“Three Peat!” Summit Tops Ramsey, 5-2, in 2020 NJSIAA Public C Championship

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NEWARK, NJ — Eclipsing each of the world’s high peaks is as daunting as it is difficult — but not for these Hilltoppers. At Summit, it is both destiny and dynasty.

Tom Pryymak scored twice, Jake Lowry, Dylan Goldfarb and Matt Vigliotta also scored while Nikita Pryymak registered 28 saves as top-seeded Summit defeated third-seeded Ramsey, 5-2, for its third straight NJSIAA/New Jersey Devils Public C championship at Prudential Center in Newark.

Summit’s Jake Puskar controls the puck as he changes direction during the Summit vs Ramsey NJSIAA State Tournament Hockey Final at Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. 3/9/20 Tom Smith | tspsportsimages.com

“We’re all just so thankful to be here again and win it one more time,” Tom Pryymak, one of eight seniors on the team, said. “It takes a full team to win games. It’s just a great joy to do it again — we’re all so thankful.”

Spitznagel, the overtime hero from the state semifinal win over Manasquan, was a thorn in the Rams’ side all game, offensively, while John Puskar’s experience provided the edge the Hilltoppers needed.

“We call them ‘The Transformers’ — Mega-Spitz, Pusk-a-Tron and Optimus Pryymak,” Summit coach Ian Bell said. “We were just waiting to see which one of them was going to show up, who it was going to be, because when you have three players of that caliber you can rely on them.”

Pryymak opened the scoring 5:05 into the game, but it was Lowry’s goal with 31.5 second left in the opening frame which set the tone for Summit.

Ramsey’s Justin Bello one times the puck during the Summit vs Ramsey NJSIAA State Tournament Hockey Final at Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. 3/9/20 Tom Smith | tspsportsimages.com

“The expectation was to win,” Bell said. “(Ramsey) was the only public school that beat us this year. The last thing I said to them before we went out — ‘We owe them,'”

Pryymak scored his second goal of he game 5:30 into the second period to put Summit up 3-0, but the Rams would not go quietly into the night.

Nick Edwards put Ramsey on the board on the power play 49 seconds later and Tyler Botta sniped a shot top-corner off the draw just 3:05 after that and suddenly it was a 3-2 game.

“It takes a full team to win games — not just the star players,” Tom Pryymak said. “You need to block shots, you did to do the little things right. That first goal was very important. It helped us here even if it was the third time. This was the full team working hard. When somebody doesn’t show up, we have a bunch of other guys that can step up and that’s what it takes — a full team to win.”

Summit’s Tom Pryymak skates around the net for the wrap around attempt. Pryymak had three points ( 2g, 1a) during the Summit vs Ramsey NJSIAA State Tournament Hockey Final at Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. 3/9/20 (Tom Smith | tspsportsimages.com)

Nursing a one-goal lead late in the second period, Dylan Goldfarb’s goal with 1:19 left in the middle frame was huge for Summit, sending the defending champions into the locker room with a two-goal lead, 4-2, instead of one.

“You try your hardest, always think positive and go out and enjoy it while it lasts,” said Nikita Pryymak, who made a successful return following an ACL tear last year. “It was huge. They came back and scored two quick goals. Scoring back and putting another one in was big. It would have been a different game if we went back into the locker room only up one.

“It feels great — words can’t describe it,” Nikita said. “The first two were great but this is… awesome. It’s a great gift just to be able to play. I’m just so thankful that God allowed me to play today. He kept me safe and delivered me from any fear or nerves. I was just able to try my hardest and get the win.”

Related: Spitznagel in Overtime! Summit Sneaks Past Manasquan in State Semis

Summit goalie Nikita Pryymak keeps an eye on the puck to make one of his 28 saves during the Summit vs Ramsey NJSIAA State Tournament Hockey Final at Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. 3/9/20 Tom Smith | tspsportsimages.com

Related: Summit Reaches its Peak! Hilltoppers Defend NJSIAA Public C Title in 6-2 Win Over Chatham

Ramsey pulled out all stops in the third period, including goaltender Dane Beltramini in an effort to creep back into it, but an empty-net goal by  Vigliotta with 32.5 second left ice it.

“We battled right to the last buzzer,” Ramsey coach Jeff Mills said. “20 kids, they played as 20. I wouldn’t have any other group to do it with. We never stopped fight. That has been our mentality all year.”

“I just want to say thank you to everyone on this team who had my back the last four years,” Ramsey senior Tyler Botta said. “Once a Ram — always a Ram. We worked our butts off to get here, we just didn’t get the result we wanted but we worked hard and that’s what matters.”

Related: Ramsey Rumbles Past Lakeland in Big North Conference Bout

Ramsey’s Tyler Botta gathers the puck in the circle. The senior scored one of the goals for Ramsey during the Summit vs Ramsey NJSIAA State Tournament Hockey Final at Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. 3/9/20 (Tom Smith | tspsportsimages.com)

Related: Summit Slips by Chatham, 3-0, Seizes Second State Title in School History

Randolph was the last public school to win three in a row when the perennial Morris County team won three straight from 2011-’13. Brick Township also won three straight public school titles from 1997-’99. Delbarton holds the record with six straight Non-Public state titles from 2008-‘2013.

“Going into the final, I leaned on some of the experience our seniors shared,” Bell said. “This team was a top team, the seniors and juniors, they’ve been through wars all year. Earlier in the season they took us to the house — they took us to the cleaners.

“Taking over a team with the kind of players we have and the kind of experience they have was seamless,” said Bell. “I took over a program that was well-run by Keith Nixon for 27 years. I was fortunate enough to play in the program for years and now be a coach in the program for 13 years.”

Related: 28 Years! Longtime Summit Coach Keith Nixon Steps Down

Summit Head Coach Ian Bell during a time out with a minute left during the Summit vs Ramsey NJSIAA State Tournament Hockey Final at Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. 3/9/20 Tom Smith | tspsportsimages.com

Related: 2020 NJSIAA Ice Hockey Tournament Schedule, Seeds and History

“It’s pretty awesome — to three-peat like this not too many other public school have done it,” Spitznagel said. “It’s a pretty special moment and I’m happy to do it with my friends. It’s an unbelievable feeling, kind of hard to explain.”

The celebration with the trophy after the Summit vs Ramsey NJSIAA State Tournament Hockey Final at Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. 3/9/20 (Tom Smith | tspsportsimages.com)

Scoring

1-0 Summit: Tom Pryymak 9:55-1st

2-0 Summit: Jake Lowry (Greg Spitznagel) :31.5-1st

3-0 Summit: Tom Pryymak (Dylan Goldfarb) 9:30-2nd

3-1 Ramsey: Nick Edwards (Ryan Matzelle) 8:41-2nd PPG

3-2 Ramsey: Tyler Botta (Nick Pedulla, Joe Koons) 5:36-2nd

4-2 Summit: Dylan Goldfarb (Tom Pryymak) 1:19-2nd

5-2 Summit: Matt Vigliotta :32.5-3rd ENG

Shots: Summit 32-30. Dane Beltramini, Ramsey, 25 saves; Nikita Pryymak, Summit, 28 saves

Related: 2019-20 HockeyClan Video Catalog

Related: 2020 High School State Semifinalists Welcomed to The Rock

 

 

Written by John Christian Hageny  @JCCSPORTS

Special to HockeyClan

 

Photos by Tom Smith  @TSPImages  TSPSportsimages

 

The trophy presentation, NJSIAA officials Jack DuBois (l) and Larry White with Summit captains Spencer Myers (4), Jake Puskar (8) and Tom Pryymak after the Summit vs Ramsey NJSIAA State Tournament Hockey Final at Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. 3/9/20 Tom Smith | tspsportsimages.com

 

Main Image: The three time Champs after the Summit vs Ramsey NJSIAA State Tournament Hockey Final at Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. 3/9/20 Tom Smith | tspsportsimages.com)

 

 

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