December 4, 2012 at 1:16 AM
Backed by a hat trick and timely defense, the Governor Livingston ice hockey team defeated Morris Hills, 5-2, on Tuesday at Mennan Arena.
Forward Frank Servello carried the offensive load for the Highlanders, scoring three goals with an assist in the win.
Servello said he wouldn't be successful if it weren't for the rest of his team.
"I'm a fast player," he said. "I really don't know what else to say. I wouldn't get the puck if it weren't for the rest of the team."
Governor Livingston trailed 1-0 early in the first period, after the Knight's Brian McKnight scored 2:42 into the game.
After the sluggish start, the Highlanders got a spark when Nick Mastrandra tied the game on an unassisted goal at the 8:05 mark of the period.
A minute and a half later, momentum swung completely towards Governor Livingston when Servello scored the first goal of his season to give the Highlanders a 2-1 advantage going into the second period.
Before either side Morris Hills could get into the flow of the second period, Governor Livingston's Carl Granger found the back of the net off a pass from Servello to give his team a two goal advantage.
Highlander head coach Dave Scales said getting the three unanswered goals lifted the teams' spirit.
"That's a momentum change," Scales said. "That's what you always would like to do, but sometimes it doesn't work out, but when it does its a big boost for the whole team."
The Knights pulled within one goal when McKnight scored for the second time halfway into the second period, but were held scoreless throughout the rest of the game.
Governor Livingston captain Mark Ripley said its all about the team's energy that keeps the Highlanders focused on each game.
"Its all about the locker room pump up, the bench pump up," Ripley said. "You have to get the team going, lead by example. Put one foot in front of the other, put everything you have into it."
Governor Livingston tacked on two goals in the third period. After going on a two minute penalty kill that ended with no shots on goal from the Knights, Servello scored his last two goals in the final five minutes of the game.
Ripley thought it was nice to see this kind of finish to the third period from a young team.
"It was a do-or-die thing," he said. "Usually in the last period, we either kick it into overdrive or give up, thats just our team. Its a do-or-die play, you really have to hunker down and get it done."
With the win, Governor Livingston evened their record at 1-1, following a 4-3 loss to High Point on Friday night. The Highlanders host West Orange on Friday at USA Rink in Union. Face-off is scheduled for 9:10 p.m.