high-ranked battles

February 13, 2006 on 6:15 pm | In game recap | Comments Off on high-ranked battles

Delbarton 3, St. Peter’s Prep 1
No. 2 Delbarton validated its ranking and Gordon Cup seed with a 3-1 win Monday over No. 7 St. Peter’s Prep at Aspen Ice in Randolph. The Green Wave can also expect the second seed in the NJSIAA private state tournament after beating a Marauder team that had been on a roll until back-to-back losses to Pope John and Delbarton.

The teams, which tied 2-2 in Jersey City last week, traded early power plays in this contest, with St. Peter’s Prep goalie Kevin Fox making seven saves to keep the score 0-0. St. Peter’s Prep proceeded to get the next seven even-strength shots, but Delbarton took the lead with less than a minute to play in the period. Freshman Alex Velischek, skating on the top line backhanded a long pass out of the defensive zone to Dan Pressl at center ice, where Pressl sped by his defender and beat Fox with a low wrist shot.

Delbarton came out strong early in the second period, with the return of sophomore Zach Williams from injury solidfying the third line. But St. Peter’s Prep tied the game midway through the period when a long clearance by defenseman Justin Hudacko found Mike Dellutri sneaking behind his defenseman for a breakaway, and he shoveled it just inside the right post to tie the game. The Marauders continued to press play and take advantage of Delbarton’s poor defensive zone coverage for a few minutes, but rarely troubled Jeff Leone. Delbarton took control late in the period with two goals in 52 seconds. Captain Alex Smigelski, who was an ever-present playmaker most of the night, brought the puck out of the left corner, and although his shot was stopped by Fox, Velischek jammed in the rebound to make it 2-1. St. Peter’s Prep responded aggressively, but when the puck cycled around to the point, Matt Schillings stole it and took off with a breakaway, snapping a shot under Fox’s glove.

St. Peter’s Prep had the better of play in the third period, with Leone making 10 saves – including seven in the first four minutes – in one of the best periods by a Delbarton goalie all year, and the Green Wave held on for the victory. With NJIHL cup seeding meetings scheduled for tomorrow, half of the Gordon Conference finds itself without a completed schedule.

Morris Knolls 4, Randolph 2
No. 5 Morris Knolls ran its win streak against No. 11 Randolph to seven with a 4-2 win Monday at Mennen Arena, likely also securing the top seed in the upcoming public state tournament. Junior forward Tommy Tomensky scored all four goals for the Golden Eagles.

The result rarely seemed in doubt, probably because it took Morris Knolls just 16 seconds to get on the scoreboard, as Tomensky shook loose in the slot to slam home the rebound of a Dennis Cole shot from the point. The rest of the first period was unremarkable and, true to form, Randolph held a shot advantage without any meaningful scoring chances.

Knolls struck soon after the ice cut with a goal just 1:27 into the second period, as a centering pass trickled to Tomensky, wide open in the slot, and he whipped it by Randolph goalie Dan Diamond to make it a 2-0 game. Knolls went on the power play midway through the period, but Ram forward Rob Kral had the best chance with a shorthanded breakaway denied by Ofner. When a Knolls penalty evened things up at four-on-four, Randolph finally struck. Defenseman Kyle Krannich got the puck at the right point, stickhandled around one forward and then stickhandled all the way through the slot, avoiding players from both teams, before backhanding the puck past Josh Ofner. This was the only five-minute stretch where one really felt like Randolph could tie it, but Ofner stared down the Rams’ chances on a late power play to hold the 2-1 lead.

Tomensky wrapped up the game for Knolls in the first minute of the final stanza. His line created an immediate three-on-two rush, and when Duda left a drop pass in the left face-off circle, Tomensky took a full windup before ripping a slap shot past Diamond’s glove to make it 3-1. The Golden Eagles’ top line stayed on the ice, however, and Tomensky produced perhaps his most skilled goal of the night. The junior posted up at the top of the crease and deflected a pass from Dan Duda on net. Diamond went down and made the save, but Tomensky, with a defender draped all over him, deftly pulled the rebound to his backhand and slipped it around Diamond.

Randolph tried to prove the 4-1 lead was not insurmountable with a goal just 21 seconds later, as Derek Ranger backhanded a rebound over Ofner. Trailing by two goals, Mike Turner had one decent chance in the next few minutes before the game returned to fruitless dump-and-chase hockey. A deserved win for Knolls, which got 33 saves from Ofner, and it is tough to see any public (except maybe Chatham, if things stay the same) shutting down Tomensky, Duda, and Steven Jones.

Delbarton 3, St. Peter’s Prep 1


Del 1 2 0 3
SPP 0 1 0 1


Del  9  9 5 23
SPP  9  3 10 22

14:05 Del #17 Dan Pressl (#7 Alex Velischek, #9 Alex Smigelski)
7:34 SPP #14 Mike Dellutri (#27 Justin Hudacko)
13:06 Del #7 Alex Velischek (#9 Alex Smigelski)
13:58 Del #8 Matt Schillings (unassisted)

#24 Kevin Fox (SPP) 23-20
#35 Jeff Leone (Del) 22-21

Power plays: SPP 0-2, Del 0-1

Morris Knolls 4, Randolph 2


Ran 0 1 1 2
MK  1 1 2 4


Ran 11 12 12 35
MK  6 7 10 23

0:16 MK #41 Tommy Tomensky (#5 Dennis Cole, #44 Steven Jones)
1:27 MK #41 Tommy Tomensky (#44 Steven Jones, #14 Dan Duda)
9:20 Ran (4-4) #3 Kyle Krannich
0:13 MK #41 Tommy Tomensky (#14 Dan Duda, #5 Dennis Cole)
0:59 MK #41 Tommy Tomensky (#14 Dan Duda, #44 Steven Jones)
1:20 Ran #10 Derek Ranger (#12 Chris Tamminga, #17 Chris Maloney)

#1 Dan Diamond (Ran) 23-19
#33 Josh Ofner (MK) 35-33

Power plays: Ran 0-4, MK 0-2

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