RANDOLPH, NJ- In a game that appeared much closer on the scoreboard than it did on the ice, the Randolph Rams hockey team dominated play from start to finish and shut out rival Morris Knolls 4-0 on Tuesday Dec. 4.
With the win, Randolph moves to 3-0 so far in the young season, having outscored their opponents 18-4, against three Mennen Division foes.
“We are happy with the way we have been moving forward so far, but we still have to get better every day from here on out,” said captain Austin Cross. “We have Madison on Friday and that will be our toughest game yet.”
Against Knolls, the one sided affair saw Randolph firing shot after shot at Golden Eagles goalie Ty Franchi, peppering him with 20 shots in the first period alone. That period ended 0-0 however, and the score remained that way until 4:41 into the second period when sophomore Luke Spagnuolo scored to give his team a 1-0 lead.
Spagnuolo was moving up the middle of the ice when he snuck behind a defenseman and won a footrace to a puck that Chris Civetta had slid up the wall. After taking a few strides, he squared to the net and fired a wrist shot from the left side that beat Franchi.
The only threat Knolls mounted all game came late in the second, as a two minute flurry saw them maintain the puck and create pressure in the offensive zone, and even rang one shot off the pipe. But, the period ended 1-0, with Randolph up 34-4 in shots.
Captain JT Zangara finally gave his team some breathing room by scoring on a shorthanded breakaway, walking in all alone on Franchi and going left to right before sliding the puck behind him for a 2-0 lead. Nick Gallo assisted on the goal that came just four minutes into the period.
From there, the Rams had even more momentum, and they grabbed two more goals later in the third. First, Joe Theobold scored from the right faceoff circle going top shelf over Franchi’s left shoulder for a 3-0 lead, assisted by Spagnuolo and Michael Sofia. Finally, James Mattson finished it off with a power play goal also right near the right faceoff circle, assisted by Evan Xhumba for the final 4-0 tally.
“Coach said he is happy with our effort at points, but he still wants us to step up our game and play with an even higher intensity,” said Cross.
Gavin Einfeld had a quiet night in net, saving all 9 shots he faced to earn the shutout, while the Rams offense finished with 48 shots on net.
Randolph faces Madison Friday, Dec. 7 at Mennen Arena.