It was a match that moved from tie to tie. But in the end, most ties are broken, and not always the way you want them to break. So it was Monday night with the Verona-Glen Ridge Hockey team’s playoff match against Nutley.
The Verona-Glen Ridge combo team got on the board first, thanks to Nick Martell, a junior forward from Glen Ridge. Nutley quickly answered and, in the second period, it fell to Alekos Polis, another Glen Ridge junior, to move Verona-Glen Ridge once more into the lead. Martell and Eric Thiele, a Glen Ridge senior who is the team’s co-captain, each scored in the third period, with assists from Verona’s Joe Fitzmaurice and Glen Ridge’s Matt Lander on the latter. Each of these goals, however, had a Nutley counterpart.
Penalty calls–bitterly disputed by the Verona-Glen Ridge fans–caused the team to be down two players when the game went into overtime. It ended 5-4 in Nutley’s favor, and with it, the Verona-Glen Ridge team’s chance of a McInnis Cup championship this season. (The box score on NJ.com is here.)
Maybe that was a long shot from the get-go; Nutley was after all, the heavy favorite going into Monday night’s game since the team had twice beaten Verona-Glen Ridge in the regular season. But the Verona-Glen Ridge team skated as if they hadn’t listened to the prognosticators and they almost, almost proved them wrong. Look for the Verona-Glen Ridge team to bring its energy to the state playoffs that start this Sunday.