WEST ORANGE, NJ — On a night where the Millburn Ice Hockey Team honored their seniors, one member of the senior class put the team on his back for a come-from-behind victory.
Captain Matt Riskin recorded a natural hat trick across two periods of play, as Millburn defeated Scotch Plains/Fanwood by a 5-2 Final.
The seniors honored in a pregame ceremony were Casey Dutch, Ben Hayum, Jack Schob, Assistant Captain Ryan Potechin, Assistant Captain Lucas Skolnick and Captain Matt Riskin. Managers Sloane Moscowitz and Michelle Kunin were also among the senior class.
Head Coach Brandon Doria spoke about the seniors on the team, and noted how proud he was of the senior class.
"To play a varsity sport, especially for four years, and especially one as physical as hockey is impressive by any means," Doria said. "I'm very proud of the boys. It's a great accomplishment. Some of them have played different roles throughout the years, but they've all been great kids. They do their job, they do it well and that's what we ask."
Following the ceremony, the puck was dropped, and the Millers quickly found themselves in a hole following a sluggish start.
After goals from William Mauer and Kyle Remo staked Scotch Plains out to a 2-0 lead within the first three minutes of play, Riskin responded, scoring two even-strength markers to tie the game up. Assists on the first goal came from Ben Hayum and Lucas Skolnick, while Skolnick and Isaac Lenner teamed up for the helpers on the second goal.
In the second period, the Millers would break the game open, as Riskin's hat trick goal, assisted by Ronan Stewart and Skolnick would stand as the game winner. Millburn added insurance tallies from Duncan Stewart, assisted by Fyodor Brylin, with Brylin himself scoring the fifth and final Millburn goal in the third period off a feed from Skolnick.
After the game, Riskin spoke with TAPinto Millburn, and said that regaining the momentum after Scotch Plains jumped to an early lead was key to the team's victory.
"When you get momentum, it really translates to the rest of the team and the rest of the game," Riskin said. " And once we get momentum as a team, there's no stopping us."
Doria broke down some of the technical aspects to Millburn's victory as well.
"We're notoriously bad on senior night, Doria said. "It takes us a little while to get going. So I wasn't too worried, as long as we were able to come back and answer. We were fortunate to do so, and we just knew we had to outwork them and get shots on net. When you throw pucks on net anything can happen, and we were able to come back."
He also credited Riskin and the rest of the squad for answering the call when they needed to. The team returns to action against Cranford on Saturday night. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:45 p.m.
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