BERKELEY HEIGHTS - Brady Silverman was an unknown skater outside the Gov. Livingston/New Providence hockey orbit a week ago. That’s no longer the case.
The freshman sensation continued his scoring rampage when he finished with four goals while linemates Brian Kramer and Matt Darata combined for 12 assists - Darata collected what is believed to be a school-record seven assists for a single game - when Gov. Livingston rolled to a 9-1 victory over Woodbridge at the Woodbridge Community Center.
Silverman has emerged and collected six goals in his first two varsity games in leading Gov. Livingston to a 2-0 opening.
“He certainly has a knack for scoring,” said Gov. Livingston coach Michael Criscitello. “He really works well with his linemates and has a knack for net and figuring out how to score. He scored on a deflection, a rebound, off the rush with a nice toe-drag and then batted the puck out of the air in a scramble for his last goal. You can’t teach the kind of goals he has scored.”
Matthew Wallen, Jack Norton, Phillip Koutsaftes and Brandon Cuccaro each finished with a goal and an assist, Drew Skotarczak had a goal and Shane Cook made 12 saves for the Highlanders.
Silverman registered the natural hat trick before Wallen scored as Gov. Livingston, which threw 49 shots on goal, built a 4-0 lead after the first period. Woodbridge is 2-1.
“Going into the game we knew Woodbridge was 2-0 and had started well, and we knew we had to have a strong start,” Criscitello said. “They’re a hard-working team, but we were ready for the challenge. I think we showed we were ready with that first period we had. We got secondary scoring, strong defense and solid goaltending from Shane. From top to bottom it was a great effort.”
And it was another tremendous 45 minutes of hockey from the Highlanders’ top line of Kramer, a sophomore, Silverman and Darata, who’s a junior. The trio have combined for an eye-opening 25 points through the first two games.
At this rate they’ll have to come up with a snappy moniker for the trio, who’s offensive output and puck possession has meant more than just statistics for Criscitello.
“When you’re in the other team’s zone a lot it’s the best defense you can have,” the coach said. “It’s just two games and maybe it’s a little surprising but it was clear in preseason they were our top line. They work well together in all three zones and it has really been evident in our first two games.”
The Highlanders have a critical three-game stint next week when they skate against Montclair-Kimberley Academy on Monday, Nutley on Wednesday and Cranford on Friday (Jan. 29) at Warinanco Rink in Roselle on Senior Night.