RANDOLPH, NJ- Conference leading 13-0-3 Randolph boys’ hockey team faced off against 12-3 Chatham, in a battle for first place in the Mennen Division. This was the second matchup between the Rams and the Cougars this season; back on December 21 Randolph beat Chatham 2-1.
The Rams, sporting 11 veteran seniors, are backed by a deep bench consisting of 4 Juniors, 7 Sophomores, and 3 Freshman. Randolph’s strength this season is in their numbers, and the experience of their players has paid big dividends.
After a slow start to the game, forward Will Zimmer, the Rams standout senior, scored with 2:31 left in the first period to put Randolph up 1-0. Zimmer didn’t stop there. With just 4 seconds left in the period, he struck again, sending the Rams into the locker room with a 2-0 lead.
As the team captain and leader, Zimmer knows the importance of getting an early lead.
“We knew coming out that it was going to be a tough game,” said Zimmer. “Getting those first two early goals gave us a lot of confidence for the next two periods.”
The second period ended scoreless after Randolph couldn’t capitalize on two power plays. The third period was shaping up to look like the second, when Randolph got into some trouble. Dual penalties against the Rams gave Chatham a two minute 5-on-3 power play, which presented the Cougars with a great opportunity to get right back in the game.
Things got interesting when Chatham chose to pull their goalie for a 6-on-3 man advantage. But Rams senior goalie Scott Kimiecik slammed the door on the Cougars, coming up big with 9 saves, showing the strength this team has from goal to goal.
When asked how you prepare for a 6-on-3 power play, Kimiecik responded, “To be honest you can’t, you have to just keep battling, and the three guys that were in front of me did a really great job of that, and they kept the puck to the outside, limiting their chances.” Kimiecik battled all game and finished with 21 saves.
Chatham missed another opportunity with a power play with less than a minute left, but could not get the puck by Kimiecik. With an open net at the other end of the ice, Randolph senior Nick Civetta scored from around the blue line with just seconds left, sealing the shut out of Chatham by the final score Randolph 3, Chatham 0. The Rams JT Zangara assited all three goals in the game.
Zimmer credited the team by adding, “We were able to establish our strong defensive game and hold them scoreless.” When asked about the postseason, Nick Civetta said, “Tonight is the first time in a while we’ve played a top tier public team, so coming out of it with a win gives us a little more confidence that we can really beat any team in the postseason.”
The boys varsity ice hockey teams faces Mendham High School, this Sunday at 7:45pm in Cody Arena, West Orange, NJ.