MORRIS TWP., NJ – The Roxbury High School ice hockey team’s drive for a state championship hit a wall on Thursday as the team lost a second-round NJSIAA tournament game to the players from Wall High School.
Wall, seeded No. 10, beat Roxbury 5-3 at the Mennen Sports Arena, a victory that came as an upset since the Gaels were seeded seventh in the Public B playoffs. With the win, Wall advances to the state tournament quarterfinals for the first time in nine years.
The game began with offensive onslaughts from both the Gaels and the Crimson Knights and the two hard-battling teams were tied 2-2 at the end of the first period. Although Roxbury found the net again in the middle frame, Wall scored two and the teams entered the final period with Wall having a 4-1 advantage.
Roxbury was unable to retaliate in the last period and Wall sealed the deal with another goal.
The Gaels’ first goal was made during a power-play by Nick Zaragoza, with assists from Dylan DeGraw and Billy Hefferle) at 11:45 in the first period. DeGraw, with help from Hefferle and Zaragoza, sunk the puck the second time at 7:07 in the second period. Hefferle’s second-period goal came at 4:03, with assists by DeGraw and Shane Miller.
Roxbury ends the season with a 19-5 record and its second consecutive Halvorsen Cup.