UNION, NJ - Strong defense and goalkeeping boosted Gov. Livingston to a 5-0 hockey victory over Morris Hills on Sunday night.
"There were three main things in tonight's game: Alto [Matt Altomare] got his third shutout, Kramer scored four goals, and the other freshman, Tang, stepped it up and got his first goal," said Gov. Livingston Coach Matt Anderson.
The night kicked off with the Highlanders "Senior Night" celebration honoring the players and families for their dedication to the team. J.P. Blasch, Kevin Ewald, Garrett O'Connor and Armondo Vargas took center ice with their parents and coaches.
GL freshman Danny Kramer worked the puck in the first period, controlling a series of offensive plays. A back pass connection to Blasch for an early shot followed by a pass to Andrew Ippolito got the momentum going for GL, which found itself in the zone with many scoring opportunities by Kevin Ewald and Ryan Bonk that were blocked by Morris Hills goalie Matt Makuch.
Morris Hills tried to capitalize on their first power play advantage and couldn't get past GL goalie Matt Altomare, who denied them at the end of the first period. Kramer skated by Morris Hills defense to flick a shot past Makuch to light the boards for GL to end the period with a 1-0 lead, outshooting Morris Hills, 17-5. Blasch and Garrett O'Connor were credited with assists on the goal.
"Once I got in the hang of it, it got easier. The defense helped a lot and did a lot of work chipping it out," said Kramer.
The play went back and forth in the neutral zone in the second period. Morris Hills put pressure on GL's defense and Altomare. Blasch, Thomas Sousa and Ryan Findeisen stayed solid to ensure the shutout.
The GL surge came in the third with skill and opportunities getting through Morris Hills. Michael Tang scored off a rebound shot by Bonk with 6:37 left in the third.
Kramer stayed in control of puck and quickly responded with his second goal of the night securing the lead for GL.
Tension mounted for Morris Hills as senior Ryan Todero throws a punch and is taken off the ice followed by senior Joseph Sicoli. Bonk and Findeisen add to the penalty mix making it a 3 on 3 skate.
Kramer gets the hat-trick with a top shelf shot from the bottom of the circle, ending the game with his fourth goal break-away shot for the 5-0 victory.
"It was important to get the win for the seniors," said Kramer.
Goalie Matt Altomare recorded 17 saves for Gov. Livingston. Goalie Matt Makuch recorded 36 saves for Morris Hills.
GL travels to play Jefferson Township Monday, Jan. 20 at 4:10 p.m.