SPRINGFIELD, NJ — The past couple of weeks have been a challenging time for the Jonathan Dayton High School Bulldogs varsity ice hockey team (12-4-1) as the talented squad has been riddled with several key injuries. Head Coach Brian Hayes has had to shuffle line-ups and player positions to help the team battle through recent games.
On Friday night, the Bulldogs dropped a 4-2 decision against the surging Kearny High School Kardinals (8-6-1), who have won five games in a row. The loss moved Dayton into second place behind Arthur L. Johnson High School (11-3-1) and Kearny’s streak has tightened the NJIIHL McMullen Division standings.
Senior center Victor Velazquez and junior forward Jeremy Greiss scored Dayton’s goals against Kearny.
On Saturday night, Dayton rebounded with a 4-4 tie against The Frisch School (6-3-2). The return of sophomore defenseman Giovanni Dersono to the lineup proved to come at the perfect time as Dersono scored with just over two minutes left to play to secure the comeback tie for the Bulldogs.
Dersorno’s return also enabled Coach Hayes to move Velazquez and junior left wing Gary Mignone back to their usual forward line duties, and the pair responded by producing goals on the night. Senior defenseman captain Joe Triano also added a goal and two assists.
Dayton’s final regular season game is February 7 in a rematch against Kearny. Then, the true excitement will begin with the Division Playoffs as Dayton will hope to get healthy and make a push for the McMullen Division Championship Cup.