ROXBURY, NJ - With a win Sunday night, the Roxbury High School ice hockey team ended its regular season, beating Southern Regional 4-0, and emerged as the points leader of its division.
The victory gave the team a 12-8-2 record for the season as it heads into the state tournament semifinals on Wednesday against Vernon. Thanks to an unexpected 2-1 victory by Kinnelon over Montville on Feb. 8, Roxbury emerged as first in the Halvorsen Division and secured the top seed in the playoffs.
"Kinnelon defeated Montville on the back of their goalie, who was unbelievable, making us the top seed," said coach Jonathan Benbow. "Last season we were 7-12-2 and finished fifth in Halvorsen, The season prior we were somewhere around 5-15 and finished last in the Mennen that season. The season prior to that we won the Halvorsen Division and Cup, which the seniors have the opportunity to do as freshman and now as seniors."
Another Hat Trick for Hefferle
At the Sunday game, played at Aspen Ice in Randolph, Roxbury got on the scoreboard early in the first period on a power-play goal from Nick Hefferle with an assist from Nick Thomas. That same pair added a second goal and assist with less than a minute to go in the period for a 2-0 lead.
It remained that way until seven seconds were left in the second when Kevin Keane scored with an assist from Derek Woudenberg. Hefferle ended the scoring in the third period with an unassisted shorthanded goal to record another hat trick this season.
Goalie Ryan Callahan turned away all 14 shots faced to earn the shutout.
The Wednesday playoff game will take place at 7:45 p.m. at Mennen Arena.