ROSELLE, NJ – The Summit Hilltoppers terminated the Gov. Livingston Highlanders’ run in the Union County Tournament on Wednesday night at Warinanco Skating Center.
Summit hit the ground running with Will Vitton scoring a goal 1:34 after the start of the game. The assists were from Owen McLaughlin and Tom Pryymak. For the rest of the first period, Summit gained most of the possession through aggressive, hard-hitting play.
Hilltopers increased their lead early in second period with another goal when Charlie Collins connected with the back of the net, unassisted.
Corey McManus of Summit and Carson Wahlers of Gov. Livingston were both charged with a hooking penalty and spent two minutes in the box. GL’s Billy Alexander was issued a slashing penalty thirty seconds later. Vitton scored his second goal with 8:54 left, assisted by Pryymak and Xander Hiltabrand.
Puck possession alternated, but was still mostly dominated by Summit, who was still playing a very forceful game. Gov. Livingston had some runs down the ice by Danny Kramer and Carson Wahlers, but the team was unable to get past Hilltopper goaltender Wilson Lees.
The third period started out with a two minute tripping penalty against Tom Pryymak, followed by a five-minute boarding penalty against Carson Wahlers. Cole Wahlers joined his brother in the box for a holding penalty. Gov. Livingston down to three players on the ice, Collins scored his second goal of the night assisted by Greg Moller and Luc Radice.
Play continued with the same aggressiveness and Carson Wahlers returned to the penalty box for roughing at 6:05, as did Cole Wahlers for tripping at 2:17. Vitton scored his third goal (completing a hat trick) with 2:14 left, assisted by Tom Pryymak.
With 0:40 left on the clock, Danny Kramer netted the puck, helping GL to avoid a shutout loss. Zach Miller and Max Mele made the assists. As the next faceoff began, a fight broke out between Highlanders’ Cole Wahlers and Hilltoppers’ Chris Giangiulio. Both were issued a five-minute head contact penalty and were out for the rest of the game. In the last five seconds, Summit’s Jack Riggins was given a roughing penalty.
The final score was 5-1.
Summit goaltender Wilson Lees made 21 saves on 22 shots for the Hilltoppers.
Governor Livingston goaltender Nick Papa made 29 saves on 34 shots for the Highlanders.
The Summit Hilltoppers (11-6-2) play again in the championship game of the Union County Tournament on Saturday, February 4 at 1:30 p.m.
The Gov. Livingston Highlanders (11-9-1) face Frisch on Sunday, February 5 at 1 p.m.