WAYNE — For Don Bosco Prep, there is no such thing as a night off.
Two days after its Bergen County Tournament quarterfinal victory over Mahwah and one day before its semifinal bout with Northern Highlands, Don Bosco set its sights on fellow prep power Bishop Eustace for its second game of a three-game set.
Thomas Reid registered his first two career goals, Mickey Burns and Tyler Nielsen each collected a goal and two assists and Don Bosco Prep, No. 4 in The New Jersey Hockey Private Top 10, got goals from 10 different skaters en route to an 11-2 triumph over Bishop Eustace in a gritty NJSIAA Gordon Conference tilt at the Ice Vault in Wayne.
Reid and Tsubasa Konishi found the back of the net in the first period to stake their Ramsey school to a 2-0 lead before Don Bosco Prep broke through in a deciding second frame with four goals on 10 shots to firmly establish a 6-1 lead after two.
(Photos by Dave Rubel/NJ Sports Media)
Neilsen, Burns, T.J. Schweighardt and Tyler Sedlak converted in the second period to break the game open and Reid, Ryan McLinskey, Matt Freitas, Seiho Jin and John Papandrea added fuel to the fire in the third as Don Bosco Prep turned in its third straight victory to stand at 4-2-1 in the conference and 9-3-1 overall this season.
“Big stretch of games here. Not a lot of rest for everyone but we’re finding ways to recover and find our legs,” Vermont-bound center Mickey Burns said. “It felt really good to put up 10 or 11 today — it just shows even though we’re tired, we’re putting up points. Our defense is solid and it’s really helpful to have four lines deep. You see some teams around the state relying on two or three kids to get them through games but that’s not going to get the job done. With us, all our kids scoring… you saw it tonight — everyone’s producing.”
With Don Bosco Prep rolling upwards of four forward lines, the Bergen County team has found a recipe for success striking for an astounding 24 goals over its last two games. Team captain Ryan McLinskey also likes the direction his team is heading.
“We came in and got after it right away. We put pucks in the net and just kept it going the whole entire game,” McLinskey said. “We’re putting pucks on net. We just got to keep the legs going. We’re a fast team, speed is our strength.”
Bishop Eustace was without four of its top skaters including Greg Scolieri, Dylan Saracino, Nick Chicano and Ricky Adams, but senior Michael Colella, who accounted for both of his Camden County team’s goals, wasn’t making excuses.
“Yeah, we were missing some key guys up front, we tried to get a little spark but it just didn’t go our way today,” Colella said. “Getting to the transition quick, beating their D was a big part of it. We just needed to be one step quicker.”
Colella put his Pennsauken school on the board with a beauty of a shorthanded goal on the breakaway 51 seconds into the third period with an assist from Sean Lippincott, before connecting again 7:09 later after a set up from Luke Viola.
“I caught him blocker side,” Colella said. “Coming down I saw a lot of space. I was looking blocker side, between the pad 12 inches off the ice. I knew it would be hard for him to stop.
“I think we just need to stay positive,” Colella continued. “We did a lot of good things even though the score didn’t go our way. We just need to come right back with a full lineup Tuesday against Princeton.”
(Dave Rubel/NJ Sports Media)
Thomas Reid and Matt Freitas each registered their first-career Varsity goals in the game, while Schweighardt, a transfer from Wayne Hills, also notched his first-career goal for Don Bosco in the triumph. But Reid, who connected 8:56 into the first, wasn’t finished as the senior defenseman and team captain made it a game he won’t soon forget when he converted again with 3:11 remaining in regulation, assisted by Michael Chris.
“The first one I got the puck from Liam (McLinskey) at the point and just shot it. It deflected off one of their players in front and went in,” the steadfast defenseman said. “The second one, I saw Chris down low and crashed the net.”
“A lot of these guys have played together for years, so for all of us to come together now and play for Bosco, it’s really helped,” Reid added. “I like our depth. We’ve got to just keep putting a few home and we’ll keep winning.”
John Christian Hageny