WEST ORANGE, NJ – Andrew Hirschorn led the Livingston Lancers with two goals and freshman goaltender Brian Lilien stopped 13 of 14 shots as they defeated the Millburn Millers 4-1 on Monday afternoon at Codey Arena in West Orange.
After a scoreless first period when both teams were feeling each other out, the scoring and the physicality picked up in the second period. The Lancers got the first goal of the game off a point shot from Jonny Garfinkel. He received a nice pass from teammate Seth Crockett, before gathering the puck near the blue line. He blasted a laser that found its way into the back of the goal, as Millers' goaltender Corey Nadell was screened on the play.
The next goal of the game was scored by the Millers. After the team failed to convert on a 5 on 3 power play, Josh Greenberg gobbled up the puck in the slot when his team still had a 5 on 4 power play advantage. He fired a shot that went off the right post and into the back of the goal. Alden Boldt and Phil Pikus were credited with the assist. The score was knotted 1-1 with 3:21 left in the second period.
“I think it was pretty evenly matched. The goalies played very well tonight,” Miller’s Head Coach Brandon Doria said. “We played pretty physical. We like to transition from our defense to offense.”
It appeared as if the score was going to remain tied headed into the third period, but the Lancers battled hard and took the lead with 1:29 left in the second. Cam Friedfertig brought the puck in front of the Millers' net and lofted a pass to Joe Lilien, who was standing near the right side of the Millers' goal. Lilien calmly put the puck into the open net to give the Lancers a 2-1 edge.
The third period is when the Lancers began to take control of the game. They continued to dominate defensively and scored their third goal of the game midway through the period. Andrew Hirschorn received a pass near the left side of the Millers' blue line. He fired the puck into the net, giving the Lancers a 3-1 lead at the 8:52 mark of the period.
“I thought we played well,” Lancers'Head Coach Dave Conklin said. “It’s always a big rivalry. I know Millburn plays tough. It’s a game we look forward to.”
Arguably, the player of the game for the Lancers was Brian Lilien. After a rough stretch in which the Lancers lost five games before Monday' matchup, Lilien bounced back big with maybe his best game of the season thus far. He shut out the Millers in two periods of play and came up big with some nice stops in the third when his team was trying to hold their lead.
“I just made sure to get my angles. That’s the key,” Lilien said. “I had good defense out there to stop them (the Millers). They kept the shots to the outside and I handled them pretty well.”
Hirschorn scored his second goal of the game for the Lancers at the end of the third period. Mike Philpott blasted a shot from the point that deflected in front of the Millers'goal. Hirschorn gathered up the rebound and put the puck into the back of the net.
The Lancers are now 5-7-1 after Monday’s victory. They will next face off against Nutley High School this Friday, at 6:45 p.m., at Codey Arena.
The Millers are 4-6-1 and will next play Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School on Friday, at 9:10 p.m., at Union Sports Arena.