ELIZABETH, NJ — The Jonathan Dayton High School Bulldogs varsity ice hockey team took a successful first step in its quest for the NJIIHL McMullen Division Cup with a 5-3 playoff quarter-final victory over the Bayonne High School Bees.

Senior center Victor Velazquez, New Jersey’s leading high school goal scorer, continued his magical season by recording a hat trick to lead Dayton’s scoring attack against Bayonne. Senior captain Joe Triano and senior forward Lucas Minio also added goals, and junior forward Jeremy Greiss tallied an assist in the game.

Junior left wing Gary Mignone, the fifth leading goal scorer in New Jersey, showed versatility by logging ice time at defense in an intense and gritty playoff performance. Sophomore defenseman Giovanni Dersono also played a crucial role with strong physical play needed in playoff competition.

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Senior goalie Nick Facchini saved 17 of the 20 shots he faced in the game. Other players who supported the Dayton effort included senior Daniel Aldeniyi, juniors Antonio Nacci, Antonio Famiglietti, and Harry Rachel, sophomores Giuseppe Wadowski, Gabriel Dematos and Zachary Silverstein, and freshman Eric Serio.

Dayton’s next playoff game will be Thursday night at 8:10 p.m. at the Union Sports Arena. The Bulldogs will face either The Frisch School Cougars or the Newark East Side High School Red Raiders.