MONMOUTH JUNCTION, NJ - The Jonathan Dayton High School Bulldogs varsity ice hockey team 9-5-1) wrapped up a highly successful regular season with an exciting come-from-behind 6-5 victory over the Edison High School Eagles.
Led by Head Coach Brian Hayes and Assistant Coaches Jordan Fabi and Michael O’Brien, the Bulldogs have qualified for NJ State Tournament competition for the first time in several years. The team has also reached the Conference Playoffs and will now face off against The Frisch School this Sunday at Mackay Ice Rink in Englewood.
In the first period, Edison jumped out to an early 3-1 lead, and a goal by junior center Victor Velazquez was the lone bright spot as Dayton got off to a slow start. However, goals by sophomore left wing Gary Mignone and junior right wing Brenden Smith helped turn the tide and knotted the game at 3-3.
Dayton opened up a 6-3 lead on goals by captain and senior center J.T. Bokoske, and assistant captains Joe Triano and senior defenseman Daniel Dorokhin.
Edison mounted a rally to cut the lead to 6-5 in the third period, but junior goalie Nick Facchini made several dazzling saves to ensure the Dayton victory.
Junior defensemen Shayne Phelan and sophomore defenseman Mark Cunningham earned assists in the game.
Looking ahead, the Dayton squad will clearly be heavy underdogs in State Competition and the Conference Playoffs. However, the team has far-exceeded all expectations this year thanks to experienced leadership from Bokoske (9 goals, 14 assists) and Dorokhin (17 goals, 7 assists).
The Bulldogs also have several talented underclassmen that have performed at very high levels and continue to improve each game.
Facchini (9-5-1, 0.874% save percentage) has been a standout in goal and has been a true difference maker in many close games this season. Triano (9 goals, 9 assists) has provided leadership on the ice with strong two-way physical play.
The high-octane forward line of Velazquez (11 goals, 9 assists), Smith (12 goals, 6 assists) and Mignone (7 goals, 7 assists) have been nearly unstoppable most of the season, and Phelan and Cunningham have been rock steady in the defensive end.
Junior forward Lucas Minio, sophomore forward Jeremy Greiss, and freshman defensemen Giovanni Dersono have all earned consistent ice time and have played key roles throughout the year.
Other players who have also supported the Dayton effort this season include junior forwards Daniel Aldenyi and Jakub Pieuh; sophomore forwards Antonio Famiglietti, Jordy Frei, Antonio Nacci and Harry Rachel; freshman goalie Gabriel Dematos and freshman forwards Zachary Silverstein and Giuseppe Wadowski.