ROXBURY, N.J. – The Roxbury High School hockey team began its season in a big way Monday with a 5-0 defeat of West Morris Central.

The game, at Mennen Sports Arena, saw two goals each by junior Billy Hefferle and senior Brendan Sanderson. Junior Johnny Facchini also weighed-in with a second-period goal.

Hefferle, the Gaels’ leading scorer last year, found the net during a first-period power play. He also registered an assist in Facchini’s second-period goal. Senior captain Nick Zaragoza also assisted with that goal as well as Hefferle’s third-period goal. Dylan Degraw notched an assist in that one.

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Roxbury goaltender A.J. Pisani, a senior, made 17 saves during the contest.

"I was extremely happy with the start to the season tonight," said coach Justin Benbow. "We talked prior to the game about making sure that we took care of our end of the ice first, and I think we were able to do that and help A.J. Pisani post a shut-out in the first game."

Benbow said his players pounced when the Wolfpack of West Morris left open any doors. "Our top two lines took advantage of every opportunity we were given, and I was particularly impressed with the offensive contributions we got from our defense," said the coach. "Overall, I thought this was an excellent performance for the first game of the season."

Roxbury, with 15 returning starters, is aiming to defend the Halvorsen Cup it won last year.

The team, and its Mount Olive High School counterpart, raised $1,772 during a Thanksgiving Eve charity game. The money will be split between two families in need of assistance, one in Mount Olive and the other in Roxbury.

Roxbury next takes on Montville on Dec. 5 at a 4:30 p.m. game at Mennen.