LITTLE FALLS, NJ - The Passaic Valley-Cedar Grove ice hockey team is moving onward in the Passaic County Tournament following a dominant 8-2 victory over PCTI on Friday at Floyd Hall..

“PCTI came to play today. They are very deep, it took us until the third period to wake up, the guys finally realized we needed to play better,” said Head Coach Eric Fleischmann.

After what was a scoreless first period, which probably made the Hornets uneasy, things began to click for the PVCG squad. A five goal second period was started by Niko Dimitrakiou just 80 seconds into the frame.

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“We got [Dimitrakiou] back in there in the second period, and he started to come into his game.  He started moving the puck to get some good shots and setting up some good shots,” said Fleischmann.

Sam Giuffrida, who would go on a scoring rampage in the second period, set up Dimitrakiou’s goal. Giuffrida proceeded to score three goals in the second period and add a second assist on his brother Zach’s lone goal of the game.

“We needed the points so everything I had a chance to put on net I tried and  luckily some of them went in the back of the net and it helped our team out,” said Giuffrida. 

Giuffrida led by example in the second period making sure the net was continually pelted and the pressure was constantly on the PCTI defense.

“[Giuffrida] is our captain and as he goes normally we go.  He’s a big asset out there,” said Fleischmann.

Giuffrida’s brother Zach was also able to be a key factor in the game, Zach Giuffrida is getting hot at the right time with goals in two consecutive games. 

“[Zach Giuffrida] is starting to get points, he’s starting to play a lot better, he’s getting smarter and getting to the net,” said Fleischmann.

Ultimately the Hornets would finish with eight goals from  four different players on an unofficial 31 shots for the team on the night.

“After we saw what they were in the first period we really came in hard, heads up in the second period and really put the work in,” said Giuffrida.

Rounding out the list of key contributors was Matt Vuolo who was instrumental in the team’s offensive success. Vuolo collected two third period goals to help move the team onward. For Vuolo it was his first two goals of the season and couldn’t come at a better time to heat up moving into the PCT semifinals.

The victory improves the Hornets to 6-4 on the year as they’ve now won two games in a row. They will now have a matchup with West Milford on Monday night looking to move onward in the Passaic County Tournament,

 “It’s going to take our best effort to beat West Milford. They are a very good team, they’re very well coached and we have to bring our best game in order to hang with them,” said Fleischmann.

TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove  is an online newspaper serving the Townships of Verona and Cedar Grove. TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove is accredited by the New Jersey Press Association, and is a locally owned news organization serving the community.

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