WEST ORANGE, NJ - The Livingston Lancers Ice Hockey Team overcame a slow start to draw Verona-Glen Ridge 2-2 on Saturday night at Codey Arena in West Orange.
Joe Lillien and Josh Delsini scored the goals for Livingston, while Brian Lillien was strong in net. The performances carried increased meanings, as Ken Lillien, the father of Joe and Brian is the head coach for VGR.
“I’m sure it’s nice for Joe to get a goal like that against his father,” said Lancers assistant coach Ronald Niznik. “Probably very bitter sweet for Ken though.”
Verona got the early lead in the middle of the first period when Dylan Decandia capitalized on a rebound. However, at the end of the second period, Joe Lillien was able to equalize when his backhand found the back of the net. Both teams traded chances until the middle of the third when Delsini was able to break the tie.
“David [Reiter] made a great pass across the slot,” Delsini recalled. “I was just able to get a shot off and put in the bottom corner.”
Only a minute later, and with three minutes left, Decandia tied the game for VGR on a play that looked blatantly offside. The Lancers appeared to get the puck out of their defensive zone when Decandia corralled the loose puck and finished upstairs on Lancer netminder Brian Lillien.
“It’s tough to get consistent refereeing and it’s something you deal with every night,” Niznik said. “You have to play through it and put your best effort forward.”
The Lancers were looking to avenge a 6-2 defeat at the hands of VGR earlier in the season. The 9-4-3 Lancers head down south to oppose South Brunswick on Tuesday, Jan. 21, with a 4:00 p.m. puck drop. VGR, 8-4-2, has a 2:00 p.m. date with West Orange on Monday at Codey Arena.