MADISON, NJ – Attack man Chris Scarpello led his team with six goals, Colin McLinden added four and goaltender Brett Anton made 14 saves for the Madison Dodgers, who led by as many as 12 goals in the fourth quarter en route to a 15-6 win over Robbinsville in the second round of the NJSIAA Group 1 Tournament on Tuesday afternoon at Madison High School.
For Madison, it was their third win in a row and tenth victory of the season after starting 0-5. They have beaten some quality teams including Seton Hall Prep and Mount Olive recently and are peaking at the right time as they face the number one seed in the Group 1 Tournament, Mountain Lakes this Thursday afternoon at 4 p.m. at Mountain Lakes High School.
“We got a tough one on Thursday. I don’t think anyone expects us (to win),” Madison Head Coach Mark Sweeney said.
“We’ll see who comes ready to play, Jekyll or Hyde…, and we’ll step up hopefully. (Mountain) Lakes is going to be very, very tough. They got a very good defense; their faceoff kid’s extremely good. They’re a good team. We’ve got to come out and believe. Stranger things have happened,” Coach Sweeney said about his team’s chances against the number one seed.
The offense for Madison was clicking on all cylinders to start off the game. Scarpello started off the game when he scored on a hard shot off a pass from McLinden at the 9:47 mark of the first. Attack man Chad Smith then got on the scoreboard when he put in a goal after Mike Clemente put the ball right on his stick near the cage.
A few minutes later, McLinden got his first of the contest when he put in a shot from the center slot. Scarpello then netted his second tally as Madison was up 4-0 less than eight minutes into the opening period. McLinden was able to find Scarpello on a nice pass from the left side of the field to in front as he was able to round out the scoring in the first period with a goal with nine seconds left.
“We came out pretty hot against them (Robbinsville). I think our kids shot pretty well,” Coach Sweeney commented about the start of the game.
The second quarter also went in Madison’s favor. They continued to control the majority of the possession by taking quality shots on goal and out-hustling their opponents to ground balls. They had a 19 to 11 advantage in that category at the end of the first half.
Smith found McLinden off a feed in front of the net to start off the scoring in the second at the 8:22 mark to make the score 6-0.
After a Robbinsville goal, Madison answered right back when McLinden got his hat trick score when his team was a man down. He then assisted on Scarpello’s score and also netted the final goal of the first half to put Madison up 9-1 at halftime.
The defense for Madison also stepped up big on Tuesday afternoon. They yielded 16 shots in the first half, but allowed only one goal. Anton also stepped up huge in the first 30 minutes, making nine saves. He finished with a total of 14 in the game.
“We’re starting to play some good team defense,” Coach Sweeney told The Alternative Press after the game. “Brett (was) very good in goal. They had some good chances, but he stoned them pretty good. They had some good shots and if a couple of them go in, then it’s a different story,” he mentioned about his senior goaltender.
Madison continued to send balls at the Robbinsville cage in the second half and scored three goals in the third quarter, while giving up none to their opponents. Smith, Billy Battaglia and Mark Langan scored goals for Madison in the third.
Robbinsville was able to put five balls into the Madison cage in the fourth quarter, but, by that time, the game was out of reach.
Battaglia scored once in the fourth for Madison and Scarpello put in two.
Madison finished with 28 shots on goal.