by Eric Shor
Not even the chilling temperature of the Warinanco hockey rink could cool off the red-hot Blue Devils en route to their 7-1 victory over ALJ during last Wednesday night’s home opener.
The scoring onslaught began early in the first period when senior Tri-Captain Dane Huber netted a goal four minutes into the game. Said Huber: “ALJ was changing lines, so I was able to get a one-on-one with their defenseman and was able to get him and the goalie to bite for a fake shot…. The goalie went down, so I used the defenseman as a screen and then shot the puck upstairs.”
Although Westfield was held scoreless for the next six minutes, they managed to score three additional goals before the first period came to an end. Seniors Jeremie DeDea and Stephen Della Fera each had a goal and Huber rocketed a short-handed goal past the ALJ goalie to make it 4-0.
The Blue Devils made it a priority to start off playing well from the opening faceoff. Said Huber: “It was very important for us to get off to a quick start. We are considered underdogs in many games we play this year because of [last year’s] large graduating class.”
At the start of the second period, ALJ came out more aggressive leading to an ALJ penalty late in the period. Senior Andrew Stern followed his strong defensive play from the first period with a power play goal to make the score 5-0. Moments later, DeDea netted his second goal of the game to make it a six-goal lead entering the final period.
Somewhat overshadowed by the scoring barrage, junior goalie Dan DoCampo held onto a shutout until ALJ scored with 39 seconds left in the last period. According to DoCampo, winning this game was “very important for our confidence because our schedule this year is very tough and being able to build off of a win to start the season gives us a chip on our shoulder as we go on and play some tougher teams.”
DeDea added that the team needs the support of its fans for each game. The Blue Devils squared off against Chatham Wednesday night at Warinanco, resulting in a scoreless game; they were scheduled to played Ridge on Thursday.