RANDOLPH, NJ - Randolph High School’s junior varsity ice hockey team kicked off the season by kicking Ridge High School out of the winner’s box on Thursday, December 1, at Aspen Ice, with a 3-0 domination.
Four minutes and 11 seconds into the first period, freshman Evan Xhumba scored the first goal of the season.
“I feel relieved, that’s about it,” said Xhumba after the game, when asked about scoring the team’s first goal. “It made my day.”
Just over ten minutes into the game, Sophomore Joe Theobald was able to cleverly maneuver around Ridge players, making his way down the ice to score his first goal of the season, giving the Rams a 2-0 lead. The Ridge players tried to stop him, but simply couldn’t account for his speed on the goal scoring rush..
“I feel blessed,” Theobald commented about scoring in the first game.
Xhumba netted his second goal of the game one minute and five seconds into the third period, giving Randolph their final margin of victory, 3-0. While the goals were impressive, they could not have been scored all on their own. Freshman Chris Civetta assisted on Xhumba’s first goal, sophomore Anthony Sofia assisted on Theobolds’ goal, and junior Jeff Potere assisted on Xhumba’s second goal.
The scorers were not the only ones making great plays. The Rams split the game between two goalies, freshman Gavin Einfeldt and sophomore Matt Ciuzio. Both made great saves throughout the game in order to prevent the Ridge offense from scoring, earning a combined shutout.
“It was a great feeling to be part of the program,” said Einfeldt. “I made a few saves out there and it felt good to be playing for Randolph high school.”
Sophomore Owen Mueller and Civetta were both consistently in the right place at the right time throughout the game. Both players were active in the offensive zone, and were always ready to try to score when the puck came near them. Despite getting off some good shots, they couldn’t seal the deal with a goal, but the pressure they created kept Ridge back on their heels.
Ridge did not go down without a fight, as they battled for the puck and knocked Randolph players off their feet throughout the game, making the Rams work hard for the win.
Four penalties were called, three on Randolph and one on Ridge. For Randolph, two minutes were given to freshman Sam Jones for elbowing, junior Nick Guarente for interference, and freshman JT Pallis for knocking down the Ridge goalie, Marcus Fabiunke, in the third period. For Ridge, a player received a penalty for a high stick.
“All the boys worked together and in the end we just came out on top,” said Einfeldt..
Randolph JV played their second game of the season on Wednesday December 7 against Seton Hall.