Rebels edge underdog Griffins in SCT quarterfinal

Rebels edge underdog Griffins in SCT quarterfinal

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Rebels edge underdog Griffins in SCT quarterfinal

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HOWELL

Fourteenth-seeded Monsignor Donovan earned its way into the quarterfinals of the Shore Conference Tournament with an overtime upset of Freehold Township on Friday night, and on Sunday evening made its second consecutive bid to play the giant killer in a meeting with No. 6 seeded Howell.

The Griffins stayed disciplined to their dump-and-chase style of play, relying on goalie Zach Robbins to have a strong performance in net, and the junior provided such a showing, stopping 31 of 32 shots faced.

However, the one that got away, sailing past his glove 1:48 into the first period off the stick of Howell’s Kyle Hallbauer, proved to be the game-winner as the Rebels skated to 1-0 victory.

“I thought Zach played really well tonight and kept us in it,” Griffins coach Brian Klimakowski said. “That one goal I believe surprised him. I don’t think he was expecting it to come from that off angle, but right after that he settled in and was on his game.”

Rebels freshman Bobby Dovenero matched Robinson in net, stopping all 19 shots sent his way, helping to lift his team into the semifinals.

“All season we’ve had a strong team,” Howell coach Bill Daley said. “and Bobby has been the rock in net. Our first line was off, wasn’t really connecting well, but the defense and Bobby stepped up and picked them up. Bobby continued to do tonight what he’s done all season, which is win games for us. He did against CBA, back in the regular season, and he did it for us again tonight. It was another great effort from him.”

Dovenero recorded his third shutout of the season and said he is confident in the Rebels’ abilities moving forward in the tournament.

“I was feeling pretty nervous actually,” Dovenero admitted. “mostly because I wasn’t facing too many shots, and because we put up 30 shots and could only get one goal. But the nerves are a good thing. They help me stay focused and keep me sharp. I’m very confident in our team and the way we’re playing right now. I’m surrounded by so many talented players and if we play the way we’re capable, if we’re clicking, we can continue to win games.”

Hallbauer’s game-winning tally was unassisted, as the junior carried down the right wing and into the zone, before drifting into the slot, drawing Robbins off his post, and depositing a hard-rising wrist shot over the glove of Robbins for his team-leading 36th goal of the season.

Howell entered its meeting with Monsignor Donovan off a first-round 12-6 victory over Toms River East in which Hallbauer recorded eight points, which included three goals and five assists.

“It was tough to get in a rhythm tonight,” Hallbauer said, “but I scored the goal and our defense and Bobby made it stand up. We’ll need to play better on offense and move the puck better if we’re to move on in this tournament, but I know we’re capable of doing it.”

Howell moves on to play the winner of second-seeded Brick and seventh-seeded St. Rose.

POINT BORO 4, MIDDLETOWN NORTH 2: The fourth-seeded Panthers skated past the Lions in a quarterfinal.

Though the Lions outshot the Panthers 42-26, Point Boro’s senior netminder Nate Bissey turned away 40 shots to record his first career SCT victory.

“Chris saw the puck incredibly well tonight,” Panthers coach Alex DePalma said. “Pucks weren’t bouncing off of him, there were no bad rebounds, and that was the difference tonight. He played amazing, especially down the stretch when we needed him most.”

Point Boro’s Chris McDermott provided the Panthers with offensive support, recording his third hat trick of the season, increasing his team-leading goal total to 28.

“Chris had some very timely goals for us,” DePalma said, “but that whole first line had a great game. Steven (Kovaleski) had three points, Owen (Herrington) had a couple of assists, and really Owen was the work-horse for us. There was one point where he stayed out there for four shifts in a row. The first line, all three of them were given the game-puck because they were so instrumental.”

Middletown North took an early lead when Khristian Acosta drove past the defense and put home his 17th goal of the season 53 seconds into the first period. Tom Terranova opened the second period with his team-leading 20th goal of the season.

With the victory, Point Boro moves into the semifinals and will either host ninth-seeded Ocean or travel to top-seeded Red Bank Catholic, two teams scheduled to play their quarterfinal game on Tuesday at 8:15 p.m. in the Red Bank Armory.

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