The Verona-Glen Ridge hockey team fired all the afterburners in the second period of tonight’s state playoff against Woodbridge and turned a 4-1 deficit into a 7-4 VGR victory.
The game was the first round of the Public B playoffs and VGR, the #13 seed, came into riding high after its Saturday night McInnis Cup victory over Montclair Kimberley Academy. The combo team got on the scoreboard first with a goal by Jarrod Keating, a freshman from its Verona side. Woodbridge tied the game and proceeded to play as if it were much better than its 20th-seeded spot would indicate. In the second period, as VGR limped through two penalties, Woodbridge piled up three more goals, making it 4-1 at the 8:20 mark.
And then it started. Owen Gleeson, a senior from the Glen Ridge side of the team who had been so decisive in the McInnis Cup play, brought the score to 4-2. Steven Topping, a Glen Ridge junior, closed the deficit to 4-3. Glen Ridge freshman Jake Kuhn tied it and as the second period ticked down to a close, Stephen Wenzel put VGR ahead with a 5-4.
There was no let-down in the momentum in the third period. Gleeson scored again (he had assists in every score of the night) and then Kevin White, a Verona senior, made it six unanswered goals and melted any hope that this would be Woodridge’s night.
What happens in round two depends on the outcome of Tuesday night’s game between #4 Ramsey and #29 Jefferson. VGR will play the winner on Friday, February 26.
All photos copyright Rich Blaney. Used by permission.