And the winner of the Middletown Mayor’s Cup is……Middletown North HS Hockey. In a fast paced scoring filled game, the Lions of Middletown North pulled out a 7-5 victory with late goals in the third period, one of them an empty netter by Christian Acosta which gave him a hat trick on the night.
Throughout the game both teams kept pace with each other with neither team leading by more than one goal until Acosta’s third. The game displayed all aspects of good hockey, and a little chippiness to keep both student bodies and hockey fans glued to their seats until the end. Middletown Ice World was filled to capacity, not only due to the rivalry, but it was senior night for both schools. Both schools represented all the seniors and their families well with a nice ceremony before the game started.
Middletown North opened the scoring with a goal from one of their seniors Vincent Tomasetti, his 14th of the season, in the first 3 minutes of the game. Tomasetti, who also had an assist and is third on the team with 32 points, (14G 18A), got the North fans into the game right away. He was one of four big players for North tonight, all of them seniors.
Christian Acosta had a hat trick with 2 assist tonight, Bobby Hampton with 1 goal and 3 assist, and Kevin Felice, 1 goal and 1 assist. Felice’s goal in the third was the game winner and a strong all around game got him the MVP of the Mayors Cup.
Middletown North is 9-0 in conference this year, ranked number #1 in Public B state rankings with a 13-2-1 overall record. Acosta leads the team in goals, assist and points (28-26-54) and is followed by Kevin Felice (21-14-35). Bobby Hampton, who split his time between his junior team commitment and the HS team, is fourth (8-19-27).
Middletown played without their standout goalie Anthony Manfredi in the third due to a kicking major with 3 seconds left in the second. He was disqualified for the rest of the game. Backup Jake Frontera stepped up and filled in to the tone of allowing only one goal in the third.
Middletown South played well enough to win tonight despite being without 3 of its top players. Gavin Gulash, Ryan Lambert, Mike Racioppi and Devon Ralph were all out because of traveling commitments. Ryan D’Emilia stepped up and played an exceptional game, scoring a hat trick giving him 13 goals this season with 16 points.
Both Matt Torre, 1 goal and 1 assist (1-3-4), and Alex Demaio, 2 assist (3-6-9), also played hard fought games to help lead South to a 5-4 lead in the third before North scored 3 unanswered goals. Freshman goalie Clay Simonsen faced 43 shots and consistently made difficult saves against North’s superior offense.
North’s next game is Feb 8th against Freehold Township, while South plays Howell on Feb 9th. The seeding for the Shore Conference Tournament is on Feb 8th with the semi finals on Feb 16th and the finals on Feb 18th.