WEST ORANGE, NJ - Friday the 13th proved to be unlucky for the West Orange ice hockey team, which suffered an 8-1 loss to the Livingston Lancers. But West Orange still showed valiant efforts. The team has gone 0-3-1 struggling to make a strong start to its 2013-2014 season.
While Livingston dominated most of the second and third periods, the Mountaineers played a physical and intense game. An early lead by the Lancers left West Orange struggling to bounce back. However, freshman goalie Mark Starbinski showed his resilience by stopping more than 30 shots on goal.
Led by first-year coach Eddie Scafidi, the team's goal is to improve and reform into a stronger, more dominant team against opponents. Senior captain Jonathan Miller said, “It’s tough to expect much from the way we have started the season. There are still a lot of games left though, so we just have to have a positive attitude and try to prove the expectations that other teams taking us as a joke is wrong.” Scafidi added, “I expect our team to compete for 45 minutes every game, be competitive in the league, and make every team we play respect us as a tough competitive team.”
“Alec Hill and Jonathan Miller are the heart and soul of the team. They do everything for us. But, our season depends on our freshman goalie, Mark Starbinski,” explained Scafidi. To date, Hill leads the team with 5 goals and 3 assists, while Miller is a close second with 2 goals and 5 assists. Starbinski currently has a 0.636 save percentage in four games.
Scafidi said he wishes to create a foundation for a strong program in future years. Hill, another senior captain, added, “Coach Scafidi is a great guy, and he’s been around teams I’ve played on in the past. I think he’ll be able to work with the younger kids on the team and in town to hopefully have success in the future”.
Friday’s game took place at Codey Arena in West Orange, which will host the Essex County Holiday Hockey tournament on December 26 through December 30. The Mountaineers will play in three of the 24 games taking place during the tournament.
“My expectations for the holiday tournament are to win at least two of the three games. The schedule is tough and includes a game against West Morris,” explained Scafidi.
Their first round is on Thursday, December 26 at 3:00 p.m. against Gill St. Bernards. The second round will be on Saturday, December 28 at 7:30 p.m. against West Morris, and their final game will be on Sunday December 29 at 5:30 p.m. against Mountain Lakes.