HACKENSACK — Glen Rock threw everything but the locker room sink at Paramus Catholic goaltender Denis McGarry but still found itself trailing by one after two periods of play.
Despite firing 43 shots on the sophomore netminder, the top-ranked public school in The New Jersey Hockey Advantage Top 10 never felt out of it. The Bergen County school just dug down deep and pulled itself out of the hole.
Colin Morrow scored twice, Eddie Corvelli and Jake Kinney also scored while Matt Maselli delivered the game-winning goal with 5:19 remaining in regulation as Glen Rock erased a two-goal deficit with five unanswered goals in the third period en route to an 8-5 triumph over Paramus Catholic at The Ice House in Hackensack.
“You just don’t panic,” senior Jake Kinney, who finished with a goal and three assists, said. “Even though we were down, we thought we were still playing a strong game. We pride ourselves on our resiliency and our persistence. No matter what the score is, whether we’re up, down, tied… we’re always going out there playing our game no matter what.”
“We just knew coming into the third, even down two, that we had the talent to win this game,” Morrow, who capped off the dramatic comeback with his empty-net goal with nine seconds left, said. “They collapsed really well, forced us to shoot from the outside but in the third period we were able to get guys in front of the net, screen the goalie and get to rebounds — we’ve been down before.”
Eyan Helm scored four goals for Paramus Catholic. The junior finished with 44.7 seconds left in the second period to give his private school a 4-3 lead after two periods of play. Helm wasn’t finished either and wasted no time notching his fourth goal of the game just 1:26 into the third to put Paramus Catholic up 5-3 with 13:34 remaining.
It wasn’t exactly the kind of start Glen Rock coach Anthony Yelovich envisioned to begin the final frame but the two-goal deficit lit a fire under the team.
Corvelli slashed its deficit in half just 23 seconds off the ensuing face-off to make it a one-goal game before Kinney’s flashy backhander off a drive up the near-side boards tied it at 5-5 with 7:34 left. Maselli finished the play started by John LaMacchia and Peter Cassidy to give Glen Rock its second lead of the game, 6-5 — and one it would not relinquish again.
“We’re never out of the game — that’s something we’ve been preaching all year,” Yelovich said. “It’s actually happened the last couple of times this year, we out-shoot teams and find ourselves behind but we have those character guys that don’t quit regardless of the score.”
Paramus Catholic received a stand-out 57-save game from Denis McGarry in between the pipes. Despite being unable to maintain the lead late in the third period, team captain Christian Brunelle was proud of the way his team hung in there against one of the best in the state.
“It was great. Now we know we can play with one of the best teams in the state,” Brunelle, a senior, said. “We capitalized on our scoring chances and played great defensively.
“We were riding high on that two-goal lead and they came back at us two times harder,” Brunelle said. “Our goalie played fantastic but they capitalized on all their opportunities in the third — they’re a great team.”
Glen Rock wins its fourth straight and ninth in its last 10 to improve to 15-4-3 this season.
“If we stick to the plan we’re pretty confident in ourselves,” Yelovich, in his first season, said. “We don’t want to deviate. We don’t want to change anything.”
After going 15-7-1 last season, Paramus Catholic coach Keith Bland hasn’t had the depth previous teams have been blessed with. Still, the 10th-year coach was thrilled with the way his 5-7-4 team skated Sunday night.
“If only we still had that third line, that depth in the third period,” Bland, 117-74-23 all-time at the prestigious North Jersey school, said.
Glen Rock will file this away as one it got away with. With less than a month before the start of the NJSIAA tournament, it knows it needs to maintain it’s highs and lows as it may soon find itself in a hole it won’t be able to climb out of next time. Morrow knows its playing with fire with these come-from-behind wins late in games.
“Their goalie made a few nice saves, but this was a big win,” Morrow said. “We knew they were going to come out fired up for Senior Night. Teams are going to see this now and fear us even more, even with a two or three goal lead they know it isn’t safe because we have the talent and we’re never going to give up.”
“We’re never out it. We have the talent and the work ethic to come back from any deficit,” Kinney added. “We’re confident we can do that no matter what.”
Eddie Corvelli scored twice and Derek Kelly and Peter Cassidy also found the back of the net for Glen Rock, which received nine saves from goalie Ryan McAuley.
Paramus Catholic’s Ryan Mak lit the lamp for his second goal of the season with 5:35 left in the second period. The timely goal made it a 3-3 game at the time.
John Christian Hageny
Lead Writer — HockeyClan
Buffalo Sabres Team Writer — The Hockey Writers