Toms River North 7, Toms River South 5
The touted scoring tandem of Nick Pica and Brett Schneider combined for seven points on opening night and led Toms River North to a 7-5 divisional victory over Class A South foe Toms River South.
Junior Jeff Fischer opened the scoring at 6:27 of the first period, before Pica notched his first of the season less than a minute later on the power play off assists by Ryan Dineen and Schneider.
Toms River South cut the lead in half with two minutes to play in the opening period on a Mike Caufield marker, before four unanswered Toms River North tallies by Shea Bontempo, Eamon Bontempo, Pica and Fischer (the latter two coming by way of the power play) sent the Mariners into the intermission with a 6-1 lead.
Caufield and Schneider traded goals in the first three minutes of the final frame, before the former completed the hat trick at 6:14 of the period. Toms River South junior defenseman Ricky Napoli notched two goals in the final two minutes of regulation to make it a 7-5 final.
NOTE: Jackson Memorial defeated Toms River East in a Class A South matchup on Monday…find story, video, and photos from the opening night divisional meeting at the link below.
Seton Hall Prep 3, Red Bank Catholic 2
Red Bank Catholic – ranked No. 3 in the APP Top 10 Pre-Season Poll – were on the road without captain Evan Hoey for Monday’s opening night tilt with Seton Hall Prep, as the senior was serving the second game of a suspension dating back to the 2014-15 Shore Conference Tournament final, in which the All-Shore selection scrapped with St. John Vianney’s Liam Casey.
With Hoey scratched, the Caseys fell to the Pirates, but not without an encouraging finish to the non-conference matchup.
Red Bank Catholic trailed 2-0 after the opening period, as Seton Hall Prep’s Keith Bishop and Niall Breagy found the back of the net late in the first.
But the Caseys answered in the seond, as freshman Logan Gallagher notched the first goal of his varsity career at 6:51 of the middle frame, off assists by Alec Mintz and Kyle Amato.
Seton Hall’s Thomas Colucci pushed the lead to two goals in the third, but it was Mintz from Sean Carver and Amato late in the period that led to the 3-2 decision.
Ciaran McNelis was exceptional in the first start of his scholastic career, as the Caseys sophomore netminder turned away 49 shots, as Red Bank Catholic was outshot 52-20.
Roxbury 6, Ocean Township 4
Despite an opening night loss to non-conference foe Roxbury, Ocean Township completed a feat they had only accomplished five times all of last season, scoring four (or more) goals in a game…and it was due much in part to senior transfer Robby Feathers.
Feathers, an Ocean Township native whose family relocated to Aberdeen, Maryland before the forward recently returned to the area to skate with the Jersey Shore Whalers (USP3HL), delivered a hat trick and assisted on fellow Whalers standout Henry Cioffi’s first of the year, a third period power play tally.
Cioffi assists on all three of Feathers’ markers, while Ian Hendricksen recorded two assists, and Matthew Perri had one helper.
Roxbury’s Shawn Camisa had a five-point night with three goals, and assists on a Liam Hartmann marker, and the second of two tallies by Josh Rosenbaum.
Senior backstop Brian Harlow made the start for Ocean and stopped 28 shots, as Ocean was outshot 34-30. His counterpart Nick Koch recorded 26 saves.