RANDOLPH, NJ- The Randolph High School hockey team honored and celebrated their seniors during a recent game against Roxbury. A night that started out with a pre game ceremony of players presenting their mothers flowers on the ice, ended with another strong victory as the Rams skated away with a 5-1 win.
“This group of seniors worked very hard to get where they are today. They are not a bunch of superstars and they have to push themselves to get better each day,” said Rams head coach Rich McLaughlin. “They all have gone through some adversity to play at this level, but starting together in the Randolph Recreation program as six year olds has helped them pull through these difficult times relying on each other.”
After last years’ state championship team graduated a large group of seniors, including six of the top nine forwards and a two year starter in goal, many expected this years’ squad to struggle. However, the new group of seniors stepped in and the team hasn’t missed a beat, running their record up to a current mark of 14-3-3.
“They all have learned that if you set a goal, it is easier to obtain it with friends and family who you know and trust, rather than by themselves,” McLaughlin stated when asked about his group of seniors. He continued, “It is not only the players who have these special bonds, but the families who have grown close as well. These kids have also learned from their parents, that if you work hard and sacrifice your time, you can achieve your goals.”
Against Roxbury, the Rams jumped on the Gaels early, scoring three times in the first period. Throughout the game, Dan Janson and Matt Redgate played a game of goal scoring “tag”, taking turns being “it” by going back and forth for each of the Rams five goals. Janson scored first and finished with a hat trick, and Redgate scored twice sandwiched between Jansons’ goals. Bryan Early grabbed four assists and Chris Holowko added two assists. Luc Swedlund made 16 saves in net while earning the win.
In the Rams next game, they ran away from Montville, rolling to an 8-1 victory. Janson registered four goals and Sean Jones netted two to lead the Rams, with Alex Kranis and Dylan Quinn picked up a goal apiece.
Coach McLaughlin, referring to the his players coming up through the Rec program and the strong friend / family bonds, further added, “This translates into a bunch of kids who are willing to listen and are very coachable by the time they get to me. These values alone will help them throughout life and I am excited for the day when they return for an alumni game or even just a visit, to tell me how well they are doing.”