WEST ORANGE, NJ - Sometimes it takes 10 minutes, sometimes it may take a full period. Other times the gap between two teams' respective talent levels is noticeable immediately following the opening face-off. During Monday night's varsity ice hockey game between the Livingston Lancers and Edison Eagles at the Richard J. Codey Arena at South Mountain, it took exactly six minutes and twenty-nine seconds before the sizable talent disparity between the two teams revealed itself. That was the exact moment when Livingston's starting center Jonny Garfinkel punched a loose puck in front of the Edison net past Eagles' starting goaltender Shane Bobick to stake the Lancers to an early 1-0 lead. The goal was a merciful end to a shift during which Livingston controlled the puck in the Edison zone for nearly two straight minutes and peppered Bobick with shots.
The respite following Garfinkel's goal was short-lived - especially for Bobick - as Livingston continued to pour it on the 0-16 Eagles for nearly the entire 45 minutes of game clock during a dominant, 10-1 win for the Lancers.
The first period went from bad to much, much worse for Edison as Livingston used its size and skill advantages to continually bombard Bobick with shot after shot. At the 10:18 mark of the first period, Lancers forward Mike Philpott cashed in after a nifty give-and-go between himself and Garfinkel put Livingston up 2-0.
Edison seemed to gain a little bit of confidence and stability in the final four-plus minutes of the first period as the Eagles began to move into Livingston's zone once in a while and even put a shot or two on the Lancers' starting goaltender, Abe Matar. As the seconds ticked away during the last minute of play in the first period, it looked as though the Eagles would head to intermission only down a couple of scores, but Livingston scored twice in the final 18.7 seconds to take an insurmountable 4-0 lead into the locker room between periods.
Josh Stone scored for Livingston at the 14:41.3 mark when he poked a loose puck past Bobick. Drew Wagner and John Mandl picked up helpers on Stone's goal, but the Lancers weren't finished in the first. Just over 12 seconds after Stone scored, Wagner swooped in alone and snapped a shot past Bobick for an unassisted tally with just six seconds on the game clock. Livingston's four first period goals would turn out to be plenty of scoring and the Lancers held a 24-4 advantage in shots on goal after one period.
Again, Edison held its own at the beginning of a period, only to surrender numerous goals in the final ten minutes of the frame while not registering many shots of its own. The Eagles were constantly on the defensive and the Lancers dominated every facet of the game - faceoffs, hits, shots and of course, goals.
Seth Crockett notched Livingston's fifth goal of the night at the 4:41 mark of the second when he snapped a shot past Bobick. Stone and Mike Koval picked up assists on Crockett's even strength goal. A mere two minutes and thirty-five seconds after Crockett's marker, the Lancers struck again, this time on a dazzling individual effort by Garfinkel for his second goal of the game. After being sprung by a nice outlet pass from Philpott, Garfinkel pulled the puck between the skates of an Edison defender and juked around the Eagles' blue liner. Once he had the defender sealed on his backside after the pretty juke move, Garfinkel burst in alone on Bobick, deked from forehand to backhand and lifted a pretty backhand shot over Bobick's glove side shoulder for Livingston's sixth goal.
The Eagles finally cracked the scorer's sheet at 11:42 of the second period when Mike Criscitello whipped a wrist shot past Livingston goaltender Anthony Cangianni. The power play goal was Edison's lone marker of the night and came about due to some interesting circumstances. First, Livingston head coach Dave Conklin replaced Matar with Cangianni after the Lancers' sixth goal because of the large lead his team held and because his starting goalie wasn't getting much work. Second, the Eagles scored on their second power play of the evening - which came literally one second after their first man-advantage situation had expired. Jason Weinberger's original penalty - a two minute minor infraction for interference - had seemingly expired when the penalized Lancer left the box and began to skate across the ice toward his team's bench. However, the head linesman noticed that Weinberger had left the penalty box a few seconds early and immediately whistled play dead. Livingston was then hit with a penalty for having too many men on the ice and Weinberger had to return to the penalty box. Criscitello's wrist shot through a heavy amount of traffic in front found the back of the net just 36 seconds into Weinberger's second penalty. Daniel Stalenj and Sean Early picked up the assists on the goal.
Livingston would score once more, just before the end of the second period to make the score 7-1 when Zach Martin - who threw numerous heavy body checks throughout the game - fired a slapshot off a loose puck that deflected off an Edison player's skate right onto the stick of Crockett in front. The opportunistic forward shoveled in the rebound for his second goal of the night and the Lancers held a six-goal lead heading into the third and final period. Through two periods of play, the Lancers outshot the Eagles by a mind-boggling 50-8 margin.
In the final period, the Lancers tacked on three more goals. Cameron Friedfertig scored just 19 seconds in, assisted by Garfinkel and Philpott. Forty-one seconds after Friedfertig's goal, Martin notched his second marker of the game when he picked up a loose puck and skated in on net for a breakaway goal after he fired the puck between Bobick's left arm and body. Koval finished the game's scoring with an unassisted goal.