UNION, NJ - Governor Livingston fell to Dayton 3-2 Friday night, in a closely contested match up in front of a packed house at Union Sports Arena.
The game was fast and physical from the get go, and Dayton, who had a ceremony honoring its seniors before the game, got off to an early 1-0 lead when Daniel Triano put home a rebound at the 8:49 mark of the first period.
"Dayton versus GL is always going to be an intense matchup," said Governor Livingston coach Matt Anderson on the rivalry between the schools. "The pregame ceremony probably gave them an extra boost to start the game though."
GL came back with several chances to score later in the first, including an attempt by Brian Gray that slipped just wide of the post, but the period ended 1-0 in favor of Dayton.
Freshman Billy Alexander finally broke through for the Highlanders, beating Bulldog goalie Adam Berkowitz with a nifty back hand to tie the game at 1 with 8:20 remaining in period 2.
Alexander would strike again with just under two minutes to go in the period, this time scoring on a pass from sophomore Danny Kramer to give GL a 2-1 lead going into the second intermission.
"Billy is one of our best scorers. He's fast and creative with the puck," said Anderson of his freshman center. "We have a bunch of freshman and sophomores playing at a high level so that is very encouraging."
The Bulldogs though would not be denied by their rival Highlanders on senior night, as Alex Frei knotted the game at two early in the third period.
Triano, this time with Dayton on a power play, then managed to sneak the puck past GL goalie Matt Altomare at the 7:18 mark of the third for his second score, giving the Bulldogs a 3-2 lead.
The Highlanders gave a great effort in attempt to catch Dayton down the stretch, but a break away chance by Kramer was unable to beat Berkowitz with just under a minute remaining in the game, and the Bulldogs snuck out with a narrow victory.
"I really thought we played well," said Anderson on the Highlanders effort. "We had our opportunities, we just didn't capitalize. They were able to put away almost all their chances. They played a near perfect game."
Altomare had 16 saves on the night for the Highlanders and Berkowitz had 29 saves for the Bulldogs.
The loss dropped GL to 5-7-2 on the season, and Dayton improved to 6-4-1 with the victory.
Gov. Livingston is back on the ice on Sunday, Jan. 18 against Westfield at Union Sports Arena. Puck Drops at 6:40 p.m.