WEST ORANGE, NJ – Josh Greenberg and Phil Pikus scored two goals apiece to lead the Millburn Millers to a 6-5 victory over Jonathon Dayton High School on Saturday night at Codey Arena in West Orange.
Saturday night’s game also saw the honoring of eight Miller Seniors. Ryan Bednarski, Phil Byrne, Marc Buck, Andrew McChesney, Jack Paparian, Matt Summers, Adam Tannenbaum and goaltender Clark Gredona were all recognized before the game for their accomplishments as a Millburn hockey player over the past four years.
“We had a lot of emotion coming out because it was senior night. We had a few four-year letter winners playing, so that’s always nice for them,” Millers' Head Coach Brandon Doria said. “It’s one of those games that you don’t have to pump them up for. They’re already pumped up.”
The Millers were certainly pumped up, as they got off to a very fast start in the first period. Bednarski almost scored the first goal for his team, but his shot hit off the post at the 12:10 mark of the opening period.
Fittingly enough on senior night, Paparian got the Millers on the board under five minutes into the game. He received a puck at the right point and blasted a slap shot that found its way into the goal. Griffin Meselsohn and Alden Boldt were credited with assists on the score.
“I just tried to get it on net. It just went in on its own,” Paparian said of his goal.
After Jonathon Dayton scored midway through the period to knot the contest at one apiece, the Millers responded with another goal less than a minute later. Greenberg made some nice moves to get past Jonathon Dayton defenders and then flicked a wrist shot that beat goaltender Bailey Rudolph. That made the score 2-1 in the Millers' favor at the 7:46 mark of the first.
The second period is when the Millers really got their offense going. Greenberg fired a shot that was tipped in by Pikus to make it a two goal game. Just 21 seconds later Pikus made a nice pass to Greenberg who was standing on the right side of the Jonathon Dayton goal. Greenburg buried the puck into the back of the net, earning his second goal of the game and putting the Millers up 4-1.
“I gave them a little piece of my mind in between the first and second period. I like to improve in every game. I was very satisfied with the way the guys have been playing,” Coach Doria said.
Pikus scored his second goal of the night late in the second period. Bednarski brought the puck up ice and attempted a shot at the Jonathon Dayton net. Pikus picked up the loose biscuit and lofted it into the goal.
Alden Boldt scored the next goal for the Millers off a nice move in front of the opposition’s goal. Meselsohn earned his second assist of the night on the play. The Millers had a comfortable 6-2 lead at the point and took that edge heading into the third period.
The third period saw the Millers put some quality shots on goal, but Rudolph stepped up big for Jonathon Dayton with a couple of spectacular saves.
Jonathon Dayton scored two goals in a span of 29 seconds to make the score 6-4 with 4:56 remaining in the game.
At the 2:31 mark of the third, Sean Berkowitz of Jonathon Dayton took an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. The Millers failed to score on their power play chance, but shaved precious minutes off the clock.
With 1.8 seconds remaining, Jonathon Dayton scored yet another goal to bring the contest to within a single score. However, with less than two seconds remaining, the Millers did not allow another viable scoring threat.
The Millers are now 7-9-1 after their senior night victory. Their next game is against West Essex High School on Friday, February 4th at 8:45 p.m. at Codey Arena.