite the fact that some players will miss the game for Susquehannock, Aaron is still optimistic about the competitiveness of the contest.

"I still think we're going to have a good game," Aaron said. "Susquehannock still has its top three point-producers, and it's a chance for other players to step up and shine. I think we'll have three great games this week."

MSMCC is the No. 1 seed in Tier 3 after winning the regular-season title at 15-3-0. Susquehannock is the No. 3 seed after going 12-4-2 in the regular season. In their earlier playoff match-up, MSMCC beat Susquehannock, 4-3. Folfas, meanwhile, compiled an 11-3-2 record in the regular season with a 3.27 goals-against average.

In the Tier 2 championship, Hempfield enters as the No. 1 seed after a 17-0-1 regular season. Central is the No. 2 seed after an 11-5-2 regular season. Central was the only team that managed to tie Hempfield in the regular season. In the playoffs, however, Central is 2-0, while Hempfield is 2-1 after getting upset by Manheim Twp., 5-1. Hempfield avenged that loss later in the playoffs by beating Manheim Twp., 8-2.

Reach Steve Heiser at sheiser@yorkdispatch.com.

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