Ridge takes 2008 Public A State title over Watchung Hills
newjerseydevils.com (March 22) –
This time, the Ridge Red Devils reigned.
One season after stumbling in the semifinals of the NJSIAA tournament, the Red Devils got 22 saves from Bill Higley for a 5-0 shutout win over the Watchung Hills Warriors in their 2008 Public A High School Ice Hockey Championship on Saturday.
Greg Zambon had a goal and three assists for the first-time state champs, who received tallies goals from five different players.
Ridge dethroned the two-time defending champion Randolph Rams in this season's semifinals just to get to Saturday's title match, and proved that triumph was no fluke.
Tucker Brinkman and Keith Macey gave the Red Devils a 2-0 lead in the opening frame, and the team from Basking Ridge, N.J., never looked back.
Head coach Tim Mullin, Sr.'s group added a goal in the middle period, and two more in the third for a decisive win over Watchung Hills.
Warriors' goaltender Dan Schroeder made 23 saves in the loss, and was named to the All-Tournament team after limiting opponents to one goal in back-to-back games en route to the Finals.
Brandon Lipke and Alex Kong were also named to the all-tourney squad, while BIll Foard was selected from Ridge.
In the opening frame, Brinkman took a pass from Zambon at the right point and put a seeing-eye slapper on goal that snuck through traffic and past Schroeder at 6:08.
For Ridge's second goal, Macey used a nifty cross-ice feed from Zambon along the left boards to snap one home from the right circle at 11:43.
Zambon came within inches of making it a three-goal lead with 1:12 remaining in the first, beating Schroeder but catching the inside of the right post.
Chris Menzel potted the only goal of the second period, and upped the Red Devil advantage to 3-0 when he scored off a Zambon rebound at 8:39.
The score remained that way until late in the third period, when Warriors coach Justin Kaufman pulled Schroeder for a 6-on-4 advantage on a Warriors power play. The gamble backfired, however, when Brett Kiliyanski buried a shorthanded empty-netter to make it 4-0 at 13:15.
In the dying moments, Zambon ripped a shot from the blue line that beat the buzzer for Ridge's fifth goal with 0.2 seconds left on the clock.