As the cold temperatures finally start to set in here at the Jersey Shore, the Shore Conference ice hockey competition is starting to heat up. Over the next couple of weeks, division crowns will be won and tournament time begins.
Jackson Liberty 6, Manalapan 6
Jackson Liberty and Manalapan squared off in a division game where the two teams skated to a 6-6 tie. Ryan Bechutsky got the equalizer for the Braves with just over three minutes remaining in the third period to get the hard-fought point in the standings. Scoring leaders for Jackson Liberty were Joe Granza who netted four goals and an assist, Nick Labianca who tallied the other two goals, and assists from Mathew Faiella, Brendan McCauley, Zach D’Andrea and Nick Waldron. Sean Reid earned the tie between the pipes with 34 saves. Scoring leaders for Manalapan were Dylan Stein with two goals and an assist, Ryan Marsala with a goal and two assists, Connor Freedman and Joe Mazza with a goal a piece and Freddit Brutto with three assists. John Fox recorded 35 saves. Jackson Liberty currently sits at 7-6-2 overall and 3-3-1 in A Central. Manalapan sits at 5-7-3 overall and 2-3-1 in A Central.
Saint John Vianney 5, Rumson-Fair Haven 3
Saint John Vianney, the No. 9 team in the state, skated past Rumson-Fair Haven, 5-3. John Gutt and Evan Knoll scored two goals each for the Lancers, with Dom Troisi netting the other goal. Jeremy Connor made 25 saves. Rumson got on the board with scoring from Ryan Croddick, Max Nicholson and Connor Spagnuola, while Ronan Hickey ended with 20 saves. Saint John Vianney currently holds a record of 11-0-2 overall and 6-0 in A North, while RFH holds a record of 6-6-2 overall and 4-2-1 in A Central.
Brick Township 3, Paul VI 3
Brick Township battled non-conference foe Paul VI to a scoreless first period before both offenses erupted for a combined five goals in the second period. Paul VI would take the lead midway through the second period on a goal from Dalton Foster. Brick Township would answer back in the eighth minute on a goal from Spencer Rozell on assist from Zach Rozell. Spencer would give the Dragons a 2-1 lead with just under five minutes left in the period off assist from Mike Pfeister. Paul VI would not go quietly as they tied the game a minute later on a goal from Matthew Carson. Brick would answer right back on a goal from Pfeister on assist from Damian Bonafide a minute later to take a 3-2 lead into the locker room. Paul VI got the lone third-period goal with 14 minutes remaining in the game when Carson got his second of the game. Brick goalie Joey Scamaredella made 29 saves on the night to help earn the Dragons a 3-3 tie.
Middletown South 3, Southern Regional 1
Middletown South skated to a 3-1 non-conference win over Southern Regional at Middletown Ice World. The Eagles would get scoring from Aiden Cavendish, Michael Volpi and Michael Hannigan, while Joe Ciervo, Andreas Forand, Michael Ferlanti and Sean Asaro each had an assist. Sean Caswell turned in a stellar performance between the pipes with 25 saves. The Eagles and Rams skated to a 1-1 first-period tie before the Eagles put the game away in the second. Joe Cajzer got Southern Regional’s lone goal on assist from Corbin Siek. Trey Mattern stopped 31 shots. Middletown South currently holds an 8-6 overall record and 3-2 in A North, while Southern Regional holds a 7-2-4 overall record and 4-1 in A South.
Christian Brothers Academy 5, Wall Township 2
Christian Brothers Academy rolled into the Jersey Shore Arena with the No. 3 ranking in the state and showed their poise and dominance all night. The Colts once again showed why they are the top team in the Shore, but Wall Township did not go down without a fight. Even though over matched, the Knights managed to keep the game within reach and proved they are a program on the rise. CBA got scoring from Zachary Wagnon with two goals, Evan Brown with one goal and three assists, Kyle Contessa with one goal and an assist, and Robert Setteducati with one goal. Goalie Thomas Heaney made 19 saves. Wall got scoring from Mike Kocsis with two goals, and assists from Riley Haviland and Kyle O'Neil. Wall currently holds a record of 6-9 overall and 0-4 in A North. CBA continues their dominance with a record of 13-1-1 and 3-1-1 in the Gordon-American Conference.