Hillsborough’s most impressive win

January 18, 2006 on 11:07 pm | In game recap | 2 Comments

Hillsborough 4, Bridgewater-Raritan 1
Runaway Central Blue leader Hillsborough (13-1) posted its most impressive win of the season Wednesday, overcoming a rash of penalties and No. 11 Bridgewater-Raritan (10-2) with a 4-1 win at Rock Ice Pavilion.

Bridgewater came out intent on avoiding its only loss of the season, a 1 -0 decision to the first-year Raiders in the Somerset County Tournament semifinals. The Panthers almost took the lead just 2:35 into the game, when Mike McCullough hit Kevin Wetmore at the back post, but Hillsborough goalie Eric Visnovsky slid across to make an outstanding save. Hillsborough controlled play through the rest of a choppy first period, with Bridgewater trying to use stretch passes to generate offense.

The stop-start nature of the game continued in the second period, but Hillsborough took a deserved 1-0 lead at the 8:36 mark. With a 2-on-2 break, standout forward Mike Lysyj’s shot was deflected to the front of the net, where Matt Daugherty was able to flip it over the pads of Gary Biggs for the opening goal. Bridgewater’s desperate reaction produced a stunning series of Hillsborough penalties, and while the Raiders killed off everything in the second period, they had four players in the penalty box in the final minute. Visnovsky had to make at least eight shorthanded saves in the final five minutes.

Bridgewater-Raritan finally took advantage of its power plays early in the third period, as Kevin Tino’s point shot in a 5-on-3 slipped under Visnovsky’s blocker. Once the teams were at even strength, however, Hillsborough renewed its aggression to break the tie. With six minutes remaining, Tino broke in from the left side with a semi-breakaway, but he lost control of the puck while deking to his backhand, and the Panthers were soon whistled for a penalty. A minute into the power play, Lysyj broke into the offensive zone on the left side, and Tino slid to break up the play. His attempted clearance, however, was gloved by Matt Janos, who drew Biggs toward the left side of the ice before feeding a centering pass to Lysyj in the slot, who easily deposited it behind Biggs for the go-ahead goal. The finish reminded me a bit of the clips of Wayne Gretzky’s goal that broke the NHL’s career goalscoring record.

Janos and Lysyj were double-shifted as part of Hillsborough’s eight-forward rotation most of the afternoon, and they combined on an insurance goal with less than two minutes remaining. With the Raiders trapping, Bridgewater could not get up the ice, and when Janos and Lysyj combined to knock away a poor breakout pass at the blue line, Lysyj had a simple finish over Biggs’ glove. Also, a deserved shout-out to Bridgewater-Raritan’s student public address announcer for (I believe) correctly pronouncing the last name Lysyj (LEE-see). Alex Merry added an empty-net goal to provide the final 4-1 margin.

While the scoreboard shot total was off the mark, Hillsborough was by far the more impressive team in earning only its second win of the season over a top-30 opponent. The Raiders have regular-season tests remaining against Ridge, Montgomery, and Bridgewater-Raritan again.

Hillsborough 4, Bridgewater-Raritan 1


Hboro 0 1 3 4
BR   0 0 1 1


Hboro 10 10  8 28
BR   7 13  7 27

8:36 Hboro #19 Matt Daugherty (#11 Mike Lysyj)
1:25 BR (pp) #20 Kevin Tino (#22 Nick Powers, #16 Richie Lewis)
10:20 Hboro (pp) #11 Mike Lysyj (#10 Matt Janos)
13:24 Hboro #1 Mike Lysyj (#10 Matt Janos)
14:32 Hboro (en) #18 Alex Merry

#32 Eric Visnovsky (Hboro) 27-26
#23 Gary Biggs (BR) 27-24

Power plays: Hboro 1-2, BR 1-7


  1. Well done. A fair report, Jon. B-R looked like they had narcolepsy tonight. I am not sure why but, tonight, HB was far superior. I will be interested to see how Mike’s reality differs from yours!

    Comment by ScoutBoy — 19 January 2006 #

  2. Jon,
    Kudos go to the Hillsborough Defensemen. The coach rolled only 4 D who played a tough game in front of their Goalie. Nice Job D!

    Comment by HHSFan — 21 January 2006 #

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