The boys’ ice hockey team at Saint Joseph High School of Metuchen came alive in the third period and scored a 6-3 victory over Colonia High School at the Woodbridge Community Center in Woodbridge.
Saint Joseph erupted with four goals in the third period and erased a two-goal deficit in the game that was played on Jan. 3.
Senior forward Steven Hollabaugh of Saint Joseph connected on the first goal of the third period, which tied the game at 3-3. Senior Dylan Castello scored next to give the Falcons a 4-3 edge with what turned out to be the game-winning goal.
“After the second [period], we were all pretty down on ourselves,” said Hollabaugh, a forward. “But we just told each other that we have to fight through it, and we have to get through it. We knew we had to play better than them. We came out strong in the third, I got the early goal and we just pulled away from there.”
Sophomore Andrew Castello put Saint Joseph up by a 5-3 count, and junior Mike Rocco fired the puck into an empty net late in the game to cap the scoring.
Junior Ty Carter of the Falcons scored the game’s first goal, but Colonia followed with three straight goals in the second period. Sophomore Dante Amato, senior Thomas John Evan and senior Luca Filocamo each put in a goal to give the Patriots a 3-1 lead. Filocamo’s goal came when the Falcons were on a five-on-three power play.
Saint Joseph sophomore Mark Borek netted a goal with less than a minute left in the second period to cut the deficit to 3-2.
Freshman goalie Eddie Kaiven recorded 15 saves for Saint Joseph, while senior goalie Adam Godfrey turned back 30 shots for the Patriots.
Hollabaugh, who finished with a goal and two assists, feels Saint Joseph’s depth will be the key this season.
“I think we need to improve our four lines being consistent in every game,” he said. “If we can get our lines to show up, no one will be able to beat us because most teams only run two lines.”
Saint Joseph, which improved to 5-5-1 with the victory, visits Old Bridge High School on Jan. 10.
The Patriots,who are comprised of players from Woodbridge High School, John F. Kennedy Memorial High School and Colonia, dropped to 8-2-1 after the defeat to Saint Joseph.
Senior right wing Tom DellaSala was proud of Colonia’s effort.
“We definitely played to our full potential today,” he said. “I’ve never seen our hockey team play this way before. I’m a senior, and we have a bunch of seniors on this team. We’ve been waiting for this opportunity for four years, and we let the moment slip away from us. We hope to see them again in the playoffs because we think that on a bigger stage, we’ll definitely come through.”
DellaSala touched on the fact that a third line could help the Patriots.
“I think the chemistry is all the way there,” he said. “It took us a minute to learn how to play together because we’re all from three different schools, but we play well as a team. We just need some depth. We really only run two lines. Our third line was productive today, and they were able to score a goal. But we need to figure out a way to get that third line in the game more and get production out of them.”
The Patriots hosted Old Bridge on Jan. 8 and will remain home against Ocean Township High School on Jan. 12 at 3:45 p.m.