Lakeland vs. West Milford Rivalry at the Rock Recap
March 16, 2023
After a highly anticipated couple of weeks, the Lakeland Lancers have matched up against West Milford/Pequannock in the Rivalry at the Rock ice hockey game at the Prudential Center, home of the New Jersey Devils. It was a great experience for all of our hockey players, as they got the opportunity to play in a National Hockey League arena, giving them a chance to feel what it would be like to play at the next level.
It was a very back and forth game the entire time, with high action and intensity throughout the entire sixty minutes. Junior forward John Biegel was able to get the West Milford Highlanders on the board first, off of a tip-in goal assisted by junior forward Aiden Lindgren. The Lancers didn’t wait too long to even up the scoreboard, as senior forward Charlie Wogisch scored just over one minute later off of a pass from sophomore forward Ryan Giordano to tie up the game. With about five and a half minutes left in the opening period, West Milford freshman forward Joe Barroquerio was able to score a breakaway goal assisted by sophomore defenseman Anthony Weisse to give the Highlanders the lead back. Just as the opening period was coming to a close, the Lancers were able to tie it up with an unassisted goal from junior Ryan Targove with just over one minute left in the period.
The Highlanders were able to break the tie game and get the scoring started in the second period, as junior forward Lindgren scored a very nice goal nearly six minutes into the period, with Biegel picking up the assist and his second point of the game to take the lead. Things began to heat up for the Lancers midway through the period, as Wogisch scored his second goal of the game with an assist from senior forward Tristan Davison to even the score once again. With the game all tied up at three in the second period, both teams knew that the next goal would be crucial if they wanted to get the win, and the Lancers were able to get that go ahead goal from Davison with just over three minutes left in the period, with assists coming from Wogisch and Giordano. The Lancers now had the lead going into the third period. They were able to hold off the Highlanders from tying the game, taking home the victory.
After a very close game, our Lakeland Lancers were able to edge out the victory against West Milford/Pequannock by a score of 4-3. Both teams certainly showed up to play, and there were many standouts for both teams. For the Lancers, Wogisch had an outstanding performance, scoring two goals and picking up one assist, while Davison recorded one goal and one assist as well as Giordano with two assists. Senior goalie Nate Bailey had a great game as well, saving 22 of 25 shots that came his way. For the Highlanders, both Biegel and Lindgren had very impressive games, each scoring one goal and one assist. West Milford goalie Nick Lombardo was also able to save 27 of 31 shots, putting up a very solid showing in net.
It was truly an honor for both teams to have the opportunity to play in an NHL arena. “The atmosphere during the game was unbelievable. It was so amazing to be given the opportunity to play on a professional rink like that, and I’m never going to forget this game,” Davison stated after the game. The Rivalry at the Rock will be a game that both teams will certainly remember for the rest of their lives.