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Vikings gain confidence in dominant first-round victory of GMC Cup

South Brunsick High School's Vincent Zhang (18) awaits a rebound at a game against Edison Township on Feb 12. South Brunswick earned a 10-0 victory.

The South Brunswick High School ice hockey team has every right to feel confident.

As the postseason moves along, the Vikings can reflect on their recent showing against Edison High School in the Greater Middlesex Conference (GMC) Cup tournament.

South Brunswick was impressive in opening the tournament with a 10-0 victory at ProSkate Ice Arena in Monmouth Junction on Feb. 12.

“We have a ton of momentum going into the tournament,” senior center Mason Jenne said. “We know that [Colonia High School] is the second seed, so they had a bye going into this next game. We have all the momentum going in and that’s what we’re going to focus on.”

Jenne finished the game against Edison — which has players from Edison High School, John P. Stevens High School and Metuchen High School — with four goals, including the mercy-clinching 10th goal with 5:51 left in the third period to push third-seeded South Brunswick to the semifinals against second-seeded Colonia High School on Feb. 14.

Jenne scored his first goal of the game at the 9:12 mark of the first period. He scored his next goal with only six seconds remaining in the second period, and then he netted two goals in the third period: on the power play at the 13:39 mark and the game-ending goal with 5:51 remaining.

Junior Michael Castiello scored two goals for the Vikings, while junior Justin Guelph produced three assists and one goal.

Guelph shared an assist with sophomore Ronit Thummaluru on junior Harin Ponna’s goal to open the scoring at the 13:22 mark of the first period. Guelph also assisted on a power play goal by Thummaluru for the last score of the first period with 7:31 remaining.

Goaltender Clayton Romanok made five saves for the shutout.

Jenne was pleased with the Vikings’ performance in the victory.

“We knew that we had to come in and get a big win today because we have Colonia coming up,” Jenne said prior to South Brunswick’s next game of the GMC Cup. “We wanted to come in and get the puck moving, get our lines changing fast [and] work on the stuff that we needed to during practice. Luckily, we only had one game last week, so we had a lot of time to practice for this one.”

The Vikings were unable to build off the victory, however, when they fell to Colonia High School in the GMC Cup semifinals on Feb. 14 at The Arenas at Woodbridge. Colonia — which consists of the players from Colonia High School, Woodbridge High School and John F. Kennedy Memorial High School of Iselin — picked up a 5-2 victory over South Brunswick.

Colonia fell in the championship game on Feb. 16 to Monroe Township High School by a score of 3-1. The No. 4 seed, Monroe had previously defeated top-seeded Saint Joseph High School of Metuchen, 4-0, in the semifinals and No. 5-seed Old Bridge High School, 10-3, in the first round.

South Brunswick, which is 10-9 on the season, was scheduled to open the NJSIAA Public A tournament on Feb. 21 against Freehold Township High School. The Vikings (No. 13 seed) and Patriots (No. 4 seed) both received first-round byes in the state tournament.

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