Southern Regional Ice Hockey Squad Scorching Hot So Far in January
After routing Lacey in the Southern Regional ice hockey team’s opening victory on Dec. 1, junior forward Paul Keyes said the team needed to develop more of a scoring prowess in the first period of games going forward, rather than waiting until the second period to get into a better offensive rhythm. Well, seven weeks later, it seems the formula of scoring more later in games is the winning one for the Rams, who, following a 6-1 drubbing of Central Regional on Jan. 16, improved to 10-3-1 on the season. In a vast majority of its 10 wins, Southern has scored the bulk of its goals in the second and third periods.
Hey, whatever works, right?
One thing that has been working quite well so far is Southern’s defense. The Rams haven’t allowed more than three goals in a game through their first 14 contests – and it just so happens that all of their losses have occurred when allowing that magic number of goals. Otherwise, it’s been one or none in eight of their 10 wins.
So far in 2017, the Rams have won four straight and outscored their opponents, 23-4.
Against the Golden Eagles, Trent Markley scored four goals and added an assist, while Keyes tallied a goal and three assists, and David Lytle contributed the other goal. Jack Conrad had two assists, and Nick Englebert gave out an assist as well.
On Jan. 11, the Rams scored a big, 4-1 victory over Toms River North to remain undefeated in the division at 4-0. During the contest, Southern scored the first three goals – two in the second period and one in the third – before the Mariners finally got on the scoreboard.
With 10:21 left in the second, Lytle buried a shot on assists from Hunter Bello and Markley, before Matt Flynn was assisted by Bryan Janiszewski and Markley just over five minutes later to make it 2-0. Just 2:08 into the third, Englebert buried a pass from Lytle to make it a three-goal game. Keyes fed Englebert for a short-handed goal with 42 seconds left to cap the scoring.
Against Old Bridge on Jan. 10, the Rams were fueled by two goals each from Englebert and Joe Cajzer, while Joe Harper, Janiszewski and Lytle added three more in a 7-0 rout. Tyler Golomb contributed two assists, while Ray Leutke, Matt Constantino and Nolan Ruff each delivered an assist.
Southern also won a 6-2 contest over Brick on Jan. 2, during which Jack Conrad and Lytle each scored twice and Bello and Golomb each popped in a goal. Keyes also had two assists.
So far this season, Lytle leads on the scoring chart with 15 goals and five assists (20 points), with Keyes right behind him with six goals and 13 assists (19 points). Jack Conrad, who has five goals and eight assists, and Englebert, who has six goals and seven assists, each have 13 points. Bello (nine goals, three assists) and Markley (seven goals, five assists) each have 12 points.
In the crease, starting goaltender Cam Conrad has been stellar. He has 168 saves and just 12 goals allowed for a save percentage of .933. Backup Anthony Scalvino has faced 43 shots and allowed only two goals for a save percentage of .953.
— David Biggy