WEST ORANGE, NJ - The Verona-Glen Ridge Ice Hockey Team is quickly becoming an unstoppable force after a 5-0 win over Oratory Prep gives the group their fifth consecutive victory on Saturday at Codey Arena..

    “I was disappointed in our start, but after the first period we talked and felt like maybe we were in control a little more than the last game, but they picked it up in the second and third, and we’re just laying on all cylinders here with five [wins] in a row,” said Head Coach Ken Lilien. 

    After what was a scoreless period the Hillbillies finally broke through on the scoreboard. Dylan Gleeson crashed the front of the net for a one-timer opportunity beating the Rams goalie through the legs with 8:44 left in the period. The goal was Gleeson’s first of the season and the eventual game-winner. The goal proved the theory of their coach of the depth to the VGR roster.

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    “Every night has a different hero and tonight the game winning goal was by Dylan Gleeson,” said Lilien.

    Gleeson’s goal was fed to him on a beautiful backhand pass from Rowan Brennan. Brennan later scored the fifth goal of the game to give him three consecutive games with a goal.

    “[Rowan Brennan] sure doesn’t look like a freshman, he’s really comfortable, and he plays with confidence,” said Lilien.

    Once the first goal was scored it seemed as though the floodgates were opened for VGR. Aidan Brennen would drive a puck to the traffic in front of the net where Vincent Eremita deflected it home for the 2-0 lead. 

    “After that first goal from Dylan we really seemed to pick up the momentum,” said Aidan Brennan.

    Aidan Brennan, much like his brother Rowan later added a goal for good measure to finish the contest with two points. Aidan Brennan now has six points in his last three games for VGR. 

    “It’s my last season, so I’m just giving all I’ve got every play and if that means the pucks are going to bounce my way I’ll take it,” said Brennan.

    Rounding out the group of goal scorers for the evening was Zach Gold. The sophomore continues to impress with another two points added to his season total. Gold leads the team with 21 points and has 17 points during the team’s current five game win streak.

    “[Gold] is on fire.  His last four games are incredible…every night we need something he gets us going,” said Lilien

    The Hillbillies have clearly found the right combination of chemistry and skills following what was a tough two game losing streak to start the New Year. 

    “After the Governor Livingston loss we kind of changed some lines around and talked about putting some pucks in the net, and we’ve been scoring five or six since then…we made it a point of emphasis and the group responded,” said Lilien.

    Over the last three games the squad has produced a minimum of five goals four times. The Hillbillies have outscored their opponents 24 to five in that timespan.  

“We think we have the most depth in the league.  We consistently run three lines and I think that’s why we’re doing so well right now,” said Brennan. 

    The VGR squad currently sits at 10-4 on the season while they ride their five game win streak. The group hopes to continue to ride their streak as the Kelley Cup approaches. 

    “We want to make a run at this whole thing, we’ve got a good group, and we think we can hang with anybody,” said Lilien.

    The Hillbillies will look to make it six in a row when they take on Scotch Plains on Tuesday..

    “It feels good, I feel like we’re playing the right way we’ve really got some momentum,” said Aidan Brennan.

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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