McAuley looks to keep Glen Rock’s goal in good hands

McAuley+gets+low+in+preparation+for+an+oncoming+shot.+This+is+his+first+year+playing+for+the+varsity+team%2C+having+previously+played+two+years+of+junior+varsity+hockey.

Photo Credit: Ryan McAuley

McAuley gets low in preparation for an oncoming shot. This is his first year playing for the varsity team, having previously played two years of junior varsity hockey.

by Luke Brangaccio, Staff Writer

Ryan McAuley, junior, says the departure of former goalie, Matt Rosario, won’t stop the boys hockey team from being successful.

Last season, Rosario led the team to a state final and carried the team throughout the season with many impressive performances. He played 59 games for the hockey team, making 1132 saves along the way. This season, McAuley is starting in goal and is left with the task of filling the hole left by Rosario.

McAuley has kept his cool throughout the season, despite knowing the standard that was set by Rosario. “I try not to get too crazy, because you can only control it to a certain extent. I can’t control anything he’s done, and at the end of the day, I’ve realized that I’m the goalie now, and I have to step up now,” McAuley said.

They preach perfection, and as a team, that’s what we’re striving for.”

— Ryan McAuley

The new coaches for the hockey team, Anthony Yelovich and Zane Kalemba, have helped Ryan with his transition into the varsity team.

“I really like the new coaches. They’ve got a lot of experience, and it’s nice to have some new perspectives.” Both coaches previously played hockey at a professional level and have brought lots of new ideas to the team. “They preach perfection, and as a team, that’s what we’re striving for.”

Kalemba was a goalie during his playing days, and his experience helps the team inside the crease. McAuley noted that he has improved both mentally and physically as a goalkeeper since the new coaches arrived, as he is learning new strategies and techniques while mentally approaching situations in different ways.

Instead of comparing himself to Rosario, McAuley tries to learn what he can from him and is looking to end the season on a high note.

“Matt came focused and ready to win game in and game out. The one thing I’ve learned from him is how to carry yourself, but you can only teach that stuff so much,” McAuley said. “I’ve got some great coaches, and one of the best teams in the state in front of me. I’ve got their back and they’ve got my back.”

McAuley’s older brother, Dan McAuley, also played on the boys hockey team, and he had skated alongside Matt during their senior seasons.

“Matt is an excellent goalie, probably one of the best in the state for public schools,” Dan McAuley said. “He played a big role in getting the team deep into the state playoffs last year.”

Last season, Glen Rock lost 5-1 to Ramsey in the Public B State Championship. Despite the unfortunate ending to the season, Rosario went through the year with an average save percentage of 93 percent, and 345 total saves. Rosario’s numbers may be hard to match, but Dan McAuley still says his brother can still be an integral figure for the team this year. “When a goalie needs to make a bunch of big saves, there is a momentum gain that the whole team responds to,” Dan McAuley said. “As a goalie, you’re faced with high pressure situations all the time. He [Ryan] is used to it.”

Rosario will definitely be missed by the boys hockey team, but this year’s team is ready to win without him. Ryan McAuley has a save percentage of nearly 88 percent this season, and has played a big role in each of the team’s eight wins this season.

“We try to approach every game like it’s the big game, so we can come out ready to play and ready to win. We’ve had some ups and downs, but we’re getting better each day,” Ryan McAuley said.