ROSELLE, NJ – Tempers flared and many goals were scored as the Scotch Plains-Fanwood Raiders ice hockey team fell short to the Gov. Livingston Highlanders, 5-4, in a heated contest Sunday at Warinanco Ice Center.   

Front and center on a strong Raider offense Sunday was, once again, Jared Figueroa. The senior scored the Raiders’ first two goals of the game – one goal in the first period and one in the second. The two goals were Figueroa’s 15th and 16th of the season.

After Figueroa’s first half goal, which was the game’s first score, the Highlanders (3-4-1) scored four unanswered goals – two by Rob Monroy – before Figueroa struck again. Johnny Scheer and Will White cut the deficit for SP-F (2-7-1), as they scored a goal in the second and third periods, respectively.

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“The three of them [Figueroa, Scheer and White] have all been main contributors on our offense this whole season so far. But it’s unfortunate that we couldn’t really burry the shots,” said Raiders head coach Matt Gunther. “We were putting a decent amount of shots on them, but that’s all it was; it wasn’t really quality shots, and we weren’t driving home for those rebounds, which we really could’ve taken advantage of.”

Ryan Monroy’s second period goal for Gov. Livingston was ultimately the game-winner, as it put the Highlanders up two at the time and allowed them to maintain a lead despite Will White’s third period goal for SP-F. The Raiders have played the Highlanders twice this season, and both times, were barely unable to get over the hump and defeat the Berkeley Heights squad. The other time they played, on Dec. 2., the teams tied, 3-3.

“We’ve always had very competitive games against G.L., even in the past,” said Gunther. “They [G.L.] came out to play, and there were glimpses where we didn’t have the greatest shifts. All said and done, what really hurt us out there tonight were penalties.”

As the final buzzer sounded, tempers flared on the ice. A full-fledged brawl ensued before both squads could be separated. They eventually shook hands with no incident, but player disqualifications for future games were handed out. The identities of the disqualified players have not been released.

“The game will get emotional, especially a 5-4 loss. It came down to them [G.L.] taking runs towards our players, and they defended themselves, and had to go from there,” Gunther said. “It’s unfortunate that we got a few DQs [Disqualifieds] out of it, but we have to move on.”

The Raiders can begin to move on Tuesday, when they play host to Bayonne at Warinanco Ice Center at 4:45 p.m. is Scotch Plains-Fanwood’s only free daily paper. Sign up for our daily eNews and follow us on Facebook and twitter @SPF_TAP.