CRANFORD - Coming off its first loss of the season the previous night, the Cranford High School ice hockey team defeated Scotch Plains-Fanwood, 6-2, at Warinanco Park on Tuesday night.
Just over two weeks ago, Cranford was listed in NJ.com's "Who are ice hockey’s 10 remaining undefeated teams, 25 days into the season?" article. Though a 3-2 loss to Nutley-Columbia on Monday gave the Cougars their first blemish of the season, they continue to flex a strong defensive core and a balanced offensive attack.
"(Monday) I felt like we needed to shake off the rust a little bit from the holiday week," said Cranford head coach Mike Ozolnieks. "We played a little sloppy and had opportunities to come back in that game and tie it up at the end, but we fell short. I think some of the things that we discussed at the end of that game we cleaned up tonight."
The Cougars' balanced offensive attack was on display once again as six different goal scorers lit the lamp. Chris Kube finished with a goal and two assists. Anthony Massoni added a goal and an assist. Jake Icklan, Patrick Tuohy, and Jack DeSimone each had one goal. Cranford now has 14 players that have recorded at least one point, including 12 different goal scorers.
"Our biggest thing as a coaching staff we teach is working as a group, our depth, and doing it as a team," said Ozolnieks. "Cranford hockey to me is everybody getting involved, so it doesn't matter what line you're on or what pairing, you can contribute from anywhere across the board. Our biggest thing is that we get our scoring from everywhere and our defense from everywhere. It's a team effort through and through from the bottom to the top."
Senior goaltender Harry Devenney stopped 30-of-32 shots on goal by Scotch Plains-Fanwood to improve the Cougars to 4-1-2 on the year. Devenney boasts a .926 save percentage this season and Cranford has a +10 goal differential.
Cranford's next game will be against Verona this Saturday at 5:45 p.m. at Codey Arena.
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