Friday results

December 30, 2005 on 9:03 pm | In game recap | No Comments

the last full day of 2005 has 16 games, and here are the early results:

  • No. 11 Morris Knolls 8, Morris Hills 3. The Golden Eagles broke open a 3-2 game with four straight goals at the end of the first period and early in the second en route to an 8-3 lead after two periods. Knolls’ top line of Dan Duda (3 g, 4 a), Steven Jones (3 g, 3 a), and Tommy Tomensky (1 g, 4 a) dominated proceedings, and Josh Ofner made 29 saves for the defending public champion in another intra-school-district rivalry game.
  • Bishop Eustace 6, WWPN 2. Southern Red power Bishop Eustace breezed past CVC middleweight WWPN in Pennsauken, opening a 6-0 lead before two late power-play goals reduced the deficit.
  • Ridgewood 3, Red Bank Catholic 3. The Caseys rallied to tie the game 3-3 with about five minutes left at the Red Bank Armory while outshooting the Maroons 32-26. Ridgewood remains unbeaten at 6-0-2 and has now tied Red Division privates St. Joseph Montvale and RBC.
  • Tenafly 4, Old Tappan 2. Tenafly got goals from four different players, including Nick Pappas and Gideon Porter (1 g, 1 a each) to win its second consecutive Mackay Park Tournament title. In last year’s final, the Tigers beat Old Tappan in a shootout.
  • my NBIAL debut

    December 28, 2005 on 6:06 pm | In game recap | No Comments

    Indian Hills 1, Ramapo 1
    I’m pretty sure this was my first NBIAL league game Wednesday, as I traveled north of the border to Sport-O-Rama in Monsey, New York for the clash between intra-school-district rivals Ramapo (6-0-1) and Indian Hills (6-1-2). It was about what I expected of the NBIAL: dense, physical, hard-nosed hockey with not a lot separating the two teams, but I would have loved to see some more scoring chances. Even with 12 power plays, the teams combined for only 30 shots. I won’t go so far as to say there were more cheap shots than shots, but the game was chippy at times, and both coaches had words for the officials after the final whistle. Oh yeah, and they tied 1-1.

    The teams played at a fast pace but did not race end to end, instead controlling the game in spurts. Ramapo had the best chance of the first period, ringing the left post with 5:26 remaining. Scoreless into the second period, Indian Hills goalie Anthony Tabbacchino made a good save on Ramapo’s Robbie Sorrenti in the first 30 seconds. After being outplayed in the early part of the second period, Indian Hills took a 1-0 lead past the halfway mark. Working on an ineffective power play, forward Brad Montalbano stepped up with pace at the red line, gained the offensive zone, skated around a defenseman, and feinted to his backhand before sliding a forehand shot that trickled through the pads of Ramapo’s Dan Menken.

    The emotional goal sparked the game a bit, and even a casual observer could see jawing going on after several big hits. Ramapo finally tied the game with just 6.3 seconds remaining in the second period. Still in the offensive zone after a power play, Matti Makela fed linemate Sorrenti in front, and he one-timed the puck behind Tabbacchino.

    The physical play continued early in the third period, and Ramapo had a shorthanded rebound goal disallowed because the net was dislodged, and the Raiders were unable to capitalize on two power plays late in the period. Both teams had trouble getting shots on net from the points, and the game ended in a 1-1 tie, disappointing both teams. Indian Hills, a bit banged up after four tough game in eight days, tied Ramapo for the third consecutive game and has not beaten the Raiders in the last five years (0-5-3). Still, the Braves beat Fair Lawn and Ramsey and are just one point behind Ramapo, which has yet to play Ramsey for the first time.


    Indian Hills 1, Ramapo 1

    Scoring
    IH   0 1 0 1
    Rmpo 0 1 0 1
    Shots
    IH   5 5 4 14
    Rmpo 4 7 5 16

    1st
    none
    2nd
    8:25 IH (pp) #22 Brad Montalbano (#11 Tim Aberle)
    14:54 Rmpo #28 Robbie Sorrenti (#17 Matti Makela, #10 Zander Pindyck)
    3rd
    none

    Goalies
    #38 Anthony Tabbacchino (IH) 16-15
    #30 Dan Menken (Rmpo) 14-13

    Power plays: IH 1-6, Rmpo 0-6

    SCIAA Semifinals – the curses continue

    December 27, 2005 on 10:11 pm | In game recap | 1 Comment

    Both SCIAA tournament semifinals produced shutout upsets on Tuesday, with Central Red powers Bridgewater-Raritan and Ridge falling to first-year program Hillsborough and 2003 champion Montgomery, respectively.

    Montgomery 3, Ridge 0
    In their previous meeting Dec. 10, No. 17 Ridge beat Montgomery despite missing two players due to suspension. If anything, the Red Devils were expected to inflict more damage on the White Division Cougars in this meeting. But Montgomery (6-1) got two power-play goals in the first 5:42 en route to a surprising 3-0 win over Ridge (4-2-2) in the day’s first game at Bridgewater Sports Arena.

    The Cougars opened the scoring through Mike Yetter at the 2:46 mark when he stole the puck as a Ridge defenseman tried to clear it and quickly snapped a shot underneath Jon Lyons before the Red Devil goalie could react. Given another power-play opportunity less than three minutes later, Montgomery needed only 20 seconds to convert. This time Sean Hover’s point shot trickled off the inside of Lyons’ pad and into the net for a 2-0 margin. After killing a Ridge power play, the Cougars struck again with an element of fortune at 9:53. Mike Violette threw a blind backhand in front of the net from the right corner. The puck caromed off a Ridge defender and on goal, where Lyons made the initial save. Robbie Sparno was first to the rebound, however, and tapped it in at the back post for a commanding 3-0 lead.

    The remainder of the game was a blur of power plays, turnovers, and solid goaltending. Coasting with a 3-0 lead, Montgomery was able to get the puck deep in the zone and rely on its forecheck to slow down the opposition. Ridge forwards, in contrast, were too often dispossesed while stickhandling into the zone and lacked the tape-to-tape passes necessary to get through the netural zone with space. Sophomore goalie Ian Healey had a tremendous game for Montgomery, stopping all 25 shots he faced, including 20 saves over the final two periods.

    Hillsborough 1, Bridgewater-Raritan 0
    The second game was expected to be the closer contest, and it did not disappoint. First-year program Hillsborough (8-0) condemned No. 1 seeds to an 0-3 all-time record in the tournament with a 1-0 upset of No. 10 Bridgewater-Raritan (6-1) in a pulsating semifinal.

    A first-year program with a lot of junior hockey experience, Hillsborough skates just four seniors and relies on its top line, especially junior Michael Lysyj, for most of its offense. The Raiders served early notice they would not be intimidated when they were able to kill off a power play just 15 seconds into the game. Perhaps the most crucial play of the first period, however, came just past the halfway mark. Raider goalie Eric Visnovsky came out for a loose puck, but with pressure from each team, his clearance was deflected toward the empty net. Visnovsky’s helmet flew off, mandating a stoppage of play and, in this case, nullifying a Panther goal.

    Bridgewater-Raritan had a slight edge in even-strength play during the first period and early in the second period, but the game completely changed at the 6:02 mark. Hillsborough forward Alex Merry took advantage of a defensive slip to skate in against Gary Biggs with a semi-breakaway. Biggs reacted well to save Merry’s wrist shot, but a sliding Bridgewater-Raritan player inadvertently knocked the puck into his own goal, sending Hillsborough and its crowd into rapture. The Panthers almost tied the game within two minutes, as Visnovsky made a sprawling toe save on Chris Caravanos after a deft backdoor pass from Kevin Tino. The remainder of the period was all Hillsborough, as Biggs made a ridiculous total of 16 saves, at least half of them in the final five minutes.

    Having skated three lines most of the game and playing with desperation, Bridgewater-Raritan was able to turn the tables in the third period. The Panthers had four minutes of power-play time from the 7:15 to the 11:29 marks of the third period, forcing nine saves out of Visnovsky. After stopping three chances in a row on the first power play, he made the game’s biggest save on the second by getting across his crease to deny Tino, who had snuck to the back post for a rebound. The defending champions pulled Biggs with 1:08 to go but never came close to tying the game.


    Montgomery 3, Ridge 0

    Scoring
    Mtgry 3 0 0 3
    Rid   0 0 0 0
    Shots
    Mtgry  7 5 7 19
    Rid    5 10 10 25

    1st
    2:46 Mtgry (pp) #20 Mike Yetter (#12 Jim Yetter)
    5:42 Mtgry (pp) #7 Sean Hover (#20 Mike Yetter)
    9:53 Mtgry #2 Robbie Sparno (#19 Mike Violette)
    2nd
    none
    3rd
    none

    Goalies
    #35 Ian Healey (Mtgry) 25-25
    #45 Jon Lyons (Rid) 19-16

    Power plays: Mtgry 2-5, Rid 0-6

    Hillsborough 1, Bridgewater-Raritan 0

    Scoring
    Hboro 0 1 0 1
    BR   0 0 0 0
    Shots
    Hboro  4 17 8 29
    BR   8 5 8 29

    1st
    none
    2nd
    6:02 Hboro #18 Alex Merry (unassisted)
    3rd
    none

    Goalies
    #32 Eric Visnovsky (Hboro) 29-29
    #23 Gary Biggs (BR) 29-28

    Power plays: Hboro 0-4, BR 0-5

    31 games, 20 results, several stories

    December 24, 2005 on 2:03 am | In analysis | 2 Comments

    man, heck of a day of hockey. And I was in the city with my siblings and cousin. So here’s what I’ve gleaned from e-mails and the like about one of the state’s busiest days:

  • Publics were 2-2-1 on the day against privates, including a landmark win for Ramsey over No. 16 Bishop Eustace. The Rams got two early third-period goals to break a 2-2 tie and hold on against a full-strength Crusader squad. In another intriguing public/private clash, No. 4 Don Bosco Prep beat No. 11 Randolph 4-2 at Aspen Ice in Randolph. The Ironmen had the better of play, including a 13-1 shot advantage in the second period, but the game was tied 1-1 into the third period. After falling behind 3-1, Randolph got a goal with 1:27 remaining, only to allow an empty-netter with 0:44 on the clock in the loss. Still, I don’t imagine it would have been an embarrassing state championship game.
  • Aside from Ramsey’s win, the NBIAL had a busy day. Preseason favorite Indian Hills edged league leader Fair Lawn 3-2, assuming internet reports are to be believed, while new division leader Ramapo beat Wayne Hills 4-1. Mahwah evened its league record with a 3-1 win over Pascack Valley behind a goal and an assist from Ralph Antonelli.
  • In the Gordon Conference, No. 8 St. Peter’s Prep improved its stock with a 3-0 win over struggling No. 5 Bergen Catholic. The Marauders got a goal and an assist each from forward Bryan Robinson and defenseman Justin Hudacko. In one of the night’s big games, contested at the remote outpost of Chill Out in Hackettstown, No. 3 Pope John kept things tight at the top with a 3-3 tie against No. 1 Seton Hall Prep. If Delbarton and Seton Hall Prep tie January 6, us rankings guys will really be in trouble. Finally, No. 6 St. John Vianney and No. 7 CBA battled to a 2-2 tie at Wall Sports Arena in a game that could leave the Shore A Division deadlocked.
  • Elsewhere in South Jersey, No. 9 St. Augustine Prep recorded perhaps the most impressive win of the day with a 7-0 shellacking of No. 15 Red Bank Catholic. Paper tigers or not, that’s a good scoreline, and in news mostly under the radar, the Hermits, traditionally so devoted to their name, have picked up a February game against No. 2 Delbarton. No. 10 Toms River North maintained its public bragging rights downstate with a 4-2 win over Brick Township, and first-year program Gloucester Catholic hammered struggling Brick Memorial 9-0. Finally, second-year team Southern Regional battled White Division contender Wall to a 3-3 tie in Shore C action. The Wall-Red Bank Regional game January 31 should now decide the Shore C title.
  • In the Northern Red, Tenafly got two third-period goals from Mike Kronfeld to tie No. 19 St. Joseph Montvale 3-3 at Mackay Rink. Vernon beat Bayonne 6-2. In the White Division, West Milford beat Lakeland 6-4 to win the regular-season series 1-0-1. But the Highlanders and Lancers, Northern Hills Conference rivals in most sports, could meet up to five times this season and are scheduled to meet Wednesday in the PCT semifinals if both win their opening games.
  • Finally, the first round of the SCIAA Tournament went pretty much as expected. Emerging first-year program Hillsborough (7-0) remained one of just six unbeaten, untied teams in the state with a 5-1 win over Pingry and advances to face defending champion and 13th-ranked Bridgewater-Raritan (6-0) in one of Tuesday’s semifinals. If you can name the other four unbeaten, untied teams off the top of your head, you need to start working either for Mike or for me. Montgomery and Ridge advanced to the other semifinal with 7-2 and 12-2 wins, respectively.
  • Wednesday’s games

    December 21, 2005 on 7:42 pm | In analysis | No Comments
  • At Mennen Arena, No. 18 Morristown-Beard took over the Mennen Division lead with a hard-fought 3-1 win over No. 14 Chatham. The Crimson led 2-0 on a pair of goals from Dan Shurts, one in each period, before a late Jeff Chatterton goal brought the Cougars back from the dead. But John Yanchek, who made it look easy all night, got his pad out to stop a Pat Coyne backhander with 26 seconds left, and Corey Schneider added a power play empty-net goal to seal the win. Beard (5-1), which beat No. 5 Bergen Catholic on Monday, wore down Chatham (4-2) by skating three lines all night to counter the Cougars’ physical forecheck.
  • Jake Kornblatt hit for the hat trick and Eric Ely had four assists as Rumson/Fair Haven (3-2-1) breezed past West Windsor-Plainsboro South (3-2-1) 5-0 at IceLand. RFH had a 37-13 shot advantage.
  • In the Central Red Division, Kevin Tino had a hat trick as No. 13 Bridgewater-Raritan cruised past Montclair 8-3 at Clary Anderson Arena. At the Woodbridge Community Center, Ridge got a goal on a deflected point shot with 36 seconds remaining and its net empty to tie St. Joseph Metuchen for the second time on the young season, this time by a 4-4 score.
  • Several Morris County powers also won on the night, though in different fashions. No. 11 Randolph cruised past NBIAL favorite Indian Hills 6-1 at Aspen Ice in Randolph, while No. 2 Delbarton beat Bishop Hendricken, a Rhode Island state finalist last year, 3-2 at Thayer Arena in Warwick, R.I.
  • In other action, No. 3 Pope John scored an impressive 4-1 win over Malvern Prep of Pennsylvania, and No. 7 CBA topped its combined goal total from its first five games with a 6-0 rout of No. 17 Monsignor Donovan at Wall Sports Arena. In a non-league game in Vineland, No. 9 St. Augustine Prep dismissed Notre Dame‘s challenge by a 7-3 margin, although the Irish outshot the Hermits.
  • Five-goal flurry

    December 20, 2005 on 10:13 pm | In analysis | No Comments

    West Morris (3-2) scored a surprisingly lopsided win over Mendham (3-3) Tuesday night at Mennen Arena, beating its crosstown rival 6-2. Trailing 1-0 in the second period, the Wolfpack scored five goals in 5:32, including three in the final 1:26, en route to a 6-1 lead. Eddie Strobino scored two goals, including the shorthanded goal that tied the game, and Kenny Hunt added two more. Andrew Bogadek, despite giving up a soft goal early in the second period, finished with 20 saves. The Minutemen, whose players wore blue ribbons on their jerseys to commemorate a classmate killed in a car crash last week, outshot the Wolfpack 22-14.

    Elsewhere, Delbarton’s trip to Rhode Island did not start well, as Division I leader LaSalle beat the Green Wave 2-1 at Providence College’s Schneider Arena. Delbarton faces defending state finalist Bishop Hendricken tomorrow.

    Realignment proponents might be interested to note that Rhode Island is down to just four teams competing for the Division I championship, with 16 schools split into ‘Large’ and ‘Small’ in the Division II ranks, and 15 teams split geographically in Division III. A four-team state championship division is by no means something to strive for, but I am starting to think breaking New Jersey into divisions, as most other New England states do, might not be such a bad idea. This might be an idea to explore in more detail another time.

    other Monday night action

    December 19, 2005 on 10:35 pm | In analysis | No Comments

    I got around a bit and heard about some of tonight’s other action, so here’s a look at a few games that might not get mentioned elsewhere:

  • at South Mountain Arena, West Essex got a great wrist shot from John Auriemma with 2:06 left to see off a valiant effort from Cranford, which had just 11 skaters dressed for the game, by a 4-3 final score. Cranford’s Joe DellaSerra had a hat trick by the midway point of the game to tie it at 3-3, but the Cougars ran out of gas and had to ice the puck most of the third period. Ben Streko made 32 saves for Cranford.
  • at Mennen Arena, John Bellamente struck for the “card show,” scoring all six goals in Mt. Olive‘s 6-3 win over Roxbury. Mt. Olive’s top Charette Division competitor, defending Haas Cup champion Park Regional, had to rally just to tie lowly Parsippany Hills 3-3, although the Park had a major shot advantage. Finally, Haas Division contender Pequannock beat Morristown 6-3.
  • at the Ice Vault, Mahwah had to rally from two goals down to tie Glen Rock 4-4 in a non-league game. The result favors Glen Rock, since Mahwah has a win over a Red Division team (Verona) on its resume.
  • also at South Mountain Arena, Livingston handed West Orange its first loss of the season, beating the Mountaineers 5-2; the margin of victory includes an empty-net goal as time expired.
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