WEST ORANGE, NJ - The Knights’ strong puck-control hindered West Orange, leading West Essex to a comfortable, 10-3, win over the Mountaineers on Saturday, Dec. 12. Despite a strong performance by West Orange High School freshman Davey Campbell, the Mountaineers were no match for West Essex.
“I knew someone had to set a positive tone for us,” said Campbell, “so I put everything I had into it and I got the goals out of it.”
West Essex got off to a quick 4-0 lead, out shooting West Orange 20-1 in the first period.
In the second period, the Mountaineers began to find new ways to shoot the puck. West Orange did not try to do anything too fancy; they simply tried to play what Campbell called, “fundamental hockey.” The first goal came after a good pass to Campbell with space in the neutral zone. After darting through the defenders, it was just Campbell and the goalie, and he put it past West Essex’s Cole Dahlin for the score.
Another West Orange goal was the result of a similar situation, where Dahlin knocked down Davey’s shot on a breakaway, but Charles Aborisacle was there for the Mountaineers to hammer home the rebound.
“We just played the best team in the league,” said West Orange Coach Ed Scafidi after the game. “I think that we were a little nervous to begin with, since this was our first time playing a high-power team.”
Scafidi said he was pleased with how his team started to settle in after the first period.
The Mountaineers’ offense made some noise in the second period, scoring two goals. Although they failed to convert on two power-play opportunities, West Orange was able to salvage another goal off of a rebound in the third period.
“We started to utilize the wall and block shots, which allowed us to get into a flow,” stated Scafidi.
The coach said he hoped that this game would build his team’s confidence, as the Mountaineers’ competition would be stronger next week.
“We are going to continue working hard, skating hard and getting more shots…and the confidence that we got today will help us through the rest of the season,” he said.
The WOHS hockey team is 1-2-2 on the season after Saturday’s loss to the Knights. The Mountaineers’ next game will be on the road against Millburn on Sunday, Dec. 13, at 5:00 p.m., at Richard J. Codey Arena.
Peyton Smith is a student at West Orange High School participating in a journalism program with TAP into West Orange.
Editor's Note: all photos taken by Peyton Smith.