by Julia Rivera
The WHS hockey team fell to ALJ 9-3 on Feb. 6 at Warinanco Park. ALJ came out strong, scoring in the first minute, which set the pace for the rest of the game. The next goal by ALJ came 16 seconds later. The puck deflected off of senior goalie Steve Wronski into the front of the goal, and the ALJ player shot it in.
Senior forward Shane Paulan said, "We had a lot of chances to score, but we couldn’t convert on them, and it was extremely frustrating."
ALJ scored with 2:08 left on the clock in the first period, making the score 3-0. Sophomore forward Dane Huber had an opportunity to score on a penalty shot, but the ALJ goalie saved it, ending the period.
At the start of the second period, ALJ gained possession and scored after 48 seconds, increasing its lead to 4-0. With four minutes left, junior forward Sam Meyer slashed an ALJ player in the head and was sent to the penalty box. A minute later, ALJ capitalized, making the score 5-0.
In the third period, sophomore foward Christian Rosa passed the puck to Paulan, who then scored the first goal for WHS. ALJ responded three minutes later when the puck slipped into the net. WHS retaliated immediately when sophomore defenseman Chris Kattak scored, making the score 6-2.
Junior defenseman Jon Macik said: "After we scored, it definitely lightened our mood and made us play harder. It was proof that we could score against them, and we really needed that."
For the remainder of the third period, WHS took more accurate shots on goal and played with better passing and execution. ALJ scored once more after winning a face-off and passing the puck to an open player.
The last goal of the game came from Rosa with less than 20 seconds left, making the final score 9-3.
Head Coach Sean Cromarty said: "We obviously have a lot to work on following [the] game in terms of our character, work ethic and drive. I think the players should be proud to put on their Westfield jerseys and represent the school."