Pequannock playing its best hockey now

Pequannock playing its best hockey now

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Pequannock playing its best hockey now

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Pequannock’s 2012-13 season began with a eye-opening 9-0 loss to Roxbury on the last day of November. Fast-forward nearly two months and the Golden Panthers are in the midst of a six-game unbeaten streak that includes a one-goal victory over the Gaels and a stunning win over Mennen Division power Chatham.

“We’re absolutely playing our best hockey right now,” said Pequannock head coach Chris Enrico. “Chatham really was the big game that brought us together and gives us a great shot at making the states (playoffs).”

Pequannock currently owns a 10-8-1 overall record, thanks in part to their recent six-game unbeaten streak, including a revived 6-6-1 league record. While they may not have enough games left to make a run at the regular-season Halvorsen Division title, the Golden Panthers are sure to be a threat to capture the Halvorsen Cup next month and are very likely to qualify for the Public B state playoffs.

“I think we can win the Halvorsen Cup. There are a lot of good teams in our division but we believe we can play with all of them. It will be real tight with four teams (Pequannock, Roxbury, Mendham and Sparta) having a legitimate shot.”

The Golden Panthers have been led offensively by sophomore Jake Tengi (37 goals, 18 assists), who has scored numerous big goals. Other big contributors up front include senior Pete Tengi (11-11-22), sophomore Rocky Rovero, junior Liam Kealy and Kevin Hemlinger.

Sophomore Matt Maier has anchored the defense also with senior Eric Nielsen, junior Josh Schweiker and sophomore Hunter Soden. Goaltender Jason Wright has solidified the goaltending position.

“We are playing good fundamental hockey,” Enrico said. “Our defense has been playing great, our goaltending which is inexperienced has been playing much better, and Jake (Tengi) has really carried us offensively by burying the puck in big spots. Our other forwards are also playing great in both end of the ice.”

Knolls Going Out-of-League

Having already captured the Mennen Division regular-season title and with just one league game remaining on its schedule (Kinnelon on Feb. 2) before that start of the postseason, the Morris Knolls hockey team is shifting its focus to a slate of challenging out-of-league contests.

The Golden Eagles will face Montclair-Kimberly Academy, Ramapo, Mendham, and Roxbury in out-of-league battles before they begin defense of their Mennen Cup title on Feb. 18 after a first-round bye.

“Winning the (Mennen) division was a first step,” said Morris Knolls head coach Walt Keiper. “It was a goal we set for ourselves in the preseason. We know every game in the Mennen Division is a close battle.”

Crimson Girls Keep Rolling

The Morristown-Beard girls hockey team kept rolling along in WIHLMA play with three victories over the weekend to improve to 10-1-2 on the season.

The Crimson first blanked Shady Side (Pa.) 6-0 on Friday with Kendall Cornine and Kelly Dolan each collecting a pair of goals and Katherine Chester stopping 14 shots to post the shutout.

Then on Saturday, the Crimson notched a pair of victories, a 2-0 blanking of Shady Side on the strength of first-period goals from Brette Brier and Cornine followed by an 11-3 trouncing of Holton Arms (Md.) that saw Allie Aiello and Cornine each record a hat trick.

Games of the Week

Games to watch this week include a Gordon Conference showdown on Tuesday between Delbarton and Don Bosco Prep at Aspen Ice in Randolph at 4:45 p.m. The rivals met earlier this season at the Ice Vault with the Green Wave escaping with a 3-2 victory. Delbarton is back in action on Wednesday at Aspen Ice when they play host to Lawrenceville.

Mennen Arena is the place to be on Thursday when Randolph and Kinnelon face off at 6:15 p.m. before Park Regional and Mount Olive square off in a key Haas Division showdown.

Mendham and Pequannock will battle in a key Halvorsen Division game on Friday while Morris Knolls skates against Ramapo at the Ice Vault and Morristown-Beard opens play in the Prep B Tournament.

Morris Knolls will battle Kinnelon on Saturday at Skylands Ice World in a matinee affair while Delbarton is up in Connecticut against Hotchkiss.

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