Ridgewood Rolls Tenafly, 3-0, Behind Bergman, Loughlin, Canone

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ENGLEWOOD, NJ — It’s not how you start — it’s how you finish.

Ridgewood let a tie game late in the third period slip away in its season-opener against Ramsey, but the Maroons made no mistake this time around, going into lockdown, defensively, en route to a 3-0 victory over Tenafly at Mackay Park in Englewood.

Danny Bergman broke a scoreless tie with 3:36 left in the first period, Tyler Kopff set up Ben Loughlin with 2:13 left in the second period and Chris Canone iced it with 5:06 remaining in regulation for Ridgewood (1-1), which received 11 saves and a shutout from goaltender Johnny English.

“We were just throwing pucks deep, getting the breakout going, putting bodies out there, bringing the puck back up to the point and getting a lot of shots on net,” Bergman said. “Screens in front of the goalie and buying pucks — We had to work hard for that win.” 

“We really just tried to focus on possessing the puck out there,” Kopff, a Brown University-commit, said. “Tenafly is a good team, good program; great to pick up the first win the boys.”

Just over a minute into the game, a rush up ice led to a big crash at the endboards resulting in a significant injury to Tenafly’s Bryan Messinger.

The loss of their second-line right winger threw the Tigers off-balance for the remainder of the tilt, but Tenafly held strong and within one goal until Loughlin finished the play started by Kopff with just over two minutes remaining in the second. 

If not for the play of Tenafly netminder Charlie Goldman (37 saves), the deficit almost certainly would have been greater.

“I felt like we were able to play well, defensively, and Goldman was phenomenal,” Tenafly senior defenseman Jack Naidrich said. “He was able to keep us in the game and we kept it close to the house, blocking shots, doing the right things in the defensive zone. 

“As a team, we just have get pucks deep in the zone and grind it out — we’re not really a team of skilled stickhandlers — we’re not going to be able to skate through teams,” Naidrich said. “We have to grind it out, cycle the puck, work hard and get our chances in front of the net.”

Ryan Weiss nearly put a dent in English’s armour that would have cut the lead to 2-1 in the third period, but the Ridgewood junior would not be beaten on this night.

“The team did a really good job of taking care, clearing pucks out in front of me,” English said. “I have to give props to Mason Schick — first game playing D — he did a great job. Captain Davis Flusche did a great job leading the boys and coach had a great gameplan going into this one — can’t take all the credit all by myself. 

“Feels great,” English said. “Hopefully the first of many. On the hunt — On the hunt for “The Rock” this year.”

Related: Flusche, Kopff, Schick Line Rocks For Ridgewood in 5-0 Win Over Ramapo

Danny Bergman, Ben Loughlin and Chris Canone scored while Johnny English steered aside all 11 shots on net as Ridgewood defeated Tenafly, 3-0, at Mackay Park in Englewood on Dec. 7, 2019. (HockeyClan)

Chris Canone capped the scoring with 5:06 left, assisted by John Dunphey and Luke Botti.

“It’s good to get the first one out of the way and under our belts,” Ridgewood coach Michael Lucchesi said.

“We’ve been working on a bunch of stuff in practice and it’s starting to kind of take form and take shape — We’re starting to get a little bit of an identity,” Lucchesi said. “We want to be more successful finishing, putting pucks in the net and distance ourselves, especially in a game that was a little choppy. It didn’t have great flow. The whole game was disjointed with (Messinger) getting hurt and the way it played out. We’ve got some work to do but it was a good first win — There’s a lot to build on.”

After defeating Old Tappan, 5-3, in its season-opener Tenafly had difficulty generating offense in its second set.

“Ridgewood is a good team — they’re a good offensive team and we knew what we were up against,” Tenafly coach Andy Escala said. “We would have liked to generate a little more offense but losing Messinger the first shift hurt.

“Kids had to step up. They played hard. Their effort was great and that’s all you can really ask,” Escala said. “They blocked shots, the puck just bounced the other way. We had a chance in the third, but (Weiss) shot wide. That would have made it 2-1 and put a little pressure on them.”

Tenafly (1-1) is back in action against Bridgewater-Raritan (2-0) on Dec. 13.

Ridgewood will look to keep the ball rolling Sunday against Wayne (2-0).   

“Possess — we’re really trying to change our game this year,” added Kopff. “A lot of new kids to the Varsity program this year so it was good to get everyone out here and going full speed.

“We’re trying to play physical — really dominate the other team in their zone. I felt like we accomplished that. While we didn’t bury as many pucks as we would have wanted, it was a great first win for the boys and great shutout by Johnny.”

HockeyClan would like to extend best wishes to Tenafly junior forward Bryan Messinger on a speedy recovery.


1-0 RW Danny Bergman (unassisted) 3:36-1st

2-0 RW Ben Loughlin (Tyler Kopff) 2:13-2nd

3-0 RW Chris Canone (John Dunphey, Luke Botti) 5:06-3rd

Shots: 40-11 Ridgewood


Written by John Christian Hageny  @JCCSPORTS 

Special to HockeyClan


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