The Verona-Glen Ridge hockey team’s red-hot season came to an abrupt end on Thursday, when VGR fell 4-1 to Nutley High School in the McInnis Cup tournament semi-finals.
VGR was the #3 seed going into the tournament, just behind the Nutley team that has been the chief thorn in its side all season. The Verona-Glen Ridge combo team lost to Nutley 2-4 in their very first game in early January, but turned around to beat them 3-1 at the end of the month.
This time, there was to be no turnaround. After a scoreless first period, Nutley got on the scoreboard first when Zach Vaughan found the back of the net on an assist from Brendan McCormack and Matt Apito. The Raiders quickly followed that with the first of two goals by Richie Lafuria.
Finally, Stephen Wenzl, a sophomore from the Glen Ridge side of the team, scored for VGR. The celebration was short-lived, as Nutley found the net twice more. VGR’s goalie Cam Giulianelli, a junior from Glen Ridge, blocked 22 shots.
VGR’s is now 16-5-3 overall, including 10-3-2 in conference.