RANDOLPH,NJ- As the old saying goes, it was the best of times, it was the worst of times. The Randolph and Roxbury varsity ice hockey teams met up at Aspen Ice for their classic grudge match in which Randolph won 4-2.
It was a home game for the Rams in which the team honored their seniors with a pre-game ceremony. Each of the senior's parents were able to walk out onto the ice and receive a flower for their dedication to the Randolph hockey program for the past four years.
In the opening moments of the first period, Randolph had a breakaway and senior Mitchell Gaudioso took a shot that was deflected away. Seconds later, Rams captain Brenden Siegel scored his first goal of the night to give Randolph a quick 1-0 lead.
Roxbury immediately tried to change the momentum with some physical play. Junior Kenny O'Brien of Randolph was victim of the first hard hit of the night. Randolph responded immediately as sophomore Dan Janson checked a Roxbury player with an equal level of intensity.
Throughout the entire first period of play, Randolph put the pressure on Roxbury, getting shots off breakaways and keeping play in Roxbury's defensive end. Senior Andrew Holowko, in net for the Rams, saw little to no action in the first period. The first period concluded with the score 1-0 in favor of the Rams, who also had a 12-1 advantage in shots on goal.
The second period opened with back and forth play. The game continued to be physical, and a scary moment occured when a Roxbury player went head first into the boards. He stayed down for just a short while before getting up and joining his team on the bench.
In the middle of the period, a penalty was taken by sophomore Luke Rowe of Roxbury. Randolph controlled the play in their offensive end, peppering Roxbury's goalie with shot after shot. Captain Brenden Siegel capitalized once again off of a beautiful play, scoring his second goal of the night with 9:30 left in the second.
This goal prompted the Gaels to take a timeout with 9:02 left in the second.
Following the timeout, assistant captain for Randolph, Luke Wright took a penalty, giving Roxbury a power play opportunity which the Rams killed with ease. With 4 minutes remaining in the second, Roxbury had still not taken a shot in the entire period. However, energy switched and Roxbury was presented with an offensive opportunity where they scored on Andrew Holowko to cut the lead to 2-1.
The lift that Roxbury got from that goal disappeared quickly as Randolph responded with a goal by junior Michael Slavin to close the second. The score was 3-1 Randolph with shots 22-5 in favor of Randolph.
At the start of the third, Randolph controlled the puck in the Roxbury zone. Randolph had many opportunities early in the third, however they couldn't finish any of the plays. With 10:20 left, there was a scramble behind the Roxbury net, and the puck was sent out front where freshman Jack Zimmer fired it into the net for the Rams.
Assistant captain Stefan Tamminga made an appearance on the ice for senior night. After being diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma, treatments have been keeping him off the ice of the majority of the season. This prompted cheers from the Randolph student section who have been supporting him since the beginning of his journey.
Roxbury scored a late goal with 3:29 left in the third, but it was too little, too late. The final score was 4-2 with Randolph outshooting the Gaels 26-13.
Randolph's next game will be played on Feb. 10 at 6:15 p.m. at Cody Arena against West Essex.
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