ROXBURY, NJ - Roxbury High School Ice Hockey Coach Jonathan Benbow recorded his 188th win Saturday, a victory that made him the most successful ice hockey coach in the school's history.
The record was broken when the Gaels defeated Vernon 6-4. Going into the game, the players were aware they had a chance to be a part of Roxbury history and appeared to play an inspired game from start to finish.
Nick Hefferle scored the first goal on a power play, with assists from Ethan Barooah and Kevin Keane, to tie the game in the first period. That jump-started the Roxbury offense as it scored the next four goals to build a 5-1 lead.
Those goals came from Barooah - with an assist from Keane; Jake Kooyenga - with assists from Gavin Woudenberg and Nick Thomas; Hefferle again unassisted, and defenseman Chase McGowan - with another assist from Keane.
Hefferle added the final Roxbury goal in the third period, with an assist from Keane, for his second hat trick of the season.
Ryan Callahan was great in goal, stopping a flurry of shots and repeatedly turning away the Vikings as they tried to get back in the game.
"Thank you to all the players and parents for your effort and support through the years, and thank you to RHS Admin and BOE for your support," Benbow wrote on Twitter. "The success of our program is because of you! Proud to call myself a Gael!"
The Gaels are now 2-0 and Benbow said he has high hopes for the rest of the season.
"With more than two-thirds of our team returning from last year, we hope to build on the foundation of experience we built last season," he told TAPinto Roxbury. "We believe that we can be contenders in the Halvorsen Division this season, and our goals would include challenging for the Halvorsen Cup and qualifying for the NJSIAA playoffs in February."
The coach said he, on the offense front, "will look to the top line of Hefferle-Carey-Keane to lead the scoring, but also expect contributions from experienced Juniors like Thomas, Westergaard and Kooyenga. Defensively we will look to 4-year starter Eathan Barooah and Captain Kyle Jenkins to lead the push from the blue line, and we will look to both Catania and Callahan to replace graduating goaltender Tyler Marsten."
Roxbury's next game is 3:45 p.m. today at Aspen Ice in Randolph against Howell.