Sports

Ice Hockey: Westfield’s Matt Rittendale Records 100th Career Point as Blue Devils Rally in Third Period to Stun Governor Livingston Highlanders in McInnis Cup First Round

c3ef250aa63f06f28f17_GL-Westfield__1.JPG
Both teams getting ready for the opening faceoff of the 2018 McInnis Cup First Round. Credits: Daniel Collins
6353ec6e08ee246888e2_GL-Westfield__2.JPG
Governor Livingston junior co-captain Carson Wahlers gave his team a 1-0 lead early in the first period on a 5-on-3 power play opportunity. Credits: Daniel Collins
c0237381f7443c0b7395_GL-Westfield__3.JPG
Westfield's Tanner Devin tied the game at 1-1 on the power play and sealed the deal with his second strike of the evening. Credits: Daniel Collins
c8ecc035367ba2f12219_GL-Westfield__4.JPG
Governor Livingston took a 2-1 lead in the second period after a power play goal from Max Mele. Credits: Daniel Collins
305cecf169f0aadd4f9b_GL-Westfield__5.JPG
Westfield's Matt Rittendale (#48) tied the game at 2-2 on the power play for Westfield Credits: Daniel Collins
fd57b9d3094bf46dfc5b_GL-Westfield__6.JPG
Westfield players celebrating after Timmy Rosa gave them a 3-2 lead with 8:02 left in the third period. Credits: Daniel Collins
4a331d8672e2970fbe6e_GL-Westfield__7.JPG
The Westfield Blue Devils advance to the 2018 McInnis Cup Semifinals to take on top-seeded Summit HS after a three-goal third period secured a 4-2 win over Governor Livingston HS. Credits: Daniel Collins
c3ef250aa63f06f28f17_GL-Westfield__1.JPG

FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, NJ-  The Governor Livingston Highlanders varsity ice hockey team was in full control for the first 30 minutes of Saturday night's game -- capitalizing on their chances on the power play and on a few Westfield Blue Devils mistakes -- they looked to be on their way to the McInnis Cup Semifinals. However, Westfield had another story as they stormed back on the power play to tie the game in the third and take the lead minutes later to finish off a three-goal third period to win by a final score of 4-2 at Protec Hockey Ponds Ice Center in Franklin Township.

With Governor Livingston senior co-captain Kyle Wahlers in the box for a hooking penalty, Westfield waited and was patient for looks on the ensuing power play and connected. Westfield senior Matt Rittendale, who took a penalty that led to the Highlanders’ second goal, not only tied the game on the power play, but secured a milestone in getting his team back in the game. His game-tying power play goal was his 100th career point.

“I was looking to get the puck in the slot, get a shot and put it right by their goalie,” Rittendale said of his game-tying goal.

Sign Up for E-News

The Blue Devils had momentum in their favor and after denying a potential breakaway chance for Governor Livingston, continued to create chances to break the tie.

Timmy Rosa gave the Blue Devils a 3-2 lead with 8:02 left in the third period, making up for the team’s earlier struggles with an electric third period on the ice.

“It’s a great feeling. It’s a team effort, all about the team,” Rosa said. “I have to thank C.J. [Duffy], our goalie, he played great.”

“We’re a third period team,” Westfield head coach Joe Betrucci said. “We’ve been down in the third period. I told the boys after the second period, ‘We’ve been here before against good teams’ and were able to answer. We put a few pucks in the back of the net and were able to come away with a win.”

“We had to settle things down,” Betrucci said of his team’s early struggles. “Playoff hockey is different than regular season, it’s intensified. [GL was] running that trap that we had trouble breaking. Once we learned how to stop it, we were pretty successful.”

Governor Livingston continued to fight for the game-tying goal needed to give them a chance, but couldn’t quite find the back of the net. Their chances appeared dim after Carson Wahlers was called for a holding penalty with 3:58 left in the third period.

However, the game appeared to take a swing after Tanner Devin took an interference penalty just 23 seconds later, making it possible for Governor Livingston to come back. He sealed the deal with a goal with 19 seconds left, making the score 4-2 Westfield, wrapping up a comeback win for his team.

With their season on the line, Governor Livingston came out strong and drew a few penalties to open the game, with a 5-on-3 power play opportunity following two Westfield penalties 31 seconds apart taken by Westfield seniors Trevor Tanella and Devin.

Junior co-captain Carson Wahlers cashed in 11 seconds into the two-man advantage to give his team a 1-0 lead at 3:43 of the first period. The Highlanders continued to have the Blue Devils on their feet for the first portion of the game, poised to increase their early momentum.

“We executed our game plan pretty well and had ourselves a chance to win,” Governor Livingston head coach Matt Anderson said. “At the end of the day, they had a deeper lineup with players who were willing to go hard to the net and score some dirty goals.”

It was temporarily dashed when Governor Livingston junior Zach Miller was sent to the penalty box for a two-minute interference penalty.

“GL came out strong, they’re a pretty good team,” Rittendale said. “They threw a good forecheck at us and they kind of stunned us in the beginning.”

Just like the Highlanders did on special teams, the Blue Devils cashed in on their power play opportunity, with Devin making up for the early penalty with the goal to tie the game at 1-1 at 9:19 of the first period. 

The story early on for the Blue Devils was the penalties, which appeared to doom them at times. Westfield found themselves shorthanded just 35 seconds into the second period, with Rittendale being sent to the box for a high-stick penalty.

On a power play, Governor Livingston’s Ryan Erickson got his stick on the puck off a Max Mele shot on goal to give his team the 2-1 lead at 2:04 of the second period.

“They scored two power play goals and we knew we had to capitalize on the power play,” Rittendale added.

Westfield tried to throw multiple chances on net to tie the game, but Governor Livingston junior goaltender Nick Papa kept every chance out, as the Highlanders took a 2-1 lead after the second period. Papa recorded 32 saves in the loss and Westfield goalie CJ Duffy recorded 18.

The Governor Livingston Highlanders finish their 2017-18 season with a 5-14-2 record. The senior co-captains reflected on this past season with it officially over.

“It feels great. We’ve been working towards it all season and to finally see it pay off, of course, the outcome wasn’t the way we wanted it, but it feels great,” Governor Livingston senior co-captain Brian Gray said about competing with tougher teams. 

“Throughout the whole year, the one thing [Coach Anderson] wanted us to learn is responsibilities, like life lessons, more than just winning games,” Kyle Wahlers said. “As a whole, our team this year, took away more life lessons that’ll truly impact us for the rest of our lives.”

The Westfield Blue Devils (12-6-2) advance to the 2018 McInnis Cup Semifinals, where they will take on top-seeded Summit HS Tuesday night at 6:45 p.m. at Warinanco Park in Roselle.

“Summit’s a pretty good team,” Rosa said. “It’s going to be a difficult game, but I think we can beat them. We have a talented [and] big team.”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

Christopher Rinaldi for Town Council - Leadership, Judgement, Experience

May 17, 2018

My name is Christopher Rinaldi.  As a long-time member of the Republican Party, I am running in the Republican Primary on June 5th for Township Council and Republican Municipal Committee of Berkeley Heights.

As a follow-up to my Candidate Statements from the last two weeks, I would like to share with you a few areas of direct work experience garnered over the past 25 years that I believe ...

Redevelopment: Taking the First Step Together While Protecting Berkeley Heights

Redevelopment. It’s something that takes careful planning, foresight, the ability to negotiate for the most favorable outcome, and, of course, patience. I’m proud to say that we’ve been able to reach all of these milestones. Tomorrow, on Wednesday, May 16, 2018, we as a community will take the first step together in the culmination of these efforts, when the ...

I am Proud to be Your Mayor

Honesty and results. Those two principles characterize my service to our community for the last nine years. I served on Town Council for four years and have been your Mayor for five years. I appreciate the opportunity to serve you and our community, steering it in a positive direction. During this time, I have learned about our Town, identified areas for improvement and been privileged ...

Taxes up, Services down.....At least someone is listening

May 15, 2018

Do you feel as if you are getting good services from the town for what you pay in property taxes? I don’t, and wanted to thank the one Council person who voted NO on this year’s municipal budget which will increase your taxes by more than 3 percent, exceeding the cap.  Thank you, Susan Poage, for listening to taxpayers.

When our Mayor grants raises by executive order ...

Who Is Dmitriy?

Who Is Dmitriy?

That is the question I asked myself in the past year or two. I first chanced across him online in community conversation. When an issue seemed to go nowhere, people starting to get ugly and nasty, personal attacks escalating, in would pop Dmitriy and with one comment, he could sum things up. He based his  opinion on information he knew, coupled with what he could glean ...

The NO vote on the Budget

I read today's letter to the editor from Councilwoman Susan Poage regarding her reasons for voting "no" on the town's 2018 budget. As I attend most meetings of our Township Council, including the one on May 8, I want the public to be aware of some facts that are not contained in Mrs. Poage's letter.

The 2018 Budget development process included public meetings on Feb. 26, ...

Mountain Ridge Bible Chapel Presents Special Women’s program

May 20, 2018

 

Mountain Ridge Bible Chapel, 763 Mountain Avenue, Berkeley Heights, is very pleased to host a unique free seminar for women on Saturday June 2, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. 

The speaker will be Doctor Ruth Schwertfeger of Brookfield, Wisconsin. Ruth was born in Northern Ireland, is a retired Professor at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  She speaks several languages, and ...

Kids Can Change The World

Karen De La Maza is the founder of “Kids Can Change The World”, a program designed to instill humane values in children while developing essential life skills and positive leadership. Karen and her family relocated to NJ from her native Mexico City in 2008 for her husband’s job.

Karen has always had a strong passion for helping people in need. With ten years of experience in ...

Racing to the Finish and Supporting Cancer Survivors

VIEW PHOTO ALBUM

MAY 13, 2018 SUNDAY | BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ—On May 13, the Summit Area YMCA welcomed over 1,000 participants to the 17th Annual Mother’s Day 5K Run/Walk at Memorial Field, in Berkeley Heights. This family-friendly event also hosted a fun magic show, invigorating Zumba dancing, a tot trot, face painting and music.

Matthew Byrne of Berkeley Heights won first place ...

Berkeley Heights Volunteer Rescue Squad Offers Free Community CPR Classes and Plant/Flower Sale to Raise Funds for Relay for Life

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - National EMS Week – a time to celebrate EMTs and the important work they work do for our nation’s communities was established in 1974 by President Gerald Ford.  This year National EMS Week is May 20 to May 26 and the Berkeley Heights Volunteer Rescue Squad (BHVRS) can think of no better way to celebrate EMS Week than by teaching YOU, our ...

Fallout Continues from Lawsuit Against Mountainside; Police Chief on Administrative Leave

May 19, 2018

MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ – Police Chief Allan Attanasio is the latest member of the police department to suffer repercussions from a complaint filed against the borough on May 11.  Attanasio, who is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit, was “placed on administrative leave,” on Thursday by Borough Administrator and former Police Chief James Debbie, said  Lt. Joseph ...

Video Shows School Board Member In Altercation With Police at Traffic Stop in South Orange

May 16, 2018

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - South Orange Maplewood School Board Member Stephanie Lawson-Muhammad got into an altercation with a South Orange police officer who stopped her for speeding last month, in which she used profanity, complained when she was issued a ticket and called South Orange Police Chief Kyle Kroll “a skinhead cop.”

Lawson-Muhammad also appeared to suggest that she would ...

Upcoming Events

Mon, May 21, 7:45 AM

17 Kent Place Boulevard, Summit

Monday Morning Yoga

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_d95868a30ee9ef39c254_lwv_pr_2018_marijuana_flyer_for__nptv

Mon, May 21, 7:30 PM

New Providence

Marijuana: Decriminalize? Legalize?

Health & Wellness

Thu, May 24, 9:30 AM

Junior League of Summit Thrift Shop, Summit

Here Comes Summer! Junior League of Summit Thrift ...

Giving Back Green

Fri, May 25, 9:30 AM

Junior League of Summit Thrift Shop, Summit

Here Comes Summer! Junior League of Summit Thrift ...

Giving Back Green

Sat, May 26, 2:00 PM

New Providence

Memoir Writing Workshops @ NPML

Arts & Entertainment

Thu, May 31, 11:30 AM

Canoe Brook Country Club, Summit

Fortnightly Club Scholarship Luncheon

Food & Drink Giving Back

Don’t Make These Three Mistakes About Social Security

Social Security has been around for decades and it’s not about to disappear. Why? Social Security is not an entitlement ("gift") that can be taken away - it’s a forced savings scheme that Americans pay into in their working years in order to secure a pension for life. Ideally, Social Security should not be your sole source of income in retirement but even comfortable ...