defense, anyone?

January 8, 2006 on 10:16 pm | In game recap | 1 Comment

No. 2 Delbarton and No. 4 Don Bosco Prep played the highest-scoring game of the Gordon Conference season so far Sunday, with the Ironmen winning a 7-4 shootout over the Green Wave at the Ice Vault.

Delbarton scored in just 58 seconds on an excellent individual effort from Dan Pressl, and you thought the Green Wave might cruise. But Don Bosco Prep responded in just over a minute, as Greg Zisa’s wild slap shot was deflected (with his stick over his head, no less) by Mike Dolman past Delbarton goalie Jeff Leone. I think describing the other nine goals in detail might be a bit much, so let’s get down to some generalizations.

Delbarton dominated the first period at even strength, but Don Bosco Prep got a goal from Adam Basile just after a power play expired to take a 2-1 lead. Throughout the game, the Green Wave forwards skated rings around Don Bosco Prep in the offensive zone but were let down by sloppy play from their defensemen and goalies. The Ironmen, meanwhile, rolled three solid lines and had a lot of forechecking success but gave away eight power plays trying to slow Delbarton down.

The second period was one of the most hectic I’ve seen all year. Billy Sanborn scored his first of two goals at the 1:56 mark, tapping a lazy rebound by Leone. Delbarton head coach Bruce Shatel replaced Leone with Sean Kaplan, who faced only three shots the rest of the period. Bosco freshman goalie Erick Cinotti really took over the game at this point, stopping five shots in the first four minutes of the period. He repeatedly denied Pressl from close range, relying twice on the good fortune of the post, and was the biggest reason Bosco led through the first two periods.

Delbarton kept mounting pressure, however, and power-play goals from Pressl and Matt Schillings tied the game 3-3. With another power play late in the period, Delbarton appeared poised to take control of the game, but a foolish breakout pass across the face of goal was gloved by Greg Blinn, and he squared the puck to an open Sanborn for a tap-in past Kaplan. Delbarton responded within a minute, as Brian Fuller’s point shot slipped through traffic and Cinotti to tie the game 4-4. But the killing goal came with just 34 seconds remaining in the period. Miscommunication behind the Delbarton net resulted in a blind takeover pass to nobody, and Sanborn found Tyler Savage for a tap-in eerily similar to Sanborn’s goal just two minutes earlier.

So Don Bosco Prep took a 5-4 lead into the ice cut, but one figured Delbarton would pick up the intensity and resume its swarming offensive dominance in the third period. If anything, the exact opposite happened, and Delbarton was officially outshot 11-2 in the period. Shatel returned Leone to the net, and although he dealt with early Don Bosco pressure, Sanborn took advantage of an uncleared rebound at the 6:02 mark to give Don Bosco Prep a 6-4 lead. Lacking the freneticism and urgency of the first two periods, Delbarton failed to take advantage of a mid-period power play and eventually gave away a few of its own. With 3:25 remaining, Delbarton captain Alex Smigelski broke in against Cinotti on a shorthanded breakaway with a chance to get his team back in the game, but the freshman anticipated Smigelski’s move, almost too much, and made the save. The Ironmen sealed the game with a power-pla goal from Basile.

So every Gordon team has been proved human at this point, and Delbarton’s preseason weakness — lack of experience on the blue line and in goal — was finally exposed tonight. Don Bosco Prep will hope the win leads to a No. 2 seed in the Gordon Cup tournament.

Don Bosco Prep 7, Delbarton 4

Del 1 3 0 4
DBP 2 3 2 7
Del  7 14 2 23
DBP  7 5 11 23

0:58 Del #17 Dan Pressl (#9 Alex Smigelski, #22 Mike Campbell)
2:05 DBP #11 Mike Dolman (#77 Greg Zisa)
7:45 DBP #91 Adam Basile
1:56 DBP #21 Billy Sanborn (#18 Tyler Savage)
4:47 Del (pp) #17 Dan Pressl (#7 Alex Velischek, #9 Alex Smigelski)
7:56 Del (pp) #8 Matt Schillings (#7 Alex Velischek, #17 Dan Pressl)
12:16 DBP (sh) #21 Billy Sanborn (#26 Greg Blinn)
13:31 Del #2 Brian Fuller (#7 Alex Velischek, #5 Chip Peinado)
14:26 DBP #18 Tyler Savage (#21 Billy Sanborn)
6:02 DBP #21 Billy Sanborn (#18 Tyler Savage)
12:37 DBP (pp) #91 Adam Basile (#16 Dan Fredeman, #23 Will Kealy)

#35 Jeff Leone (Del) 20-15
#1 Sean Kaplan (Del) 3-1
#1 Erick Cinotti (DBP) 23-19

Power plays: Del 2-8, DBP 1-4

1 Comment

  1. DBP’s 5 goals on 11 shots in two periods really exposed Delbarton’s defensive flaws. Will give Cinotti the benefit of doubt on how much he was screened, but he has to be happy with a sloppy Sunday night win. Helluva freshman!

    P.S. Bergen Catholic would be a third or fourth place team in the NBIAL. Danny May would not dare (refuses) to play a non-league game with this division.

    Thanks for your adroit commentary and rankings.

    Comment by Kevin Burns — 9 January 2006 #

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