It was a scene of shattered sticks strewn about the ice and broken hearts beating beneath their sweaters for the top-ranked Shore Conference hockey program, CBA, after the Colts fell to rival Delbarton 1-0 on Wednesday evening at the Jersey Shore Arena.
With 56 seconds of regulation time remaining and the score knotted at zero, a high stick call against the Colts resulted in a faceoff back in the CBA zone.
The draw was controlled by the Green Wave and cycled in deep behind the CBA goal and popped back out to the point for Delbarton’s Sean Petrie. The junior defenseman took aim at sophomore net minder Michael Cernero and fired.
The low rising wrist shot caught the stick of sophomore Anthony Delgaizo and the forward managed to redirect the game-winning goal over the glove of Cernero with 15.2 seconds left in the third period.
“I didn’t even know puck went in at first,” Delgaizo said. “I felt it off my stick but my back was to the net. I just saw my teammates hands go up and I threw mine up too and started celebrating.”
“This game was real intense from the start and the crowd was crazy,” Delgaizo continued. “We went back and forth for most of the game. We had our chances, they had theirs, but we managed to come out on top tonight.”
CBA Coach Ryan Bogan attributed the loss to the excellent drive and intensity displayed by the Green Wave for all 45 minutes of the game.
“I thought they outlasted us and had more stamina than us,” Bogan admitted. “I think some of our guys didn’t have the legs they needed to be successful. I just don’t think we had the legs we needed to tonight. From the beginning we were in a dogfight. I think they were faster, stronger, and better than us tonight.”
Despite CBA’s shortcomings in this early-season meeting, Bogan is confident that the Colts will progress in time, using the rest of the regular season to get healthy, namely Anthony Cusanelli who has returned from a broken ankle but continues to be nagged by the injury.
“I said it before the game today that this for us is a gauge of where we are at this point in the season and where we need to be at the end of the year. And with the result we now have a better understanding that when we’re fully healthy, we will be better…we’ll be better than they are. They won, but I still feel better about who we are as a team and where we’ll be at the end of the year.”
The battle in net between Cernero and Delbarton freshman Troy Kobryn bodes well for the future of this rivalry, as the latter made 24 saves to record his first shutout of the season, while the former turned away 33 of 34 shots.
The two programs will close out their regular season series on January 21 when the Colts travel to Aspen Ice Arena for a 4:45 p.m. faceoff with the Green Wave.