Hockey Gets Shut-Out As Playoffs Take A Twist

By on January 28, 2018

VGR DeCandiaThe Verona-Glen Ridge hockey team left Nutley in the deep freeze last night as an upset loss by perpetual rival Millburn put a twist in the Kelly division playoff picture.

VGR once again skated hard in its 2-0 win over Nutley, but it took until the 2:53 mark of the second period for the team to get its first score, by Verona senior Sean DeCandia. Tensions ran high on the ice and, at one point, there were almost as many Nutley skaters in the penalty box as there were on the ice. Aidan Brennan, a sophomore from the Glen Ridge side of the team, scored the second goal with 6:15 left, earning the team’s Bloomfield Avenue hat award for the game. This is a home-grown MVP program that began five years ago when Coach Ken Lilien took over the team. The player who earns the fedora must select the winner in the next game and make a locker-room speech recognizing the winner’s accomplishments.

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The win improved VGR’s already stellar record to 12-3-6.

VGR was moved this year to the NJIIHL’s Kelly division from the McInnis, where it was Cup champion in 2016. It’s been one of the top three teams in the Kelly, with Scotch Plains-Fanwood and Millburn, and the win over Nutley put it in a tie with SPF for second place. That distinction was turned on its ear later in the evening, after the Millers lost a 4-3 nail-biter to Cranford. (Millburn had tied and then beaten VGR in two games last week.)

VGR will get its own shot at Cranford on Monday night at the Warinanco rink in Roselle. One more item for your calendar: VGR’s senior night will be Saturday, February 3 at the Codey area. The ceremony will be at 7:30 p.m., followed by a game against Oratory Prep at 7:45. Admission is free for all Verona High School students. VGR’s seniors are Sean DeCandia and Dylan Ruggiero from Verona, and Collin Gilmore and Anton Martino from Glen Ridge.

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