WEST ORANGE, NJ - On Sat. evening, the Verona-Glen Ridge (VGR) ice hockey team entered the rink at Richard J. Codey Arena looking to continue their winning streak against the Livingston Lancers. This game was Livingston’s fourth game in six days, an unusual occurrence for even professional teams. However, the Lancers would have to try and overcome their exhaustion to obtain their third win this week.
For Livingston players Brian and Joe Lilien, this game represented two goals—to win another game and to beat their father’s team. This year, Ken Lilien, the former Lancers assistant coach, accepted a job as VGR’s head coach.
Lancers goalie Brian Lilien said, “It’s going to be interesting, that’s for sure.”
The first period was controlled by VGR. Verona seniors Cam Gilmore and Sean Gluzberg put two goals in net to end the period in their team’s favor. Verona moved swiftly with the puck and this propelled the team forward into the second stanza.
The second period began with the buzzer sounding again for Verona; however, Livingston senior Tal Finberg was not going to let the ice slant in VGR’s favor for long. Finberg put his jets on and sniped two shots on Verona goalkeeper Liam Blaney to put the Lancers within one goal. Livingston’s fatigue and lack of bench depth on this vacation-day game kept Lancer scoring to those two goals. Stephen Wenzl of Verona, who scored to start this period, answered Finberg’s goal with another one of his own.
VGR scored twice more in the third period, leaving the score at the end of the game at 6-2. Blaney ended the game with 21 saves and a 91% save percentage, and Livingston’s Josh Delseni managed one assist. Joe Lilien left the game early, with concussion-like symptoms, after taking a blow to the head late in the game.
After a much needed week of rest, the 4-3-1 Lancers will take on Steinert, on Sat., Dec. 28, in the first round of the Holiday Tournament, on their home ice.