The first round of the 2017 NJSIAA/Devils State Tournament is in the books. A total of 30 games were played around the Garden State this week with another 24 second-round bouts on tap beginning today. Here's a recap of all of Tuesday's action including live coverage from Tenafly-Montclair at Mackay Park:
ENGLEWOOD -- Survive and advance.
Tenafly did both after Matt Brown's game-winning goal 1:23 into overtime ensured it would not go home yet as the 14th-seeded Tigers edged 19th-seeded Montclair in sudden-death, 2-1, in the first round of the NJSIAA/Devils State Tournament at Mackay Park in Englewood.
With both goalies at the top of their game, Tenafly defenseman Michael Anderson held the line in the offensive zone before working the puck over to Michael Ranaldi at the point. Ranaldi slid from right-to-left before feeding Brown in the slot for the one-timer to secure the Bergen County school's first state tournament victory in five years.
"I gotta say, I think this is the biggest one so far," Brown said after recording his team-leading 35th goal of the season. "I was down low, I came up the middle and he hit me with a one-timer and it went in. It feels great for this team. I want to go as far as we can for them and everyone else."
"We knew we were going to get one," Brown said. "It was just a matter of when."
Kellum Foster-Palmer put Montclair on the board first just 3:39 into the game when he picked up a loose puck and ripped it home to give the Mounties a 1-0 lead. Julian Tallier tied it up for Tenafly-Cresskill, however, just 2:36 later off a set up from Ranaldi and Michael Chang.
The game would remain scoreless until Brown's fine finish. Tenafly-Cresskill improves to 15-8-2 and in the midst of its best season since its memorable Public B state finals run in 2012.
"We were down a couple players with injuries and just found a way," Tenafly coach Andy Escala said. "You have a guy like Matt Brown out there, plays the whole game on defense, practically, and gets the game-winner.
"Montclair did a great job trying to neutralize Matt, shadowed him the whole game, but it was great passing, back over to him for the one-timer," Escala, in his 19th season, said. "Kyle Picinic, my goalie, the first shot went in then he shut them down from there on. He was outstanding."
Picinic finished with 21 saves for Tenafly, which advances to take on Randolph in the second round. Montclair goalie Ondrej Smalec was equally as impressive, giving his team a chance with 26 saves in between the pipes.
"We knew what they were coming into this game, studied them on film and had a game plan we executed very well," Smalec said. "Their best player had one legitimate scoring chance and scored on it. That's how hockey works."
Smalec graduates one of the most decorated goalies in Montclair school history.
"Honestly, I'm thankful for every single player and every single moment of every season," the senior gracefully said after the final game of his career.