WEST ORANGE, NJ – After the Nutley-Columbia Raiders ice hockey team took a three-point lead in the second period Friday night, the Millburn Millers made a comeback in the third to achieve a 7-5 victory.
Raiders senior captain Ryan O’Mara scored on an assist from Eli Verdun 30 seconds into the game before Millburn’s Matt Riskin brought it to a 1-1 tie in the last 12 seconds of the first period.
“I definitely think they underachieved in the first, so in the locker room I told them they needed to start picking things up,” Head Coach Andrew Surowiec said in an interview with TAPinto Nutley.
After about a minute after returning for the second period, Nutley-Columbia’s Jack Breagy scored his first career goal to break the tie. In the next few minutes O’Mara and Breagy both scored again, giving their team a 4-1 lead.
Sam Charlat then fit in a goal for Millburn with nine minutes remaining in the second period.
After Mark Frade scored the fifth and final goal of the night for the Raiders in the first minute of the third period, the opponent recorded three goals to gain a two-point advantage.
“When a young team gets a lead like that, they get excited and then let up a little bit,” Surowiec said. “That’s just what happens.”
The coach added that this game proves that the kids have play 100 percent until the end of each game.
“We always preach that they have to play 100 percent because if you let up at all, this is what happens,” he said.
Despite the upset, Surowiec was glad to see that his team was able to score so many goals.
“The good thing is that they were able to score five goals,” the coach told TAPinto Nutley. “We had a lot of difficulty scoring last year, so it was nice to see so many people stepping up, especially the new guys.”
As they get ready to take on the Bernards Mountaineers Saturday night, Surowiec is telling his team to make sure they focus on playing 100 percent of the game.
“They need to play the full game,” he said. “It’s a matter of work ethic. It’s a matter of them wanting it and staying disciplined.”