The West Essex Knights claimed the New Jersey Public B State Championship with a 3-0 victory over the Hopewell Valley Central Bulldogs, the first of three title games to be held at Prudential Center today.
An interference penalty to Hopewell defenseman John Devlin gave West Essex a power play just 2:40 into the contest. The Knights converted to take a 1-0 lead when Matt Trenk scored on a rebound at 4:12. Wes Bechtler’s goal with just four seconds remaining in the first gave West Essex a 2-0 advantage.
Travis Trent’s power play goal at 8:08 of the third stretched the lead to 3-0 and put the game out of reach.
Defenseman Tom Paranzine assisted on both power play tallies for a multiple point game.
Goaltender Michael Cuozzo stopped all 18 shots he faced to post his first shutout of the tournament.
This is West Essex’s third state championship, and first since 2004. Non-Public B All-Tournament Team
Goaltender – Michael
Cuozzo, West Essex
Defenseman – IanBohman,
Defenseman – Tom Paranzine, West Essex
Forward – Travis Trent, West Essex
Forward – John Fox, West Essex
Forward – Brett Perry, Madison