MORRIS TOWNSHIP—Immediately after the Madison hockey team’s stinging loss to Roxbury in the Halvorsen Cup finalon Thursday night, Dodgers coach Dave Hansen said he needed his seniors to right the ship entering the state tournament.
After first-round opponent Ramapo took a 2-1 lead just seconds into the third period last night, the Dodger seniors answered Hansen’s call with a powerful response.
Exploding for seven goals in the third period, ninth-seeded Madison turned a close, back-and-forth game into an 8-2 demolition over the Bergen County squad at Mennen Arena. The Dodgers move on to the Round of 16 in the NJSIAA Non-Public B bracket, where they will meet the winner of Tuesday’s Kinnelon-Vernon clash.
The time and location of Madison’s next game are to be announced, but it must be played by Friday.
“When they got that quick goal a few seconds into the period, everyone on our bench said right there that we aren’t going to lose this game,” said Hansen, whose squad improved to 14-11-1 on the season.
After Ramapo’s Mike Pazos scored to give his team a 2-1 lead eleven seconds into the third period, Madison was off and running. Senior Ryan Carson tied it up 14 seconds later on a left to right rifle in transition. Ryan Bagley assisted for the Rose City side.
“I have been telling (Ryan) to shoot the puck more down the stretch,” said Hansen, “I wasn’t expecting a hat-trick, but it shows what he’s capable of.”
With three seconds left on a Madison power play, Gus Haralampoudis and Sean Hurley—both seniors as well—set up another Carson finish to make it 3-2. A little under two minutes later, goal number four came another Dodger senior, Jared Finnerty. Finnerty turned a Hurley pass into a laser from the left point that beat Ramapo goalie Cort Fodi to the far post.
Another snipe from a Dodger senior made it 5-2. The puck found its way through a mad scramble in the Ramapo attacking third, and onto the stick of Aaron Willsea, who drilled home the goal to give Madison the commanding three-goal edge.
After a Raiders player was assessed with a five-minute major penalty for a head contact violation, the Dodgers tacked on three more. A feed from Willsea and Sean Rosica set up a Joey Goret with an empty net in front him to make it 6-2.
Ramapo—who seemed to lose their composure towards the end of the contest—were further penalized to put Madison in a 5-on-3 spot. It took all of 12 seconds for Haralampoudis to capitalize and make it 7-2, and Carson completed his hat trick to yield the 8-2 final score.
Madison’s Charlie Cleaves and Ramapo’s Graham Key exchanged goals in the second period to set up the wild third period.