Late Goals Propel Summit Hockey to Tie with Bridgewater-Raritan

Summit celebrates following a dramatic come-from-behind win over Westfield on Wednesday. The Hilltoppers scored three goals in the final minute to stun the Blue Devils at Warinanco Skating Center. Credits: Tim LeCras

ELIZABETH, N.J. - Hockey teams live or die in the third period. It takes a veteran team to truly understand the dynamics and importance of the final minutes of a game. The Summit ice hockey squad is the exception.

The young team with only one senior has learned how to thrive in the final 15 minutes of games. It was even more apparent when the Hilltoppers scored two goals in one minute span of the final four to tie Bridgewater-Raritan 2-2 on Tuesday at Warinanco Skating Center.

"We're not even getting nervous in the third periods anymore," Summit head coach Keith Nixon said. "Every third period is a one-goal game, a tie game. We just don't ever seem to be out of anything."

Sign Up for E-News

Down by two goals with four minutes to play, sophomore Chris Zanelli found a whole in Bridgewater's goalie Bobby Esposito. Zanelli took a pass from Liam McLaughlin that found the back of the net to cut the lead in half.

Less than a minute later, Summit's Whit Cummings cleaned up a rebound in front of the goal to tie the game a 2-2.

"I thought it was a great game," Zanelli said. "Both teams came out strong. They came out and scored a couple of goals on us. We came right back. It just seems to be our thing right now to score a couple of late period goals and make the game exciting."

Tuesday's tie was the second game in the past week that Summit has faced a two-goal deficit in the last five minutes of the game. Last Wednesday, the Hilltoppers scored three goals in the last minute to beat Westfield 5-4.

The defending state champions improve to 9-2-2 on the year, with seven games to play before county and state tournaments begin in the middle of February.

Nixon said the poise and confidence the team is showing now will play a factor in their post-season tournament action.

"Its good for a young team," Nixon said. "They're learning that they're never out of it. They're learning what they need to do. Come playoff time, if your confident and your not going to be nervous late in the game, its important. Its part of the maturing process. When you get in the state tournament, your going to get in some games that can be pretty stressful. If your used to it, your better off."

The Hilltoppers and Panthers played to a score period and a half before Alec Caseiro scored with 7:22 to play in the second period.

Almost a full period later, Tyler Darby scored on a pass from Ian Anderson to give Bridgewater-Raritan a 2-0 lead, before seeing the lead diminish in the final minutes.

"We're a young team, but a lot of these kids have played varsity last year or the year before," Zanelli said. "We've had a decent amount of experience. We know what it takes to get the job done, we just stay composed and don't let anything phase us."

The Hilltoppers return to the ice on Saturday when they face Chatham at Union Sports Arena. Face-off is scheduled for 6:20 p.m.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


To Our Current and Future Representatives

July 17, 2018

To Our Current and Future Representatives - Wherever They May Be:

We can never forget we are a nation of immigrants. 

We cannot fall prey to fear, ignorance and anger when we  have been historically driven by freedom and justice. 

We must have the courage and will to fight hate, bigotry and prejudice. 

We must not wake up to what we hoped was a bad dream and ...

Summit Police Blotter

July 9, 2018

6/19 - Peter Ferguson, 31, of New York, New York was arrested on a contempt of court warrant out of Point Pleasant Beach. Mr. Ferguson posted bail and was provided a new court date.

6/22 - At 1552 hours a report was taken for a theft of one thousand (1,000) mops from Overlook Hospital. The reporting individual indicated the theft occurred between 6/10 and 6/21. Taken from a storage area ...

Challenge Your Children with the Summit YMCA's Fun-Size Development Program!

July 16, 2018

“The future belongs to those who prepare for it today” - Malcolm X

The Summit Area YMCA recognizes the potential in every child. We strive to provide the environment and resources for all youth to learn, grow, and thrive. With nurturing and supportive staff, enriching curriculum and programs, and a strong built-in value system, children are able to not only reach ...

Video: Point View's Petrides Talks Netflix's Cash Burn as Company Reports Earnings

Point View Wealth Management's Managing Director and Portfolio Manager, John Petrides, live on discussing Netflix's earnings report and why the streaming service should dilute shareholders to plug its cash burn.

​​​​​​For more than 25 years, Point View Wealth Management, Inc. has been ...

Fear of Rising Rates? Remember The Reason You Own Bonds

If the current interest environment has you concerned about your bond portfolio, remember why you are investing in bonds.  The role bonds, or fixed income, play in a portfolio is not solely based on performance.  Bonds are used to offer stability, particularly when stock market volatility is rising. Rate hikes can dampen bond performance, but keep perspective on how rising rates impact ...

Are You Ready for Your Child to Turn 18?

If your son or daughter is turning 18, here are a few things you need to know:

If you have an UGMA/UTMA savings account for your child, did you know those assets are his/her legal property and once that instrument matures (most often 21 years old or 18, if you designated that at time of account creation), those assets are at your child’s disposal with no restrictions or ...

Extra Time

It was close to 70 minutes into the match and I had to go to the bathroom.  Badly.

As fans watching the World Cup know too well, bathroom breaks are a serious dilemma, especially for those who don’t have a TV in the loo.  This biological necessity is exasperated by beer, which during World Cup matches also fuels a strong propensity to throw chairs and instigate riots.