WEST ORANGE, NJ — Coming off of a three-game losing streak, the Millburn Ice Hockey team looked for a jump start against a good West Essex team.
They found it in a scoring flurry during the third period that eventually saw the Millers pull away for a 4-1 victory over the Knights.
Millburn Head Coach Brandon Doria said there was one key facet that he saw from his squad in the game that allowed them to win.
"I think it goes back to working hard," Doria said. "If we work hard and are in strong position, we're a tough team to play against."
While Doria noted the team's weakness still lies in containing their mental lapses, they were able to get the breaks that had eluded them in the past few contests.
"Tonight we went the other way," Doria said. "We had a couple mental lapses, luckily Eli [Nadell] played very well and was able to keep those out of our net. But at the end of the day, I think it was just a matter of hard work. West Essex is a very good team, and we just capitalized on a few rebounds...all in all it was a good game."
Fyodor Brylin kicked the scoring off for Millburn after taking an assist from Lucas Skolnick in the first period to make it 1-0 Millers. Skolnick would assist on all four goals in the win.
After West Essex's Dom Sedicino scored in the second frame to tie it, the contest would remain deadlocked at the second intermission.
Brylin would break the tie and score the go-ahead and eventual game-winning goal in the third period. He would be joined on the scoresheet in that frame by Duncan Stewart and Ben Hayum, who added insurance markers to help Millburn pull away for the win.
For Brylin, the feeling of winning was a good one, especially after the past few games.
"It felt great," Brylin said. "We really wanted to end our losing streak. Even though we had guys out, we kept pressing, even when it was 2-1."
Brylin also emphasized that Coach Doria had stressed working hard, getting pucks deep and effectively backchecking, something he felt that he and the other players had done well. And as the season winds down there is just one thing he wants from himself and his teammates. Be present.
"We're looking for everyone to show up to practice," Brylin said. "Being ready for games and just working hard all day long."
Millburn's next home contest is Feb. 3, when the Millers take on Scotch Plains/Fanwood at Codey Arena. Puck drop is scheduled for 6:15 p.m.