HACKENSACK — Paramus Catholic had revenge on its mind when it saw Clifton on its schedule the third game of the season, especially after being shutout by the Mustangs nearly a year ago.
That game seemed like an eternity ago for the Paladins and the 2017-2018 Paramus Catholic squad looked like a team possessed when it finally got the chance to rid its demons against its Big North Conference Patriot Division foes.
Julian Sowinski got the Paladins on the board at the 9:06 mark of the first period and Austin Teats scored the first of his three goals on the night just 1:30 later and the Paramus Catholic never looked back en route to an 8-0 victory over Clifton at the Ice House in Hackensack.
The Paladins scored just four total goals in back-to-back ties to start the season against Freehold Township and Passaic Valley, but saw its potential unfold in full effect Sunday night.
Blessed with a 3-0 lead after the opening period, it was the junior forward Teats who could not be stopped, scoring twice in a 30-second span early in the second to break the game open for Paramus Catholic.
“We came out hard and we came out fast and buried them,” said Teats. “After we got the first couple of goals we did not want to let up and continued to keep the pressure on. We were able to move the puck efficiently and got it down low and into the front of the net and good things happened.
“We did a great job to capitalize on the chances we had in front of the net and the defense and Denis (McGarry) did a great job in net to kill off some early power-plays,” Teats said.
The Paladins dominated from the opening horn, but it was the job of junior netminder Denis McGarry who kept his team in front early with save after save on the Clifton power play.
The Mustangs were able to muster up eight shots on their five power play opportunities, but could not find the formula to break through the pads of McGarry.
With Paramus Catholic up 2-0 midway through the opening period, McGarry was able to make a sprawling save on a shot by James Fusaro to keep his team ahead. McGarry continued his dominating play in between the pipes throughout the tilt and finished with 21 saves to record his first shutout of the season.
“It really works when your team is scoring like that and it takes a lot of pressure off of me in net,” said McGarry. “The defense was outstanding in front of me today and they did such a great job of blocking shots and killing off the power-plays. I was able to track the puck really well in front of me today and this is a game we can build off of going forward.”
Paramus Catholic extended its lead to 6-0 after two and just 52 seconds into the third, junior Ryan Graham kept the fireworks going with his second goal of the season. Devin Metz added another for good measure 30 seconds later.
Jason Lastra and Eyan Helm also scored in the victory for the Paladins while Gregg Trapp collected three assists to help Paramus Catholic improve to 1-0-2 this season.
Clifton drops to 1-2 this season. The Passaic County school defeated Tenafy/Cresskill, 6-5, on November 28.
“We can’t feel satisfied after just one win,” said Teats. “Just because we scored eight goals today doesn’t mean we can let up. We have to keep this intensity and level of play up. We have a couple of tough games coming up on the schedule and have to keep coming out fast.”
Written by Chris Costa/ HockeyClan.Com
Main Image: Devin Metz carries the puck through traffic for Paramus Catholic in a game against Clifton at the Ice House in Hackensack on December 3, 2017. (Chris Costa/HockeyClan)
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