Hockey team wins fourth straight league title, looks to ride momentum into state playoffs

Panthers celebrate their 4-2 win over St. Joes to win the Big North Freedom Division title.

Photo Credit: Charlie Visconti

Panthers celebrate their 4-2 win over St. Joes to win the Big North Freedom Division title.

by Jack Jensen, Business Manager

The Glen Rock Panthers defeated Saint Joseph’s (Montvale) Green Knights by a score of 4-2 on Feb. 20 to take the Big North Freedom Division League title.

The Panthers got off to a shaky start and gave up a goal off a rebound with 7:09 left in the first period. Brian Quinn (’16) ripped a shot off of Matt Rosario’s (’16) left pad which bounced perfectly onto the stick of the Green Knights’ Matthew Cocciadiferro (’16) as he knocked the puck into net past the out-of-position Rosario. The Panthers didn’t lose morale despite being down 1-0.  At the 0:34 mark in the first period, Tom LaMacchia (’16) found Peter Cassidy (’17) in the slot for the goal to tie the game at 1-1.

The second period started quite similarly with St. Joe’s striking first at the 6:26 mark. A great breakout pass from Peter Lombardi (’17) slid onto the stick of Dominick Posta (’17) where Posta would score in an uncontested breakaway.

However, Glen Rock would answer quickly with a timely backhand goal in front of the net from Eddie Corvelli (’18) off the assist from Justin Rosario (’16).

With a short time left in the second period, Corvelli and Justin Rosario skated down the ice with two defenders in their way. Corvelli and Justin Rosario passed back and forth several times before Corvelli was able to rip the puck into the back of the net for his second goal of the game. This gave the Panthers a 3-2 lead with 19 seconds left in the second period.

The third period moved slowly with back and forth shot attempts, great saves and big hits. This all changed with 1:15 left to go in the third period when the Green Knights pulled their goalie to give themselves an extra skater advantage. Lombardi received the puck at the blue line and dumped it into the Panthers’ zone. Justin Rosario rocketed the puck around and back up the boards as it bounced off of one Green Knight and onto the stick of Corvelli.

Corvelli then chipped the puck around the defender and skated up to the blue line and slid the puck into the net for his third goal of the game to complete the hat trick.

The goal sealed Glen Rock’s fourth straight league title and will give momentum to the Panthers as they try to take home to Public B state title.

Glen Rock is the two seed for the 2016 NJSIAA Public B tournament.

The Panthers play the thirty-one seed Central Regional today at 4:45 PM. The game will be at the Ice House.

If the Panthers win, they will play the winner of Northern Highlands and Hopewell Valley on Feb. 26.

Corvelli is the team leader in points with 45, 30 of those being goals. Jake Kinney (’17) is in second with 42 points.