WEST ORANGE, NJ – After the Nutley varsity ice hockey team tied the Montclair Mounties 1-1 in the second period Saturday night, they were scoreless for the rest of the game and fell 3-1.
Nutley fell to (0-2-1) and Montclair improved to (2-1-2).
After neither team scored in the first period, Montclair’s Ben Wakefeld scored the game’s first goal in the second period with an assist from Eamon Thall.
Nutley senior Ryan O’Mara followed up with an assisted goal from senior Dan Caputo less than two minutes later.
“I thought we kind of played a sloppy game,” Nutley Head Coach Andrew Surowiec said in a post-game interview.
After two losses and one tie, the coach said the team’s main problem is their failure to work together.
“It’s really not about our individual talent,” Surowiec told TAPinto Nutley. “It’s more of just playing as a team.”
In the third period, senior Cary Collucci added another goal for Montclair with an assist from Kellum Foster-Palmer.
Less than two minutes later, Wakefeld scored his second goal with an assist from junior Patt Ledgett.
As they trailed by two points with 10:20 remaining in the game, Nutley raced towards the goal and attempted a massive amount of shots, but all of them were saved by Montclair’s senior goalie Ondrej Smalec.
“We just got to get back into practice, work on getting the basics down and just playing simple hockey,” Surowiec said.
Nutley senior goalie Tim Spitalnik recorded 27 saves, while Smalec saved 29 pucks.
O'Mara and Spitalnik have been emerging as senior leaders in the first few games. After recording four goals and two assists during his junior season, O'Mara has three goals and one assist in just his first three games of the year. Spitalnik -- who made 78 saves last year -- has already prevented 91 goals.
Nutley will take on the (0-4-1) Scotch-Plains Fanwood Raiders Tuesday. The teams will face off at Roselle’s Warinanco Sports Center at 8:45 pm.