WEST ORANGE, NJ - The Verona/Glen Ridge Hockey Team utilized a full 45 minutes worth of effort in a 4-1 win over West Essex, breaking a two game winless streak in the process.
“It’s good to get a ‘W’…I was happy that we built on [the effort], the second [period] was better than the first and the third was better than the second,” said Head Coach Ken Lilien.
VGR started the scoring quickly in the contest. Sean DeCandia’s first of two goals came just 20-seconds into the game to set the tone that West Essex was in for a long night.
“Our game plan was to take as many shots as we could,” said DeCandia of the quick start.
Despite the early lead West Essex managed to fight back into the game midway through the first period. Patrick Coyle’s goal with 8:21 left in the period knotted the game at one and was his third point in as many games.
I scored in the first 20 seconds, but I felt like we dropped down a little bit [after the goal],” said DeCandia.
VGR rose to the occasion battling the early adversity from the Knights. Ultimately, high pressure from the offense yielded rebound opportunities in front of the net. Dylan Ruggiero was able to deflect a shot from Armaan Rigby into the net with 4:23 left in the first period for the game’s decisive goal.
“Late goals are always huge…there’s a few times that you really want to dial in…they put [their goal] in we could have folded the tent, but they pushed back and got it in,” said Lilien.
Verona continued to carry their momentum into the second period. The VGR squad managed to add another 17 shots on goal in the frame in route to 47 for the contest. Despite giving up four goals West Essex Goaltender Hannah Poovey was exceptional finishing with 43 saves on the night.
“To her credit [Poovey] played really well tonight,” said Lilien.
Even with Poovey’s best efforts the VGR offense was too much for the West Essex squad. Jarrod Keating connected with an insurance goal with 5:17 left in the second to erase any hopes of a Knights comeback. For Keating, it was his fifth point in his last three games.
“He’s got a real honest game, he knows his game, his best part of his game is his hockey IQ, he does all the little things right…his game is very consistent, he’s not going to have an off night at the rink because he plays the right way,” said Lilien.
VGR finished off West Essex in the third period tallying one more goal off the stick of Sean DeCandia. The Captain was a nuisance all game on the forecheck for Verona and ultimately was rewarded.
“I have more of a physical game, just throwing pucks to the net trying to get anything working…I’m just trying to help out the team any way I can,” said DeCandia.
For Verona/Glen Ridge the victory improves the team’s record to 2-1-2 on the season. The team will look to continue on the winning path with a tough matchup against 3-1 Millburn on Friday.
All photos by Nick Teodoro.
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