LITTLE FALLS, NJ - The Passaic Valley-Cedar Grove ice hockey team has their first victory of 2020 following a 6-0 win over Clifton on Thursday.

    “It’s a nice bounce back win, [Clifton] was a smart team, very disciplined,” said Hornets Head Coach Eric Fleischman.

    The Hornets squad was clearly the better team from horn to horn producing 55 shots for the contest. After peppering the Clifton goalie for nearly 11 minutes they broke through as Nick DeNunzio collected his first varsity goal of his career. DeNunzio’s goal would prove to be the game winner.

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    “That was big for him, it was good to see, he works hard and doesn’t have the same skills as everybody, but he works his butt off,” said Fleischman.

    Once the initial goal went in the floodgates opened for PVCG. The offense came in droves with another goal before the end of the first period and three second period tallies. 

    “A couple of goals the kids finally realized that if they worked a little bit harder in the zone they’d be able to score some goals, the rest of the time they were moving the puck around the perimeter a lot and not getting good looks so when they started moving the puck and attacking more we were able to get some goals,” said Fleischman.

    Helping to light the lamp multiple times was Matt O’Donnell. O’Donnell a transfer from Bergen County has collected seven points in his last three games for the Hornets. 

    “[O’Donnell] has been a great addition this year since he transferred over from Bergen, it’s great to have him…we’re lucky to have him he’s definitely a plus to have on the ice,” said Fleischman.

    The Hornets would add one more goal in the final frame of the contest for good measure. Sam Giuffrida, who moved back to defense to change up the offense’s look collected his fourth goal in the last three games.

    “[Giuffrida] looked like he was struggling offensively lately so we moved him back on defense and it seemed to work out better for him in the third period when he scored, I think it was the right move for him,” said Fleischman.

    The victory improves the Hornets to 4-2 on the season as they’ve now won four of their last five games. They will look to continue their winning ways when they take on Tenafly on Jan. 11. 

    “They have to work a lot harder, they have to understand you can’t just show up.  It’s not just pond hockey, they’ve got to work and when they work and move the puck they’re hard to beat,” said Fleischman.

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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