West Essex Hockey Slaps Away Millburn, 9-1

West Essex goalie Christian Aussenheimer watches the puck in his first start of the season, a 9-1 win over Millburn, on Saturday at Codey Arena. Credits: Tim LeCras
West Essex's Mike Ruggiero sets up a slap shot attempt during Saturday's 9-1 win over Millburn. Credits: Tim LeCras
West Essex beat Millburn 9-1 on a hat trick from center Louis Coniglio. Credits: Tim LeCras

WEST ORANGE, NJ - West Essex center Louis Conigilio scored three goals to lead the Knights to a 9-1 win over Millburn on Saturday at Codey Arena.

Seven Knights scored in the win, including Aaron Augustitus who tallied a goal and three assists.

"I thought we moved the puck well," West Essex head coach Marc Gregory said. "We're working on that. We're having some trouble generating offense these last couple of games so it was good to get guys moving through the offensive zone and moving through center and hitting guys with passes and communicating."

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West Essex got on the scoreboard first just three minutes into the game. Javier Chaveste scored on a long rebound from Augustitus's point shot to give the Knights a 1-0 lead.

With less than two minutes to play in the opening period, Conigilio found the back of the net on a turnaround shot off a rebound, giving West Essex the two goal advantage after one period.

After a slow start to the second frame, West Essex pummeled Millburn for three goals over a three minute span. Mike Dominguez scored the third goal of the game with 10:37 to play. Mike Ruggiero followed with a slap shot goal from the point two minutes later. With 7:55 remaining in the second period, Coniglio connected on a breakaway goal to put the Knights up 5-0.

"I have to use my team mates and get them involved," Coniglio said. "Just keep putting the puck in the net and we'll get the job done."

The Knights scored four goals in the second period, capped by Nick Paranzune's put-back score off a long rebound with 4:02 to play in the middle period.

With the ice still fresh at the start of the third period, Coniglio scored his third goal of the game to put West Essex up 7-0.

The Millers finally broke through on West Essex goalie Christian Aussenheimer with 4:06 to play in the game. Jacob Goldstein was credited with the goal, but the Knights' Conner Leach put the puck in his own net on a failed clearing attempt.

It was Aussenheimer's first start of the season, and Gregory came away impressed with the junior's performance.

"Christian did well. He made saves when he needed to make them," Gregory said. "That was his first start of the year and did a good job with that."

Coniglio was upset with the fact they couldn't get Aussenheimer the shutout.

"Its good we got the win for him," he said. "We let one in, but thats alright. We almost got him the shutout, but we'll be fine."

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