WEST ORANGE, NJ — The Livingston High School ice hockey team earned its first win of the season in dominant fashion with a 4-0 victory over Montclair Kimberley Academy (MKA) on Friday.
“It feels great,” said Livingston head coach Dave Conklin. “We haven’t played too well the first two games and this game we played better so it’s nice to come out with a win tonight.”
The Lancers have been struggling to find the back of the net thus far this year, having produced only one goal in two games—but that all changed on Friday.
Late in the first period, Connor Flaherty crashed the MKA net and was in optimal position for a rebound off the initial shot from Max Solomon. Flaherty swiped home the rebound for the 1-0 Lancer lead with 3:12 left in the period.
“I just felt hungry, I felt like we needed this win and I wanted to be the guy to step up,” said Flaherty.
Flaherty utilized his tactics from the initial goal for the remainder of the period and game. Shortly after he connected on the eventual game-winning goal, Flaherty hustled on a breakaway to put home a rebound for his second goal of the game.
For Flaherty, it was his third point in the last two games, which he attributes to the newly formed line consisting of him, Chase Friedfertig and Max Solomon.
“I have great chemistry with [my line],” said Flaherty. “The three of us together [play] really good.”
Despite having a solid two-goal lead, MKA fought back to try and tie it in the second period.
A power-play opportunity, which yielded three shots could have swayed the momentum of the contest in the Cougars’ favor, but Livingston goalie Matt Delseni was up to the task. Delseni finished with 10 saves on the night for his first shutout of the season.
“[Delseni] has been playing well all year,” said Conklin. “He does a real nice job and makes the saves he’s supposed to make and some he’s not supposed to.”
Heading into the third, the Lancers had the game in full control with a 2-0 lead. The pressure Livingston provided in the first two periods did not let up in the third, as the Lancers added 11 shots for a game total of 34.
The squad tacked on two more goals off the stick of Eric Frieman and Jacob Fuhrman. The goals were both of the forwards’ first of the season.
“We outshot them 34-10, so we had a lot of chances,” said Conklin. “Getting [those two] goals were big for us.”
Livingston’s victory improves the squad to 1-1-1 on the season. The team will look to continue its winning ways with a game against Verona/Glen Ridge on Monday.