WALL TOWNSHIP — T.J. Evan led the way for Colonia/JFK/Woodbridge with five goals as the first-year tri-op skated to a 9-2 victory over Freehold Boro/Raritan on Saturday night at the Jersey Shore Arena in Wall Township.
After jumping out to a 4-2 lead after one period of play, the newly-formed team made up of players from three different Middlesex County schools were comfortably in control. With five goals over the final two periods beginning with Justin DiNitale’s goal just 20 seconds into the second, Colonia quickly extended its lead to three.
Evan struck for five goals and two assists, Drew Galea finished with a goal and four assists and Travis Beni, Luca Filocamo and DiNitale also found the back of the net for Colonia, which improves to 2-0 this season.
Joe Barrone and Connor Moreno hit for Freehold Boro (0-2), which received 40 saves from Josh Gates in between the pipes.
Due to dwindling numbers at the conclusion of last season, Colonia merged with Woodbridge in order to keep both programs alive.
“Numbers-wise, we are good now. Talent-wise, it increases our depth,” Colonia head coach Chris Monticollo said. “It was a great benefit having those guys (Woodbridge) come on with us.”
Freehold Boro opened the scoring just 1:08 into the game when sophomore forward Joeseph Baronne chipped a backhand shot up and over the Colonia goalie to stake claim to a 1-0 lead.
T.J. Evan would tie the score at 1-1 for Colonia with his first goal of the game with 6:52 remaining on a pass from Drew Galea, but Moreno gave Freehold Boro the lead back just 19 seconds later off a setup by Gabriel Roman.
The same tandem of Evan and Galea once again tied up the game with 4:01 left in the first when Galea skated down the wing and sent a pass across the crease that Evan tipped past the Freehold Boro goalie.
With 3:19 remaining in the opening frame, Beni gave Colonia their first lead of the game, 3-2, on a goal set up by Evan and Galea. The goal seemed to kill any momentum Freehold Boro had mustered earlier in the game.
But before the first period came to a close, Evan found the back of the net for the third time in the opening frame as the senior connected with 39 seconds left to record the hat trick.
Gates played well and kept his team in the contest early, stopping a few Colonia breakaways that could have made the deficit even larger.
In the second period, Colonia went back to work and DiNatale converted only 20 seconds into the second period on a shot from the blue line that found its way through traffic and into the net. The period would play out until two goals 21 seconds apart by Filocamo and another by Evan, his fourth of the game, put Colonia up 7-2 after two.
A cross-check in the final minute of the period led to nine combined penalties and four game misconducts (two for each side).
Galea and Evan each tallied a goal in the third period to cap the scoring for Colonia, which saw goaltender Alex Wolferman save 11 of the 13 shots Freehold Boro sent at him, including all six over the final two periods.
Special teams were not a huge factor in the contest as Freehold went 0-for-2 and surrendered a shorthanded goal. Colonia did not have a power play in the game.
“We were starting off rough, but after the second (Freehold) goal the coaches said we had to get things together and it started to work out eventually,” Evan said.
Freehold Boro/Raritan will next travel to Winding River Rink in Toms River to play Central Regional on December 8 at 6 p.m. Colonia will look to keep the momentum rolling when it meets South Brunswick at the Community Center in Woodbridge on December 4. The puck drops at 3:15 p.m.
Written by Casey J. Krish / @CaseyKrish
Special to HockeyClan
Photos by Jessica Rabstein / @JRabstein
Main Image: Colonia/JFK/Woodbridge and Freehold Boro go through the handshake line following their game on December 2, 2017 at the Jersey Shore Arena in Wall. Colonia won 9-2. (Jessica Rabstein/HockeyClan)
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