UNION, NJ- Governor Livingston routed Pequannock 9-1 on Saturday night. The Highlanders dominated play for the majority of the game, and Junior Max Mele scored four goals in an impressive display of skill.
GL controlled much of the play in the first period. Carson Wahlers opened the scoring for the Highlanders in the first period off of some nice back and forth passing between Wahlers and Ryan Monroy on a 2-on-1 rush. Mele would pot his first goal of the game with a nice wrist shot to beat Pequannock goalie Dean Bua glove side.
Pequannock started the second period with some life. The Golden Panthers jammed home a loose puck in the goalmouth to cut GL's lead in half, but the Highlanders responded in a big way. GL scored four goals of their own in the second period to put the game out of reach for Pequannock. Ryan Paik and Zach Miller each tallied goals in the second, and Mele scored twice to complete the hat trick. Several Highlander fans lobbed their hats over the protective netting to celebrate after Mele fired a slap shot from the blue line to beat Bua with 1:24 left in the second period.
GL and Mele did not slow down in the third period. Wahlers and Monroy each buried shorthanded goals, and Mele punched home his fourth goal on a delayed penalty with two minutes left in the game.
GL Coach Matt Anderson was happy with the win and hopes the team can build off of it. "We play a lot of tight games against good teams, and often times we're not shooting enough, we're not shooting from good angles, not crashing the net," Anderson said after the win, "They got the hang of doing that today and scored a lot of goals. Hopefully we can take that into next week and get some good wins against good teams."
Mele felt good after the win. "It feels good. Our team is finally getting out of the slump we had. We're starting to really come together, and hopefully it'll pick up from here," he said after the game. Mele also said that the four goals were the most he had ever scored in a game.
The Highlanders will travel to face Scotch Plains-Fanwood in their next game on January 8th at 8:30 p.m.