not what we expected

January 31, 2006 on 10:19 pm | In game recap | Comments Off on not what we expected

Morristown-Beard 5, Randolph 4
No. 7 Morristown-Beard blew a 4-0 lead but recovered for a dramatic 5-4 win over No. 13 Randolph Tuesday in a Mennen Division game that featured a pulsating, seven-goal second period.

The Mennen Division heavyweights, both chasing No. 6 Morris Knolls for the top seed in the Mennen Cup tournament, played not-to-lose in the first period, going almost nine minutes without a single shot on goal. The period featured fast skating and good neutral-zone passing but no threatening offensive moves until late in the period. Crimson defenseman Bob Yannotta went high off the glass out of the defensive zone, finding brother and defense partner Pat Yannotta in the neutral zone. The elder Yannotta stepped up with a three-on-two rush and worked a quick give-and-go with forward Mike Jacquin, one-timing the return pass just inside the right post for the game’s opening goal. Randolph, rotating two different lines through its third spot in the rotation, had just one shot in the opening stanza, a dump-in from center ice.

Morristown-Beard stamped its authority on the game early in the second period, as Turner Paine fired a one-timer past Dan Swenson from the slot just three minutes in. The Crimson then took advantage of a line mismatch when its first line caught one of Randolph’s third lines deep in the offensive zone. Greg Alberti took advantage on the break, snapping a shot underneath Swenson from the right face-off circle. Finally, just past the halfway mark, Pat Yannotta appeared to sew things up with a blast from the point just under the left corner of the crossbar for a seemingly insurmountable 4-0 lead.

Despite showing no signs of an offense earlier in the game, Randolph now awoke with a physical forecheck, and Ed Keenan sneaked a pass from behind the net to Greg DaSilva cutting through the slot for a one-time tap-in behind normally dominant John Yanchek. Randolph scored again just 21 seconds later, as Rob Kral carried the puck into the zone and fired home a snap shot from the left circle. The Ram momentum was broken by a Beard power play, but Randolph picked up the play again for the final four minutes, dominating so much that Crimson coach John Puskar complained about the difference between a two-second and a five-second clock hold after it did not stop immediately. Randolph justified his fears by continually applying pressure in the right corner, in front of its fans, and DaSilva reacted quickly to a loose puck in the right circle to fire it through the legs of Yanchek and make it a 4-3 game. Remarkably, the Rams tied the game just 25 seconds later. Again working out of the right corner, Kral centered a pass for cutting defenseman Kyle Krannich. He was unable to control the pass, but the puck caromed to the right post, where John Beatrice popped up to bang it behind Yanchek for an emotional tying goal. Kral thought he had scored to take the lead with 18 seconds remaining, but Yanchek kept the shot out as players from both teams met in the crease.

Tied 4-4, the period break came at an unfortunate time for Randolph, which could not continue its momentum into the third period. Although the Rams had the better of play, Pat Yannotta rang the post on a slap shot with 9:45 remaining for the period’s best chance. The Crimson used their advantage as the home team to get another line mismatch on an offensive zone face-off late in the period, with its first line against Randolph’s other third line. As if on a power play, the face-off came back to Ryan Paradis on the right point. He swung a D-to-D pass to Matt Kruvant on the left pass, and he fired the puck back-door to Dan Shurts in the lower left face-off circle, where Shurts took his time before whipping a bad-angle wrist shot into the top of the net as Swenson tried to recover.

It was a fittingly dramatic ending to a memorable game that, given Randolph’s tie with CBA Friday, only serves to confirm both Beard’s potential to play with and beat Gordon Conference teams and its susceptibility to inconsistency against less-hyped opponents.

Morristown-Beard 5, Randolph 4


Ran 0 4 0 4
MB  1 3 1 5


Ran  1 9  8 18
MB   4 10  5 19

12:08 MB #10 Pat Yannotta (#17 Mike Jacquin)
2:51 MB #3 Turner Paine (#14 Rich Leonardis, #23 Corey Schneider)
5:02 MB #19 Greg Alberti (#21 Dan Shurts, #24 Bobby Yannotta)
7:39 MB #10 Pat Yannotta (#23 Corey Schneider)
8:15 Ran #26 Greg DaSilva (#16 Ed Keenan, #15 Matt Incledon)
8:36 Ran #9 Rob Kral (#22 Ricky Roma, #3 Kyle Krannich)
13:53 Ran #26 Greg DaSilva (#28 Paul Kusik)
14:18 Ran #19 John Beatrice (#3 Kyle Krannich, #9 Rob Kral)
12:18 MB #21 Dan Shurts (#5 Matt Kruvant, #15 Ryan Paradis)

#31 Dan Swenson (Ran) 19-14
#30 John Yanchek (MB) 18-14

Power plays: Ran 0-1, MB 0-1

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