Freehold Township hockey team rolls to seven-game win streak

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There has been a storm of winning going on for the Freehold Township High School hockey team since 2023 began.

The Patriots (8-3) rolled to their seventh straight victory by defeating a co-op team featuring players from Freehold High School, Colts Neck High School and Raritan High School, 7-3, on Jan. 20 at the Howell Ice Arena in Howell.

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The Patriots’ win streak is a testament to their will to win, Coach Ian Fahy said.

“The kids don’t quit,” he said. “They have a drive and a desire to learn from their successes and their mistakes. It has been a heck of a ride. Hopefully we can keep it going.”

Fahy, who is a Freehold Township graduate, has been a coach in the program for nine years.

This season, senior captains Michael Craft, Peyton Liebross and Jake Butler are leading the way, according to the coach.

Craft has taken his game to the next level with a team-high 17 goals and nine assists. All of his marks during the 2022-23 season are career highs. Craft has scored 14 goals during the team’s seven-game win streak.

Butler has scored two goals and added five assists, while Liebross has scored two goals and added two assists.

“They set the tone in our locker room and they have all helped us get on this groove,” Fahy said of the team’s senior captains. “All of them have turned into great hockey players.”

Two freshmen who have made an impact are Hayden Nubile (forward) and Jason Maietta (goalie).

Nubile has lit a huge spark on offense, scoring 13 goals and adding seven assists.

In net, Maietta has stepped in to anchor the defense, Fahy said. The freshman has helped the Patriots hold their opponents to under three goals per game.

During the seven-game win streak, Maietta and the Patriots held their opponents to under two goals per game.

“Everything is coming together for us. Everybody is coming together to do their part when we are five-on-five on the ice,” Fahy said.

Juniors Lucas Palm and Tyler Palm are putting together strong campaigns.

Lucas is a forward who has scored three goals and leads the team with 10 assists.

Tyler is a defenseman who has scored two goals and added nine assists.

Sophomore Giovanni Scaglia has scored five goals and added seven assists, while James Caldwell-Withrow has scored four goals and added two assists.

The Patriots are averaging just under five goals per game.

After going 14-9-3 in 2018-19, the Patriots had losing seasons in 2019-20, 2020-21 and 2021-22. The team has not qualified for the Shore Conference Tournament and the state tournament in two of the last three seasons.

On the strength of an 8-3 start, the Patriots are working hard to qualify for the Shore Conference Tournament and the state tournament, and to post the program’s first winning season in four years.

“If we control what we can control, our opportunities are endless,” Fahy said. “It has been awesome to see this team come together and play as a team. They are winning as a team and getting better each day.”

Freehold Township will host South Brunswick High School on Jan. 26.

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