Livingston Shows Full Potential in 7-0 Shutout Against Millburn
Saturday, February 16, 2013 • 9:01am
WEST ORANGE, NJ - From the minute the puck dropped, Livingston was on top of their game, dominating their archrivals, the Millburn Millers, by the score of 7-0. This was no ordinary game, this game had more meaning than just a rivalry game. Friday's match-up was the first round of the McInnis Cup Conference Tournament, and Livingston wanted to prove that they could win the conference, or better yet, the state.
As the game began, Livingston's fan section began to swell with tons of students cheering for the Lancers loud and proud. Some of the chants seemed to get into Millburn's heads early as Millburn's Max Hayum committed a penalty for hooking. The Lancers took advantage of the penalty as senior defenseman Mike Koval blasted one by Millburn's Corey Nadell. The net didn't stop ringing from there, as the Lancers added two more goals in the first period from seniors Cameron Friedfertig and captain Ben Arden.
As the second period approached, assistant captain and defenseman, Jonny Garfinkel finished on an assist from Tal Finberg to go up 4-0 in the second. Later in the period, the Lancers had trapped themselves in a long five-on-three penalty kill.
They killed the penalty, but even more satisfying, the Lancers scored a goal down two men as Ben Arden made a pass to Tal Finberg, allowing him to find the back of the net.
"It was a great play by Ben (Arden)," Coach Dave Conklin explained. "He rushed it real nice and Tal was able to finish that goal. It's nice to see them working like that."
Rushing the puck up with two of their three players on the ice was risky. However, it paid off.
Joe Lilien added a goal that was assisted by defenseman Cole Friedfertig from the point to make it a 6-0 lead.
In the third period, the Lancers put more shots on goal; however, only one goal was allowed as Tal Finberg buried his second goal of the game.
The Lancers have had trouble putting their shots in the net lately, as they only scored three goals in their previous two games. Getting seven goals on 69 shots definitely was a breath of fresh air for the Lancers.
"Thank God we're putting the puck in the net," Finberg said. Then he added, "We definitely took it to them right away. We had fresh legs and beat them to the puck today."
"We did a great job getting rebounds," Coach Conklin said. "We kept speed and pressure on them down low and it worked out for us."
The puck was in the Lancers' possession for most of the game.
Goalie Brian Lilien was able to get his first shutout in this year's playoffs, saving 19 shots on the night.
"My d(efense) kept (the puck) to the outside," Lilien said acknowledging his teammates' effort. "My d(efense) did a great job. Even (Ryan) Dallow and (Phil) Edelman stepped up tonight. They showed that they can compete. And you need depth to win the states."
Earlier this week, before this game against Millburn, most of the team decided to get the same short haircut that their teammates we're getting. Along with that, each played shaved the back of their head with the number they wear on the back of their jerseys, as well as a couple lines on each side of their head. Not only did the players do it, Coach Dave Conklin also bought into the fun with his players, shaving LHS (short for Livingston High School) on the back of his head.
"I never played on a better team than (this) Livingston team," senior captain Ben Arden admitted.
Livingston will take on Nutley in the semi-finals of the McInnis Cup on Monday, a team they've tied earlier in the year and also lost against twice in really close match-ups.
"Every game is do or die now," Coach Conklin recognized. "We need to come out with that same intensity every night."