RANDOLPH, NJ- It has been six years since the Randolph Middle School hockey team has brought home the Championship. This year‘s 2019 middle school team squeezed into the semifinals as the No. 4 seed in the four team playoff bracket.
This very determined team fought hard all season long and nothing would change rolling into playoffs. The Rams battled hard against the No. 1 seed Rockaway/Denville team, coming up with a 2–0 upset win. Next up in the finals was a tough Summit team, in which the Rams split their two regular games with.
Less than five minutes into the first period, the Rams jumped out front with a goal by Jase Zangara. The goal sparked a flurry of excitement throughout the arena, as members of the Randolph High School hockey team who had come to watch crashed the outside boards in celebration. Just three minutes later the Rams struck again, this time on a breakaway goal by Jacob Campbell. Zangara scored again to give the Rams a commanding 3–0 lead.
But Summit would not go down without a fight scoring quickly to make it a 3-1 contest. Summit scored the only goal in the second to cut the lead to 3-2, and then jumped out early in the third to tie the game at 3-3.
Digging deep Randolph started to increase the pressure and with 9:42 left in the third, Zangara broke the tie with his hat-trick goal. Not to be outdone, Summit retaliated two minutes later with the tying goal.
Neither team was able to come up with another goal and the game went into overtime. Randolph found themselves shorthanded from a late penalty in the third period. Playing three on four, the Rams successfully killed off the penalty and then drew a penalty against. With Summit now shorthanded, the Rams too advantage.
Moving up ice in a 2-on-1, Zangara took a shot that was saved, but Drew George was there for the rebound and found the back of the net for a 5-4 win.
Stephanie Xhumba earned the win in goal, saving 18 of the 22 shots on the night.
All game long, the defense fought hard along the boards, moving the puck out of the zone, creating opportunities for the offense. The team worked hard throughout the game to earn themselves the title of the 2019 Aspen Ice Middle School Champions.
The team is led by Head Coach, Rich Fuchs and assistant coaches, Ryan Hallock and Mike Pizzano.
*Players: Joelle Yurchuk, Ryan Thomas, Jacob Campbell, Ryan Potanovich, Daniel Sharkey, Adam White, Henry Kovacs, Marko Aksentijevic, Jase Zangara, Brian Cislo, Jack Murphy, Andrew George, Isaac Stock, John Krynicki, Ashton Feinberg, Vincent Crisafulli, Stephanie Xhumba and Sal Mirra