ROSELLE, NJ — The performance put on by Scotch Plains-Fanwood Monday night not only punched the Raiders a state playoff ticket, but it also said something, loud and clear: Bring on Westfield.
In the midst of their greatest season in program history, the Raiders produced their most dominant game yet with an 11-2 drilling of A.L. Johnson (Clark) in the Union County Cup quarterfinal round at Warinanco Ice Center. The Raiders move on to battle arch rival and second-seeded Westfield in the Cup semifinals Wednesday, and also clinch a spot in the state playoffs with the victory.
Putting forth a display of complete offensive dominance, the third-seeded Raiders received hat tricks from Adam Glod and Jonny Scheer, who also dished out four assists. Both Will White and Jake Hogan netted a pair of goals, while Jack Hosmer added another tally for the Raiders, who outshot Johnson, 48-14.
Scotch Plains-Fanwood is now 11-1-3 heading into what will be one of the biggest games in the program’s 13-year history.
“Walking into the locker room before the game, just looking around at my players, I knew that they were amped up,” said Raiders head coach Matt Gunther. “The motivation piece — we didn’t have to do it as coaches; it was already set in them.”
Feeding off the charged atmosphere, Adam Glod set the night’s tone. The senior scored his first of three goals just two minutes into the game by burying a wrist shot off of assists from Scheer and Kyle Remo. Glod would go on to score his second goal with 5:42 remaining the second period, also on an assist from Scheer, and finished his first career hat trick on an unassisted goal with four minutes remaining in the game.
Glod’s first goal was the first of three Raiders goals during the opening period. Will White and Jake Hogan scored seconds apart in the tenth minute to send the Raiders into the first intermission with an already commanding lead.
“We wanted to come out and set the tone early and really intimidate them… we jumped on them early which really helped us throughout the game.” Glod told TAPinto.net. “We did a good job of putting the puck on the net and … we came determined, ready to play, and it showed on the scoreboard. I’ll always remember tonight.”
Jonny Scheer matched Glod with a trio of goals Monday night, as the duo became the first players since Jarred Figueroa in 2016-17 to score a hat trick. Scheer scored twice in the final three minutes of the second period and once unassisted in the third period. His three goals were the Raiders’ sixth, seventh, and eighth of the game.
Scheer didn’t just score goals Monday night, however. He was on the assisting end of four separate scoring plays for the Raiders. In addition to serving the assist that directly led to Glod’s first and second goals, Scheer assisted on both of Jake Hogan’s scores, which came in the second period. Scheer is currently the team leader in goals (13), assists (10), and points (23).
“Everything was clicking; the whole team moving today, everyone was in their position, and we were putting it in,” Scheer said after the game.
When Scheer, a four-year varsity player, was asked whether he’d ever been a part of such an offensive explosion, he replied: “Not that I remember. This was definitely the highlight of my career.”
Additionally, Will White twice scored on assists from his brother, Jack, with the goals coming in the first and third periods. Jack Hosmer scored the second of four Raiders goals in the fourth period.
Four of the Raiders’ 11 goals came on power plays.
“We changed up our power play positioning a little bit, and it made a huge change for the team,” coach Gunther said. “[Adam Glod] got himself that hat trick, and we had a few other players get a few goals… I think this was a big wakeup call for our team.”
Dalton Tango made 12 saves in goal for the Raiders. Tyler Mekovetz and Jason Aplin accounted for the only two Johnson goals, both of which came during a minute’s span in the second period.
Scotch Plains-Fanwood advances to play Westfield, one of the more highly-regarded teams in the state, on Wednesday, also at Warinanco Ice Center. For the first time in years, Westfield was not on the Raiders' regular season schedule, but the two will finally meet with a trip to the finals at stake.
“That’ll be great," Scheer said of the upcoming matchup. "We’ll hopefully get a huge crowd here, and we’re all excited for it.”