December 4, 2012 at 8:15 PM
The Governor Livingston ice hockey team will have a new look when they take the ice at USA Rink this season.
They may have the same red and royal blue jerseys with a large "GL" on the front, but beneath the sweaters, is a young group of players with a bright future ahead of them.
Led by freshman goal keeper Matt Altomare, Governor Livingston head coach Dave Scales has five new freshman to build into a contending team.
Scales said its really nice to see new but experienced faces on the ice.
"This year, we got five freshman in, which really helped out our team," he said. "They are travel players…We lost our starting goalie, but this freshman goalie is really working out for us. We have more hockey players this year than we did last year."
Despite being one of the youngest teams in the league, the Highlanders have showed composure in the first two games of the season.
On opening night, the Highlanders lost on a later third period goal to High Point. They followed that with a 5-2 win over Morris Hills, where Frank Servello scored a hat trick, along with an assist.
Team captain Mark Ripley said Servello will be a key contributor for Governor Livingston this season.
"He's a good player," Ripley said. "He's quick and knows where to be most of the time. He's a big asset to have. He knows where he needs to be and helps out the entire team."
It will take a lot of hard work for the Highlanders to compete this year, having to go up against a slew of A-list opponents, including a highly regarded Summit team.
Even with the uphill battle facing Governor Livingston, Scales said his young team has what it takes to be successful.
"They're a hard working bunch of kids," he said. "We have three great captains. The young guys work really hard. We have a great attitude. We skate as hard in practice as we do in games."
Ripley thinks that with a positive attitude this team can do what it takes to be a competitive team.
'Its a young team," he said. "You have to keep their morale up, win as many easy games as you can. Keep [the young player's] morale up for the harder ones when you really need them. We just have to pump them up every second that we're out there. Just have to keep them thinking in a positive mindset."
After opening the year 1-1, the Highlanders return to the ice on Friday, when they host West Orange at USA Rink with face-off scheduled for 9:10 p.m.