WOODBRIDGE, NJ — The second seeded Westfield Blue Devils dominated Manalapan 6-0 in the opening round of the NJSIAA Public B State Tournament on Thursday.
Freshman Matteo Mancheno had the bench hyped up early in the game as he put one into the back of the net just 5 minutes in.
Later in the period, senior Andrew Principato scored to give the Blue Devils a 2-0 lead.
Six minutes into the second period, sophomore Thomas Conrod scored a power play goal to put the team up by three.
Sophomore Greg Oliveri later netted a one-timer after senior Nick Forno wrapped around the back of net before passing to Oliveri.
After a roughing penalty was called on the Braves, Westfield capitalized on the 5-minute power play, as senior assistant captain Dylan Howard netted his first goal of the season.
“It’s definitely a relief knowing that I finally got one,” Howard said. “It wasn’t all me though. My team did a great job setting up chances for me and the other guys for the entire game.”
With the game already put away, senior Will Gamba scored with under three minutes to go to put them up 6-0. He celebrated by shaking Blue Devil defenseman Kyle Azzaretto’s hand.
Braves goalie John Fox came away with 40 saves, as Westfield had 46 shots on goal, Manalapan with just five.
The Blue Devils will next face West Essex on March 2. Westfield defeated them by a score of 6-0 back on Jan. 14.
“If we can prepare like we did for this game, we should be in a good spot,” Howard said. “We’re looking to roll over our confidence from tonight into our next game.”
Michael Siroty is a freshman at Westfield High School participating in a journalism program with TAPinto Westfield.