WEST ORANGE, NJ - The Verona-Glen Ridge ice hockey team used grit and determination to power past Madison with a 4-3 victory on Thursday at Codey Arena to give the squad their fourth win in its last five games.

    “They are playing great…we’re playing good hockey, we’re playing winning hockey.  They are a great group, and they play for each other,” said Head Coach Ken Lilien. 

    The two clubs were tied at three in what was a whirlwind of a third period. Aidan Brennan would crash the net to try to change the narrative finding a loose puck and driving it home for his third goal of the game with 2:30 left in the contest. 

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    “I was definitely going hard. I’m happy to be there in the right place at the right time.  My teammates were really setting me up and we just got the job done,” said Brennan.

    Brennan’s eventual game-winner capped off a third period that saw six combined goals. After taking a two goal lead the Dodgers capitalized after a long break due to equipment failures. They fired back with two goals of their own to knot the game up. After the second of Brennan’s three goals Madison answered once again with a game-tying goal.

    “We tried to wear them down [with] our three lines, the skate blade issue for the goalie for Madison allowed them to rest,” said Lilien.

    Brennan’s phenomenal performance gives him five points in his last three games. One of the three games was a 4-0 shutout loss to Chatham earlier this week.

    “We pushed through and I can’t say enough about Aidan Brennan. Every time they scored he scored, he just wasn’t going to let [a loss] happen,” said Lilien.

    Fellow forward Noah Martinez was almost as impressive in the victory against Madison Thursday. Martinez was instrumental in the team’s first goal to Brennan with just one second left on the clock in the period, and he later tallied a goal of his own to start the third period’s theatrics. 

    “[Martinez] is a stud, that goal at the end of the period everybody was screaming at him to shoot it.  He took his time and got it to [Brennan] and that was a big moment then he comes back and scores another goal,” said Lilien.

    Verona seems to have hit their stride offensively scoring 13 goals in their last four games.

    “I know there are not that many teams that can stand in our way if we just play our game,” said Brennan.

    The Hillbillies improve to 4-2 on the season. They will continue to play a few more games in the Codey Arena Holiday Tournament to bolster their experience. VGR’s next contest is Pascack Valley on Friday.

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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