Coming into this game, fatigue was a concern for Ocean since they just played the previous day against Edison. In reality, Ocean ended up having one of their best games of their season in an 8-1 victory over Colonia.
“Coming in, I thought this could be a trap game,” said Ocean head coach Dave Smith. “If anyone was under the opinion this was going to be an easy roll, I changed their minds before the game started. I told them it was going to be a hard game to win.”
Early in the game, the players responded to coach Smith’s message and came up with two power play goals from Alexi Laughlin and Joe LaValle respectively.
If that was not enough, Dylan Haar added to that with two goals of his own in the first period, which were also his first two goals of the season that put Ocean up 4-0.
“It felt so great to finally get my first goal of the season, it’s amazing,” said Haar.
“For the first one, there was a battle in front of the net and I saw the puck, dug it out, and tapped it in,” noted Haar. “For the second one, I got a good set-up, the puck was passed to me, I shot it and then got the rebound and banged it in.”
At the end of the first period, Ocean not only was up 4-0, but also had 20 shots on goal compared to just four from Colonia. The second period was quiet with just one goal scored by LaValle (his second of the game).
But in the third period, Ocean exploded with three more goals, the first of which was another power play goal. This time, it was scored by Henry Cioffi and it was the third time in three tries Ocean converted on the power play.
“We realized that the power play needed more practice so we worked on that over break and it’s been showing up,” said Smith.
Colonia did put up a goal by Drew Galea to avoid getting shut out, but Ocean still went on to an 8-1 victory and out shot the Patriots 49-16.
“It was probably the best game we have played all year,” added Smith.
Ocean improves to a 9-4-1 record and have won their last two games by a combined score of 15-2. The challenge now is to make sure this is not their highlight of the season.
“We played really well and if we can keep that going into the next game, we could get on a roll,” noted Haar.
Ocean returns home on Thursday at 6:15 to face Toms River North.