River Dell Varsity Ice Hockey Team dominant in a 9-2 rout of Fair Lawn
The River Dell Golden Hawks(2-0) varsity ice hockey team faced off against the Fair Lawn Cutters(1-3) at The Ice House in Hackensack. River Dell was coming off an 8-4 win over Clifton in the 2022-23 regular-season opener on December 11th.
River Dell Head Coach Kyle Scancerella's message to the team heading into the match-up was, "After the Clifton game, even though we won 8-4, we weren't pleased with our performance and thought we had to play a lot better." "It was getting back on track and doing the little things better, and we're making smart plays and playing as a team." It was putting more of a consistent full game instead of a period here and then struggling in a period.
In the first period, the Golden Hawks were on the power play when senior Roman Kirilytchev streaked into the Cutters zone at the fast clip and unleashed a shot that was turned aside by Fair Lawn goaltender Jake Feinstein.
Junior Ryan Jarski also got a shot off on goal that Feinstein kicked out, but senior Vinny Miraglia was in the perfect spot to poke the puck into the net.
Not even two minutes later, Miraglia found the back of the net again. Ryan Jarksi collected his second assist of the game as he flicked the puck to senior Andrew Spano, who in turn backhanded a puck that dribbled down into Cutter's territory where Miraglia, in the nick of time, flipped the puck past Jake Feinstein as he crashed to the ice.
However, Fair Lawn answered back on the power play. Connor Pinkham rifled a shot past River Dell goalie Liam Freel with less than seven minutes remaining.
With three and half minutes left, the Golden Hawks took back-to-back penalties, leading to a two-man advantage for the Cutters. Once again, Connor Pinkham struck gold as he stuffed the puck into the left side of the net.
The back-and-forth action continued as Vinny Miraglia completed the hat trick with less than two minutes to put River Dell back in front 3-2. It appeared as though the Golden Hawks sophomore Andrew Duran was attempting to ice the puck, but Miraglia outraced the Fair Lawn defenseman and scooped up the puck that hit off the board and snapped a shot past Jake Feinstein.
"We started a little bit slow, actually, but Vinny(Miraglia) was trying to get the boys going, and he got us three goals," Head Coach Kyle Scancerella explained. "Then Fair Lawn came back; we weren't playing too well." Vinny put another home and pumped up, and the team fed off his energy.
"Vinny was in the right place at the right time multiple times, especially on the third goal." "We were short-handed and had given up two power-play goals." Andrew Duran attempted to ice the puck, and Vinny was out there for a while.
"He didn't quit on the play, and everyone down there, and the puck took a good bounce, and it was there in front of the net, and he put it home."
Once the second period got underway, River Dell struck two and half minutes again as freshman Jase Estrin passed the puck in front of the net to Roman Kirilytchev, who backhanded the puck past Jake Feinstein into the middle of the net.
At the eight and half minute juncture, senior Kristian Bush blasted the puck five-hole past Jake Feinstein to widen the Golden Hawks' advantage to 5-2.
With a minute left in the period, Bush tallied his second goal. Ryan Jarkski raced into the Cutters' zone and appeared to have scored, but the puck landed on the goal line, and Bush was in the right spot to tap it into the net.
Head Coach Kyle Scancerella on the team's performance in the second period. "My message to the team after the period was to stay out of the (penalty) box." "We controlled the five on five and didn't agree with the penalty calls but knew that's going to happen and part of the game." We shuffled the lines, found some chemistry, and played great.
"During the Clifton game, we found a lot of individual play, and we started seeing that in the first and second period, but then we started cycling the puck and moving it around the point." "We have so much team speed that it's hard to keep up with us, and we're three lines deep and have total energy all the time; it took its toll on Fair Lawn.
"Right off the bat Kristian and Roman have eight points through two games and they're going to be the driving force for us and Vinny may not have as many points as last year but has five goals in two games." "Those three players have been crucial and we're getting out captain Riley Ehrenfels back, he missed the first two games and is a senior." We lost some key seniors last year but knowing the juniors going into this senior group this year could be a force and have been.
River Dell did not step off the gas pedal in the third period against the Cutters. Just about two minutes on the extra man advantage, sophomore DJ Terwilliger took a pass and wristed the puck past Jake Feinstein into the net.
The Golden Hawks' offense continuously applied pressure. Two minutes later, Jase Estrin collected a pass from sophomore TJ Fragoso and cranked a wicked laser shot short side past Jake Feinstein.
Fragoso capped off the scoring for River Dell a minute and a half later as he was parked in an open spot and slammed the puck past Jake Feinstein in the net. Golden Hawks goaltender made 26 saves in the 9-2 rout.
"We have a lot of firepower this season and our depth is amazing," Head Coach Kyle Scancerella described. "Jase has come in here as a freshman and a workhorse and all over the ice and always going." "We're really happy that he was rewarded with his first goal."
"TJ is always reliable, and you can always count on him whether in the defensive or offensive zone he's always going to make a play." Honestly, he's one of the best defensive-defenseman this school has seen in a while, and my tenure, and just a shutdown guy. To see him rewarded with a goal was fantastic to see.
"Liam is one of the best goalies in the state, and we were lucky to have Michael Bussanich before him." "Liam's coming in and playing at the same level has been great." When we score three goals or more, the team is 26-2-1, which shows how strong our goaltending has been, and Liam's just one of the best, and it's huge to have him on our team.
River Dell returns to the ice on Sunday, December 18th squaring off against Paramus Catholic at the Ice House at 5 p.m. Then the Golden Hawks go up against Tenafly on December 23rd, also at the Ice House, with the face-off set for 6 p.m.
"Paramus Catholic has been one of the most competitive games we have every year, Head Coach Kyle Scancerella noted. "Last year, we tied both games, and they were amazing." We know this team has always been a thorn in our side, and we can't get over the hump of beating them because they play such a sound and positional game. We're going to have that little bit of energy coming into the game to make sure we get the win.
"Tenafly is always a good team and last year was a close game, and at the end, we started to pull away, but they have some tremendous players." "We will be tested in these next two games.