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Brown OT Goal lifts Tenafly in NJSIAA/Devils Tourney

First Round of State Tournament in the Books; Sweet-16 Stage is Set

by John Christian Hageny @JCCSPORTS /

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.  

Public A 

First Round

2-Ridge 10, 31-Marlboro/Holmdel 3: Liam Tormey turned in a hat trick and Alex Konovalov, Jack Mandala and John Vilade each scored twice for Ridge at the Bridgewater Sports Arena. Chris Ambrozy earned the win in between the pipes for Ridge, which will take on Manalapan in the Sweet-16. 

3-Randolph 2, 30-Newton/Lenape Valley 0: Max Gaudioso and Nick Civetta each found the back of the net while Luc Swedund steered aside all 21 shots he faced as Randolph prevailed at Aspen Ice in Randolph. Taylor Zink had 37 saves for Newton. Randolph will meet Montclair next.

4-Hunterdon Central 9, 29-Parsippany Hills/Parsippany 1: Tom Del Gaizo and Jake Stapert each scored twice and Scott Schnell added a goal and two assists for Hunterdon Central at Aspen Ice in Flemington. Alex Ahern, Daniel Cicala and Grant Martin chipped in a goal and an assist for Hunterdon Central, which will lock up with Watchung Hills in the Sweet-16.

6-Freehold Township 6, 27-Monroe 1: Max Halvorsen registered two goals and two assists and Julian Kislin distributed five assists for Freehold Township at the Jersey Shore Arena in Wall. Brendan Liebross and Tyler Sanborn each had a goal and an assist for Freehold, which is set to take on Sparta in the Sweet-16. Anthony Lane hit for Monroe.

11-Sparta/Jefferson 5, 22-Gov. Livingston 0: Jaxon Mase scored twice and assisted on a third while Logan Hanek stood tall with 22 saves for Sparta at Skylands Ice World in Stockholm. Zach Harmel and Mike Holovach had a pair of assists for Sparta, which will skate against Freehold in its next game. 

Public B

First Round

6-Lakeland 9, 27-Morris Hills 0: Greg Martin had a hat trick and Luke Broderick and Andrew Heck chipped in a goal and two assists for Lakeland at the Ice Vault in Wayne. Carl Lorenz recorded the shutout for Lakeland, which advances to meet Millburn.

7-Roxbury 10, 26-Woodbridge 0: Dylan DeGraw, Billy and Nicholas Hefferle each had hat tricks in Roxbury's triumph at Aspen Ice in Randolph. A.J. Pisani had a 13-save shutout for Roxbury, which will skate against Wall in the second round.

8-Summit 7, 25-Hopewell Valley 0: Jake Puskar scored twice and Corey McManus and Tom Pryymak each added a goal and two assists for Summit at Warinanco Rink in Roselle. Wilson Lees posted the shutout in net for Summit, which will take on Madison in the next round.

9-Madison, 24-Cranford: Will Scavone's second goal of the game, on the power-play assisted by Jeff Tom and Charlie Cleaves with 2:19 remaining in regulation, lifted Madison at Mennen Arena in Morris Township. Kyle Pruzick also hit twice while Kavi Sinha was credited with 37 saves for Madison, will is set to meet Summit in the second round. Ryan Malko scored twice for Cranford.  

10-Wall Township 9, 23-Johnson 1: Ryan Burns, Shane Haviland, Kyle O'Neil and Jack Textor each scored twice, powering Wall Township at the Jersey Shore Arena in Wall. Zach Tarantino added a goal and four assists and Logan Beattie made 14 saves for Wall, which will meet Roxbury in the second round. Mike Adamowitz scored for Johnson.

13-Middletown North 8, 20-Wayne Hills 6: John Dinnocenzo lit the lamp five times and set up another to fuel Middletown North at Middletown Ice World. Evan Hall scored twice, Brad Heuer had a goal and an assist and John Hallard pick up four assists for Middletown North, which will play Chatham in the next round. Dean Hulbert had two goals and two assists for Wayne Hills. 


First Round

9-Bergen Catholic 3, 8-Gloucester Catholic 2 (OT): William Frasetto's second goal of the game, 4:47 into overtime, lifted Bergen Catholic in a Sweet-16 upset at Hollydell Ice Arena in Sewell. Pierre La Monica also scored while Francis Forte made 41 saves for his Oradell school, which awaits the winner of Delbarton/MKA. Vinny McAllister and Alec Myers hit for Gloucester Catholic.

14-St. John Vianney 11, 19-Frisch 1: Matt Franzoni and Max Allen each scored twice among nine different goal-scorers for St. John Vianney at the Jersey Shore Arena in Wall. Franzoni and John Gelatt each tallied four assists for their Holmdel school, which will tangle with Don Bosco Prep in the Sweet-16. Jake Fromen scored for Frisch. 

15-Notre Dame 3, 18-St. Rose/Donovan Catholic 2 (SO): Matt DeLorenzo's goal, in the sixth round of the shootout, lifted Notre Dame at Loucks Ice Center in Lawrenceville. Jason Janora and Matt Sellers scored in regulation for Notre Dame, which received 41 saves from Michael Bonavico. Sean Grant and Joe Trilli hit for St. Rose. Notre Dame will meet Pope John in the Sweet-16. 

17-Montclair Kimberley 4, 16-Pingry 2: Matt Buckley scored two goals and James Buckley added a goal and an assist for MKA in an upset at the Sports Arena in Bridgewater. Jason Gertz scored the game-winning goal while Jared Brunner made 17 saves for MKA, which will take on top-seeded Delbarton in the Sweet-16.

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