ROSELLE, NJ — The Jonathan Dayton High School Bulldogs (3-1) varsity ice hockey team did something that had not been done in the last seven years when the team defeated the Arthur L. Johnson High School Crusaders 5-4 in front of a packed house on Friday night at the Warinanco Park Ice Skating Center.
Senior center Victor Velazquez led the Bulldogs scoring in the impressive victory by tallying four goals, including the game winner with just three minutes left in the game.
Bulldogs Head Coach Brian Hayes credited his players for the team’s latest victory and their strong start to the season.
“Our boys have shown a tireless commitment and determination since our very first practice this season,” Coach Hayes said. “This was a very nice win for them, and now we’ll work to keep it going.”
The Crusaders from Clark jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first period. But the Bulldogs showed signs of life when junior left wing Gary Mignone snatched the puck at center ice and scored his sixth goal of the season on a breakaway with two minutes left in the period.
In the second period, Dayton tied the score at 2-2 when Velazquez weaved through the Crusaders defense to score his first goal of the night. The Crusaders responded with a goal to jump back on top 3-2 going into the final period.
In the third period, the back-and-forth battle continued as Velazquez scored again to make it 3-3, but the Crusaders quickly lit the lamp to make it 4-3.
Velazquez and the Bulldogs attack just would not be denied on this night as the speedy center scored again to knot the game at 4-4. With just over three minutes left in the game, Velazquez capped his heroic night with the game winning goal.
Mignone, senior right wing Brenden Smith, and junior forward Jeremy Greiss each had key assists on Velazquez’s goals.
Senior goalie Nick Facchini made 35 saves on the night, and senior captain Joe Triano and junior defensemen Mark Cunningham were stellar all night to help quell the Crusaders attack.
Other players who supported the memorable effort for Dayton included seniors Lucas Minio and Daniel Aldenyi, juniors Antonio Famiglietti and Harry Rachel, sophomores Giuseppe Wadowski, Gabriel Dematos and Zachary Silverstein, and freshman Eric Serio.
The Bulldogs return to the ice at the Warinanco Park Ice Skating Center to face Newark East Side on Wednesday, December 18. Game time is 8:50 p.m.