UNION, NJ - Gov. Livingston skated past Jonathan Dayton, 5-3, on Friday night in front of a packed house at Union Sports Arena.
Both teams were slow to start with Dayton outshooting Gov. Livingston 6 to 3 in the first period. Highlander freshman Danny Kramer was first to get a shot past Dayton goalie Bailey Rudolph with 6:15 left in the first period with the assist from Robert Monroy.
The momentum swing came in the second period. Gov. Livingston found themselves in a power play advantage for most of the period. Midway through the second, with a two-man advantage, Ryan Findeisen scored from an assist by Kramer.
Gov. Livingston continued to take advantage of Dayton's time in the box and fired shots at Dayton goalie Rudolph. JP Blasch pushed the third goal into the net to advance the lead for Gov. Livingston.
With Kramer in the penalty box, Dayton's William Francis was first to get by Gov. Livingston goalie Matt Altomare with 1:43 left in the second.
Matt Koustafes took a hard hit adding to the penalty time for Dayton. The period ended with a 3-1 lead for the Highlanders.
Third period is the toughest time frames in any sport. This third period started with Kramer being called for a 10 minute misconduct for an unattached mouth guard. This penalty call could have been detrimental for Gov. Livingston's short bench who has two centers; Kramer in the box and Koustafes injured from the second period hit.
Dayton coming from behind, fought hard to close in, getting two goals past Altomare in the third. It was Koustafes who persevered through the Dayton players and rifled a shot past Rudolph for the game winning goal.
"It was a big release, I had all of the energy to do something with my hurt leg, it was big," said Koustafes.
"[Matt Koustafes] he played on one foot for the third period because Kramer was out for 10 minutes. Koustafes stepped it up and played the entire period on one foot and scores the game winning goal," said Coach Matt Anderson. "I've never seen a kid play with that much courage in my life, that was incredible"
With an open net, Kramer shot with accuracy from center ice for his second goal of the night to give Gov. Livingston the 5-3 victory. Altomare recorded 22 saves for the game.
The 2-1 Highlanders travel to Aspen Ice to face Morris Hills on Saturday at 7:45 p.m.