ENGLEWOOD, NJ — Anthony Lindis once scored a game-winning goal in a Pee Wee tournament growing up, but nothing quite like this.
Down one after one, Jake Dargento tied the game in the second before Lindis delivered the game-winner in fine fashion — with 3:41 remaining in regulation assisted by Ethan Childs and Tyler Kulbansky — to lift Fair Lawn to a dramatic 2-1, come-from-behind victory over Tenafly at Mackay Park in Englewood.
“The puck was dumped in and I just tried to beat their defenseman to it and gain possession in their zone,” Lindis said. “We got to it and I went to the front of the net. A shot from the point, a rebound in front and I was there with a wide open net and put it in.
“I can remember one time, when I was 11 or 12 at a tournament I scored a game-winner,” Lindis said, “but this was definitely a lot more exciting scoring in high school in front of many friends and people I know — It was just good timing.”
Before the chips from the ice cut even settled, Tommy Cohen put Tenafly-Cresskill on the board just 3:04 into the game, assisted by Gabe Reis.
“We did not have any panic after going down 1-0 early,” Fair Lawn-Bergenfield-Dumont coach Joey Bonafede said. “It was clear we had to continue to play a fast, hard game and we would get our chances. Early on, Tenafly’s defensemen were doing a great job of squeezing the zone and pinning us in our own zone for long shifts. We had to make an adjustment and started utilizing the middle of the ice more frequently on breakouts.”
It remained a 1-0 game until deep in the second frame when Dargento tied it up with 3:49 to go. Eric Cacdac drew an assist on the game-tying goal.
“There’s a driving force when you’re down early,” Lindis said. “They scored their goal one of the first shifts of the game so we were down the whole first period — That definitely gives you a reason to work harder.”
Lindis skated with Nick Shteynberg and Ethan Childs this game, but Bonafede is cycling players through the lineup searching for a spark.
“Lindis joined our team this year with our Bergenfield/Dumont tri-op,” Bonafede said. “He has played a fast, high-intensity game so far and is becoming a player I can rely on in all different situations — He has fantastic work ethic.”
“We’ve been switching lines up the past few weeks, looking for chemistry, getting some guys together that weren’t available earlier in the season,” Lindis, a junior, said. “We hadn’t really played together before, but we clicked this game.”
Tenafly coach Andy Escala said losing team captain Jack Naidrich for the game halfway through the second period hurt. Naidrich was whistled with 9:49 left in the second period, handed a five-minute major and a game misconduct for a high hit deemed to have made contact with the head.
“Questionable officiating took my best player out with a disqualification,” Escala said. “Might not have been a penalty, maybe a five for head contact — maybe — they gave him a DQ.
“We can’t score,” Escala said. “We have scored two goals the last four games. Can’t win 1-0 all the time.”
As the clock wound down in the waning moments of the third period and the game deadlocked, 1-1, it came down to which goaltender blinked first. Both Fair Lawn’s Max Rocco (22 saves) and Tenafly’s Charlie Goldman (20 saves) did all they could to give their team a fighting chance.
“Max also joined our team from Bergenfield and has been solid from Day One,” Bonafede said. “His past two games have been the best of this season so far. He has bailed us out of many tough shifts lately. We can all see his confidence growing between the pipes.”
Mirroring this game, Fair Lawn-Bergenfield-Dumont dropped its first two games of the season, but has rebounded with three wins in their last four to stand 3-3 this season. Tenafly-Cresskill is 2-2.
“I am happy with our 3-3 start so far but we have a long road ahead,” Bonafede added. “We will continue to take one game at a time. Our goal has always been to raise our compete level every time we step on the ice — we have done that so far.”
“Our end-goal is to finish .500 this year and qualify for the state tournament,” Lindis said. “We would love it if we can make it there.”
— Fair Lawn Athletics (@FLHSCUTTERS) December 18, 2019
0-1 T Tommy Cohen (Gabe Reis) 11:56-1st
1-1 FL Jake Dargento (Eric Cacdac) 3:49-2nd
2-1 FL Anthony Lindis (Ethan Childs, Tyler Kulbansky) 3:41-3rd
Shots: 23-22 Tenafly-Cresskill
Written by John Christian Hageny @JCCSPORTS
Special to HockeyClan
Photos by Mark Carosiello / @SnapthePicture6
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