WEST ORANGE, NJ — After a loss to Oratory Prep to close out 2019, the Millburn Ice Hockey team took some time off to recharge.
The squad did not make an appearance in the holiday tournament they normally play in, leading to an almost two-week break for the players. As Millburn Head Coach Brandon Doria noted in his post game interview, the worry was that the team would not be ready to play.
That was hardly the case, as the Millers cam out flying in a 4-2 victory that was only that close because of two late goals by Scotch Plains near the end of the third period.
"I wasn't sure how we were going to come out," Doria said. "And we came out faster, almost seemed a little bit refreshed, and we did the little things, and that's something we taked about is getting back to the basics."
Millburn got on the board in the first period when Casey Dutch put a shot home past the Scotch Plains goalie. Matt Riskin had the team's second goal, which was initially credited to Ryan Potechin before being reversed after the game, making it 2-0 after one period.
Duncan Stewart would increase Millburn's lead in the middle frame when he scored a goal to make it 3-0. Millburn survived a late two-goal push from Scotch Plains, with the final Millers goal coming from Potechin proving to be too much for the opposition to overcome.
Doria also noted that his team was working at a slight disadvantage in the numbers game, although the issue worked out for them this game.
"We were short tonight, so we had some guys playing different positions," Doria said." [Matt] Riskin playing D, everyone got in the game tonight, so it was overall a good start to the new year."
Eli Nadell was also solid in net, turning aside all but two Scotch Plains shots. He spoke post game and offered his thoughts on the team's performance.
"One thing we came in with was a lot of energy," Nadell said. "We definitely talked about keeping the boys alive on the bench and on the ice...gotta have energy, especially against Scotch Plains. After everything they do, it's energy, so we've gotta match that."
Nadell also spoke about how the team, still being down a few key pieces, was able to rally together and claim the win.
"We were short a lot of defense," Nadell said. "We had Isaac [Lenner] and Todd [Moskowitz] as our starters with Jack Schob. So we were missing some key players. But kids stepped up, big roles. We had a lot of freshman on the ice out there, and everybody played their part very well and helped the win."
The team is back in action this Wednesday, taking on Livingston at Codey Arena. Puck drop is scheduled for 4:15 p.m.
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