Depth is what separates elite teams from very good ones.
A total of eight different players found the back of the net for Jackson Memorial in a balanced attack leading to a 9-0 triumph over Brick Memorial at Howell Ice Arena Wednesday night.
Nick Swain scored twice and George Hinds, Michael Krzyzewski, Kevin Lalley, Matt Mezzina, Grantas Mozuraitas, Cameron Satkowski and James Termine also connected as Jackson Memorial scored early and often to defeat their Shore Conference rival.
“You can’t just sit on one guy,” Jackson Memorial coach Larry Clayton said. “So if we can spread the scoring around, we’re going to be a very dangerous team no matter who we put out there.
“Balanced scoring tonight, only one player had more than two goals,” Clayton said. “Hopefully, they’ll become a better team because of this.”
Matt Mezzina broke the ice 4:33 into the game, assisted by Termine, before Swain doubled it with 1:37 left in the opening period sent Jackson Memorial into the first intermission up 2-0.
Michael Krzyzewski went back to work and found twine just 3:01 into the second period to put Jackson Memorial up by three but it was back-to-back goals from Satkowski and Swain in a span of 37 seconds at the end of the frame that put the game out of reach.
“We faced a quality goaltender in net in Andrew Slobiski and the only way to beat a quality goaltender like that is to cause chaos in front of the net,” Clayton said. “He made some saves Houdini coming out of his grave would have surprised by. He’s an A-plus-plus goalie. It took second and third shots to the back of the net to beat a quality goalie like that and we did it pretty successfully.”
After yielding five goals on 36 shots after two periods, Slobiski gave way to Joe Beshears in net for Brick Memorial.
The goaltending change did little to slow down the Jackson Memorial attack, which kept its foot on the gas pedal to score four more goals in the third and final frame.
James Termine, who also dished out three assists in the game, wasted little time putting Jackson Memorial up 6-0 when he converted the setup from Mezzina and Noah Sampson just 25 seconds into the third. Lalley and Mozuraitis scored 14 seconds apart a couple of moments later before Hinds capped the scoring for Jackson Memorial with 4:48 remaining in regulation.
Freshman James O’Hara turned aside all nine shots he faced to record the shutout for Jackson Memorial, which out-shot Brick Memorial, 53-9, in the the tilt.
“He did a great job against St. Rose and did even better tonight,” Clayton said. “He survived the endeavor for his first-career shutout.”
With the win, Jackson Memorial improves to 2-1-1. After Morristown in its season-opener, the Ocean County school fell to Marlboro/Holmdel before coming back with two straight victories. It will look to keep the ball rolling on December 8 when it takes on Toms River East/South at 4 p.m. at Winding River Rink in Toms River.
Brick Memorial drops to 0-3 but will look to rebound against Bernards/Somerville/Middlesex on December 10 at Howell Ice Arena. The puck drops at 7:10 p.m.
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