FLORHAM PARK, N.J. – The Long Island Royals remained one of five undefeated teams in Tier 3 juniors with victories over the Metro Fighting Moose and the New Jersey Renegades, Jake Fuss (Fairfield, CT) continued his reign at the top of the Tier 3 junior hockey scoring leaderboard, and the Exton Bulls nabbed their first victory as a junior franchise as regular season play continues in the North American 3 Atlantic Hockey League.
Fuss produced a 13-point weekend, extending his season total to 80 in helping the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights sweep three games from the Moose and the Jersey Wildcats to move within two points of the Royals atop the NA3AHL standings. Fuss now has an 11-point lead in the NA3AHL scoring race and has a one-point lead among all Tier 3 junior hockey players.
Long Island Royals 7 Metro Fighting Moose 5
Hosting a Thursday night game for the third consecutive week, the Moose fell to the Royals for Long Island’s 16th consecutive victory. Keith O’Brien (East Setauket, NY), Anthony Zyller (Hauppauge, NY) and Matthew Araujo (Brookhaven, NY) each had two goals for the Royals, who peppered Moose goaltender Thomas Sullivan (Floral Park, NY) with 41 shots in the victory. Craig Bradburn (New York, NY) had two goals and an assist for the Moose, who squandered 1-0 and 3-1 leads in dropping their fifth straight.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights 9 Metro Fighting Moose 1
Troy Smith (Churchton, MD) and Rhett Padgett (Millrift, PA) scored 35 seconds apart to give the Knights an early two-goal lead en route to a 9-1 victory over the Moose. Fuss, Josh Kim (Livonia, NY) and Hendrick Simard (Pont-Rouge, Quebec, Canada) each had two goals for the Knights, who fired 60 shots over three periods. James Haun (Brooklyn, NY) had the lone goal for the Moose.
Jersey Wildcats 9 Exton Bulls 2
The Wildcats returned to the win column with a convincing 9-2 win over Exton. With the game tied midway through the second period, the Wildcats ran off seven consecutive goals to claim the victory. Defenseman Marc Iandiorio (Morris Plains, NJ) registered a hat trick in the win and forwards Artem Buzoverya (Mount Arlington, NJ) and James Durante (Mahwah, NJ) each had two. Brett Zanelli (Summit, NJ) tallied five assists. Gabe Evans (Telford, PA) notched both Exton goals.
Long Island Royals 7 New Jersey Renegades 2
In the NA3AHL MyHockeyTv.com Game of the Week, three second-period goals were the difference as the Royals won their17th straight game with a 7-2 victory over the Renegades. Seven different skaters tallied goals for Long Island and seven different skaters recorded multiple points. Austin Mininger (Quakertown, PA) had both goals for New Jersey.
After Bryan Whelan (Rockville Center, NY) opened the game’s scoring, Michael Walsh (Hicksville, NY) and Mininger exchanged goals to give the Royals a 2-1 edge at the first intermission. Although Mason Wilson (Philadelphia, PA) made 14 saves in the first period, he didn’t find the same level of success over the game’s final two periods as Long Island scored three times on 12 shots in the second and twice on 11 shots in the third.
Thomas Fagan (East Islip, NY) began the second period, beating Wilson at 2:14. Araujo followed at 5:05, giving the Royals a 4-1 lead. The Royals then scored back-to-back short-handed tallies to put the game out of reach.
John Krause (Oakdale, NY) made 27 saves to pick up his third win of the year.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights 6 Metro Fighting Moose 4
Fuss and Kim combined for five goals as the Knights scored three unanswered goals in the game’s final 13:30 to rally and down the Moose 6-4. Fuss opened the game’s scoring at 6:02 of the first, beating Sullivan on the man-advantage after Charles Flemen (Westchester, NY) was whistled for high sticking for the game’s first penalty. James Haun (Brooklyn, NY) responded for the Moose with the first of his two goals to even the score at 10:01.
Kim and James Dravage (Sugar Notch, PA) beat Sullivan to give the Knights a 3-1 lead midway through the second period, however, Michael Cistone (Old Bridge, NJ) began the Moose rally, beating Carson Bonk (Clinton Corners, NY) for his fifth goal of the year at 13:11. Haun would beat Bonk for the second time to even the score at 3 heading into the second intermission.
Vincent DeGeorge (Staten Island, NY) reclaimed the one-goal lead for the Moose, beating Bonk three minutes into the final frame.
Fuss would again force a tie with his 32nd goal of the season at 6:30 of the third period and Kim would put the Knights back in front for the final time, beating Sullivan at 18:19. Fuss would add an empty-net goal to close the scoring and complete his sixth hat trick of the season.
Exton Bulls 3 Central Penn Panthers 2
Erik Stager (Myerstown, PA) beat Garret Baldacci (Fair Lawn, NJ) early in the third period to lead Exton to a 3-2 win over Central Penn for its first win of the year. Alex Goldbrunner (Speyer, Germany) made 33 saves to protect the victory.
Joseph Mace (Pottstown, PA) and Alex Barone (Glenolden, PA) had the other goals for Exton. Quinn Gilbert (Lancaster, PA) and Braden Rishell (Lititz, PA) recorded the Central Penn goals as the teams traded goals as part of a four-goal second period, setting the stage for Stager’s heroics.
Exton had lost 11 games in a row in the first year of the junior program, including two to Central Penn by a combined score of 17-5. The three-goal output matched the season-high for the program, who had not played a one-goal game this season.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights 8 Jersey Wildcats 5
In the weekend’s final matchup, the Knights rallied from a one-goal deficit on three different occasions to down the Wildcats, 8-5. Kim and Fuss combined for four goals and five assists to again lead the Wilkes-Barre offense. Christian Pellegrino (Arnold, MA) and Gabriel Nadell (Short Hills, NJ) combined for 94 saves in the back and forth affair. Nadell has faced 50 or more shots in four of seven starts this season.
Potente recorded his second hat trick of the season for the Wildcats.