Chilling out

February 3, 2006 on 11:11 pm | In game recap | Comments Off on Chilling out

I made my first trip to Chill Out in Hackettstown today … not for the faint of heart. Small ice, low roof, fairgrounds-style grandstands, bad zamboni coverage, etc. But hey, it’s a rink in West Jersey. And you can take public transportation, since it’s right next to the Hackettstown train station.

In the first game Friday, Ramapo edged Mountain Lakes 2-1 behind superior blue-line play and a strong performance from Dan Menken (34 saves), who slightly outplayed more heralded counterpart Matt Lowell (23 saves). The teams were scoreless into the second period, when Ramapo captain Matt Pecoraro stepped up at the blue line, snuck through two defenders, and slipped a shot that trickled through the pads of Lowell. Brian Ix scored the eventual game-winning goal early in the third period on a rebound. Dan Lio got one back for Mountain Lakes on a deflection, but the Lakers could not take advantage of a late power play and came away without the win they had hoped would boost their state-tournament seeding.

Delbarton 2, Pope John 1
Both student sections ended up in the same grandstand, one behind the other, due to the crowd, and that made the game way more entertaining for me than it might have been otherwise. Pope John boasted greater numbers and cheerleaders, bravely wearing skirts in a rink, while Delbarton’s students had more to cheer about and were so ironic as to cheer for Pope John at one point.

Taking a page out of Seton Hall Prep’s book, Delbarton struck just 11 seconds into the game on a top-shelf wrist shot from heretofore-slumping captain Alex Smigelski past Lion goalie Kevin Kobilinski, who was pulled after two periods in Wednesday’s comeback win. Pope John responded by controlling possession after a mid-period power play but could not penetrate Jeff Leone in the Green Wave net.

Delbarton opened the second period with a 1-1-3 trap, and it produced a second goal. After a center-ice intercept and right-side dump-in by defenseman Brian Fuller, Dan Pressl beat Kobilinski with a slick wrist shot from the right face-off circle. The Green Wave used a more conventional forecheck much of the period but still limited Pope John’s offensive opportunites, thanks in part to defensemen Alex Velischek, Mike Campbell, Jason Harden, Fuller, and, in the third period, Dan DeRenzi. In fact, despite solid periods of possession, Pope John went more than 22 minutes (late 1st- to mid-3rd period) with just one shot on goal.

The Lions came out with renewed aggression in the third period but still rarely troubled Leone, starting after Sean Kaplan played against St. Peter’s Prep Monday. Delbarton all but cruised down the stretch, and although Jimmy Alexander spoiled Leone’s shutout with three seconds remaining, the Green Wave skated away with a 1-0-1 edge in the season series and clinched a top-three seed in the Gordon Cup tournament.

Delbarton 2, Pope John 1


Del 1 1 0 2
PJ  0 0 1 1


Del 10  6 10 26
PJ  9  1 7 17

0:11 Del #9 Alex Smigelski (#26 Chris Volonnino, #17 Dan Pressl)
2:55 Del #17 Dan Pressl (#2 Brian Fuller)
14:57 PJ (6-5) #17 Jimmy Alexander (#9 John Hero)

#35 Jeff Leone (Del) 17-16
#35 Kevin Kobilinski (PJ) 26-24

Power plays: Del 0-2, PJ 0-2

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