NUTLEY, NJ -- After scoring just two career goals by the end of his junior year, Danny Caputo has been the biggest offensive threat to the Nutley Raiders ice hockey team’s 15 opponents during his final year.
The 5’8 starter finished his sophomore season with one goal and three assists and recorded another goal and four assists by the end of his junior season. However, he had a team full of upperclassmen teammates those years, who led the Raiders to an (18-6) 2014-2015 season and a (12-8-3) season the following year.
But when Caputo entered his final season on the team – without last year’s 10 seniors and joined by eight new freshmen – he knew he would have to play offense like never before.
“I knew I just had to step up for my team this year,” the senior said after scoring his 14th goal in his team’s 2-0 victory over the Cranford Cougars Monday night.
Although much of his success this year was due to his own dedication, Caputo thanks his travel team for giving him the skills necessary to break through this season.
“I played for a pretty good travel team this year, so they helped me out a lot,” he told TAPinto Nutley.
In addition to his 14 goals, Caputo has accumulated four assists and played strong defense since December.
His 18 points have included two goals and a game-winning assist against the Verona Hillbillies, a hat trick en route to Nutley’s 6-2 victory over the Oratory Prep Rams and an early goal in the team’s one-point defeat over the Montclair Kimberly Cougars.
But that’s not it. Caputo fought hard recording goals and assists in many of the team's one-point losses.
As Nutley’s transition season (7-12-2, 2-9-1 NJIHL) comes to an end, first year Head Coach Andrew Surowiec is grateful for Caputo’s final year success and hopes that next year’s seniors will break through as well.
“Guys realize that they have to step up and contribute in ways they haven’t in the past and you just got to hope that it continues that way,” Surowiec told TAPinto Nutley.
After excelling in his last regular season game Monday night, Caputo will return to the ice Friday as the Raiders visit the (12-9-1, 8-3-1 NJIHL) Governor Livingston Highlanders for the first round of the NJIHL Playoffs.
The boys and girls will face off at Union Sports Arena at 9:10 PM.