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St. Joe’s ice hockey rolls past Paramus Catholic 5-1 at Prudential Center



St. Joseph (Montvale) Green Knights head coach Larry Mahurter said after the game when his players first walked through the corridor at Prudential Center in Newark they looked up at how large and bright the arena was and how you had to tilt your head backwards in order to look up at the clock.

“When they first got out they were in shock and didn’t want to leave the bench and head back towards the locker room,” said Larry Mahurter.

The big stage did not prevent the Green Knights from putting on an offensive display as leading scorer Dominick Posta notched four goals including a natural hat trick by the end of the second period and teammate Pete Lombardi contributed a goal and four assists.

“Both Dominick and Pete have great acceleration and see when one has the puck and other doesn’t,” said Larry Mahurter. “They try to find open space, where to go, how to get there and deliver the puck to each other. The first goal was good as it gets down there and I have seen that a ton of times in the past 3 years and since they were freshmen.”

After a couple of early scoring opportunities in the first period, Posta and Lombardi drove into the Paladins zone on a 2 on 1 with Lombardi feeding Posta on a give and go as Posta roofed the puck past Paramus Catholic goaltender John Pitera with 11:40 remaining. Three minutes and twenty seconds later Lombardi got into the scoring column taking a feed from Cole Garabed and spinning around from behind the net and firing a low shot past Pitera making it 2-0.

“We knew we had to come out hard because Paramus Catholic is a good team and had to put them away early,” said Pete Lombardi. “We didn’t want to let them hang around for awhile because that’s when bad things happen.”

“We came out fired to play and wanted to worked as a team and everyone contributed to this 5-1 win,” said Dominick Posta. “We have been playing together for 6 years and have a chemistry where he (Pete Lombardi) is getting the assist.”

Midway through the 2nd period Paramus Catholic went on the power play but it was short lived as Lombardi fed a pass to Posta at center ice leading to a breakaway with Posta snapping the puck past Pitera making it 3-0 with 5:49 remaining. Posta completed the natural hat trick scoring his 19th goal of the season grabbing a loose puck in front of the Paladins net and firing the puck past Pitera with 8.4 seconds left in the period.

“To get two early goals relaxed us a little bit and opened up our game,” said Larry Mahurter. “We have a north-south team transition game and get up the ice really quick. We were able to get a lot of 2 on 1’s and 3 on 1’s.”

Posta was not finished scoring goals tacking on his fourth of the game two minutes and nine seconds into the third period hammering the puck past Pitera with Lombardi contributing his fourth assist of the contest. Green Knight’s goaltender Pat Lynch’s shutout bid was ended as Paramus Catholic’s Anthony Caporrino snapped a wrist shot top shelf with 9:19 left in regulation.

“Pat Lynch is one of the most underrated goalies and very quiet but is competitive,” said Larry Mahurter. “He goes about his business and playing his game. He holds us in game situations when we get our offense going and been our glue so far.”

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Sunil Sunder Raj

Since July of 2014 Sunil Sunder Raj has been with In The Zone. Sunil has experience covering minor league baseball, high school and college sports. A beat writer for the Rockland Boulders for six years, Ramapo College men’s basketball for four years, NJIT men’s basketball and Seton Hall women’s basketball. Now focusing on feature articles about athletes, coaches and sports media professionals. A graduate of Ramapo College of New Jersey with a bachelor of arts degree in journalism.
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