CEDAR GROVE, NJ - When called upon to switch positions, Vincent Giovannelli didn’t hesitate and that move has proven pivotal to Passaic Valley-Cedar Grove ice hockey team’s success.  This past weekend he scored the game winner in a clutch game against Paramus Catholic and has delivered defensively all season. Giovannelli is the Allstate Cedar Grove Athlete of the Week. The Athlete of the Week is sponsored by Shelby Mobley, Allstate Insurance Agent, 471 Pompton Ave., Cedar Grove. 

“At the start of the season, Vinnie came to the tryouts as a forward.  We needed help on defense and switched Vinnie to that role,” said Head Coach Erich Fleischmann.  “As the season has progressed he is logging lots of ice time in key situations and has been a solid defensive player for us.  Saturday he scored the game winner against Paramus Catholic from the blue line in a much-needed victory.”

Giovannelli didn’t hesitate to change positions when asked, and now that he’s adjusted he’s enjoying it.

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“It was tough in the beginning because I had just come off of travel where I played right wing and then had to move back to D which I didn’t know a lot about,” Giovannelli explained.  “It's been good. It’s fun -- I get to be more physical and that’s what the team needs. Whatever the team needs is what I’ll do.”

Currently at 9-6-1 overall, the Hornets have had some highs and lows this season, but seem to be on an upward swing with recent wins against Paramus and Paramus Catholic.

“The season has been going pretty good.  We’ve had our ups and downs,” said Giovannelli.  “We started out strong and then hit a bit of a slump, but we had two huge wins this weekend, and we want to continue that into the county finals against Lakeland and with states coming up.”

Giovannelli credits leadership and chemistry for the team’s success.  They have had some injuries and other issues to overcome, but everyone has stepped up according to Giovannelli.

“We've got some good leadership that has played a big role, and we’re really a family.  Everyone is playing for each other, and we all want the same thing,” Giovannelli noted.  “We’ve had to deal with some injuries so we have to know that we need to come on strong no matter who’s in and who’s not.  We have some freshman and seniors that are making an impact. Everyone and every grade is stepping up and do their part.”

With two big wins this past weekend, Giovannelli hopes to see that momentum continue and head into states on a high note.  

“We want to go as far as we can in states which has been our goal since the beginning of the season,” Giovannelli said.  “We have some games we regret, but that’s behind us now. We want to keep pushing and finish the season strong.”

The Cedar Grove Athlete of the Week is sponsored by Shelby Mobley Allstate, 471 Pompton Avenue, Cedar Grove. 

TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove  is an online newspaper serving the Townships of Verona and Cedar Grove. TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove is accredited by the New Jersey Press Association, and is a locally owned news organization serving the community.

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